After Board of Directors shuts media company, Carlos Watson claims firm will be back in a few days
The CEO of Ozy Media on Monday said it had been “premature” to shut down the company and that he wants to keep operating, despite a scandal-ridden week that exposed Ozy as an outlet without much of an audience, the Associated Press reports.
Carlos Watson, a former former cable-news commentator and host who founded Ozy in 2013, told CNBC that he met with advertisers and investors over the weekend and that he wants Ozy to continue.
In an emailed statement Monday, the company characterized the troubles of the past week as “a bump in the road” that it is “committed to getting past,” saying “we are excited to reopen and expect to start resuming operations over the next few days.” Ozy is trying to get employees to come back and said newsletters would resume this week and video production at the end of the month.
Ozy’s board of directors said Friday that the company was ceasing operations. The shutdown came less than a week after a New York Times column raised questions about the media organization’s claims of millions of viewers and readers, while also pointing out a potential case of securities fraud.
The story triggered canceled shows, an internal investigation, investor concern and high-level departures at the company before it shut down Friday.
The Times story also said Ozy’s chief operating officer and co-founder, Samir Rao, impersonated a YouTube executive on a call with Goldman Sachs while attempting to raise money from the investment bank. Regarding that call, Watson said: “I don’t know. I wasn’t there.” He then went on to say that they eventually “figured out what happened,” but did not explain further. “Look — it’s heartbreaking, it’s wrong, it’s not good, it’s not OK,” Watson said. “I love Goldman, I worked there, I’ve got a lot of friends there.”
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