Media

Ozy Media CEO says decision to close has been reversed

The CEO of Ozy Media says a recent decision to shutter the company has been reversed.

“We’re going to open for business, so we’re making news today,” Ozy CEO Carlos Watson said while appearing Monday on NBC’s “Today.” “This is our Lazarus moment, if you will, this is our Tylenol moment. Last week was traumatic, it was difficult, heartbreaking in many ways.”

Ozy’s board of directors said in a statement obtained by The New York Times on Friday that it was closing.

“At Ozy, we have been blessed with a remarkable team of dedicated staff,” the board reportedly said to employees in the statement. “Many of them are world-class journalists and experienced professionals to whom we owe tremendous gratitude and who are wonderful colleagues. It is therefore with the heaviest of hearts that we must announce today that we are closing Ozy’s doors.”

The closing announcement came just days after the Times reported that a top executive at the company had impersonated a staffer at YouTube during a conference call with potential investors from Goldman Sachs. 

Watson, during the “Today” interview, denied having any knowledge of a plan to deceive investors which, in a separate statement to the Times, he chalked up to the executive going through a “mental health crisis.”

“No — and it’s sad, and it’s difficult,” he told Today. “It was wrong. Obviously, they figured it out very quickly.”

Watson, who founded the California-based media company, said he was not on the conference call with Goldman Sachs because “part of the fund-raising process, you end up talking to a lot of people, and I’m not on every call.”

Tags Goldman Sachs media Ozy Media The New York Times YouTube

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