Monday, October 4, 2021

NEW YORK (AP) — The CEO of Ozy Media on Monday called the company’s announcement last week that it was shutting down “premature” and that after meeting with advertisers and other partners, it would continue to operate.

“We have something special here,” Carlos Watson told CNBC on Monday morning.

The board of directors of Ozy emailed a statement Friday saying the company was ceasing operations 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.

On Thursday, Marc Lasry, the hedge-fund billionaire and Milwaukee Bucks co-owner who had been named Ozy‘s chairman in September, resigned. A high-profile employee, former BBC anchor Katty Kay, resigned earlier in the week, and an early investor, a venture capital firm, gave up its Ozy shares. The board had reportedly hired a law firm to review Ozy‘s business activities.

Ozy published stories on its website, made podcasts, newsletters and shows and hosted the OzyFest festival. Its website remained up on Friday afternoon.

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