Ozy is shutting down lower than every week after a New York Instances column raised questions in regards to the media group’s claims of thousands and thousands of viewers and readers, whereas additionally mentioning a possible case of securities fraud.
The story triggered canceled reveals, an inner investigation, investor concern and high-level departures on the firm.
An emailed assertion Friday from Ozy Media’s board known as it an organization with many “world-class journalists and skilled professionals to whom we owe super gratitude.” It stated it was “with the heaviest of hearts that we should announce at the moment that we’re closing Ozy’s doorways.”
The board’s assertion didn’t give the rationale for shutting down the corporate based mostly in Mountain View, California. Ozy didn’t reply to questions on why it was shutting down now or what number of staff it had.
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Ozy’s CEO, former cable-news commentator and host Carlos Watson, began Ozy in 2013. It printed tales on its web site, made podcasts, newsletters and reveals and hosted the OzyFest pageant. Its web site remained up on Friday afternoon.
The Instances story stated Ozy’s chief working officer and co-founder, Samir Rao, impersonated a YouTube government on a name with Goldman Sachs whereas making an attempt to boost cash from the funding financial institution. It additionally addressed long-held business questions of whether or not Ozy was inflating its viewers dimension.
In a tweet, Watson claimed 25 million e-newsletter subscribers – the New York Instances, with a a lot greater model presence, says it has 15 million e-newsletter readers – and greater than 30 million views on YouTube. The Instances stated fewer than 500,000 individuals went to Ozy’s web site in June and July, in response to Comscore information.
On Thursday, Marc Lasry, the hedge-fund billionaire and Milwaukee Bucks co-owner who had been named Ozy’s chairman in September, resigned, citing Ozy’s want for somebody skilled in disaster administration and investigations. He remained an investor.
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A high-profile worker, former BBC anchor Katty Kay, resigned earlier within the week, and an early investor, a enterprise capital agency, gave up its Ozy shares. The board had reportedly employed a regulation agency to evaluation Ozy’s enterprise actions.
Cable community A&E pulled a particular on psychological well being hosted by Watson that was scheduled for Monday night time, and Watson stepped down from internet hosting a documentary Emmys awards present Wednesday night time.
The web site Crunchbase, which tracks company fund-raising, stated Ozy had raised greater than $70 million from traders as of late 2019.