OZY (media company)
Ozy (styled OZY) is an international media and entertainment company launched in September 2013 by former CNN and MSNBC news anchor, journalist, and businessman Carlos Watson and Goldman Sachs alum Samir Rao. Ozy describes its mission as to help curious people see a broader and a bolder world. Its headquarters is in Mountain View, California, and it also has an office in New York City, as well as staff reporters and correspondents across the globe, including Washington, D.C., North Carolina, Toronto, New Delhi, Kiev, Paris, London, Cape Town, Lagos and Mexico City.
Type of site
|Media and entertainment|
|Headquarters||Mountain View, California|
|Created by||Carlos Watson and Samir Rao|
As of 2018, Ozy claimed an audience of 3 million subscribers and a monthly reach of over 40 million. Ozy has branched out since its inception as an online magazine to become a producer of podcasts, television series and events.
Ozy's investors include Laurene Powell Jobs, Mike Moe, Louise Rogers, Marc Lasry, Dan Rosensweig, Larry Sonsini, David Drummond and Ron Conway. In 2019, Ozy announced a Series C round of fundraising of $35 million, led by businessman Marc Lasry.
Ozy's digital magazine focuses on news, politics, sports, business, entertainment and technology. Current notable editors include managing editor Fay Schlesinger, formerly the youngest and first female Head of News at The Times; editor-at-large Eugene S. Robinson, lead singer of post-punk band Oxbow; and senior adviser Jana Bennett, from A+E's History Channel and the BBC.
Ozy has formed content sharing agreements with companies such as TED Talks, Financial Times and National Geographic, as well as featuring its own reporting in flagship series such as States of the Nation, with stories from every U.S. state, and Around the World, with stories from all 200 countries.
Ozy also produces a number of podcasts, including history podcast The Thread, hosted by Sean Braswell, and OZY Confidential, hosted by Eugene S. Robinson. Its podcasts are hosted on the iHeart Media podcast network, and Ozy and iHeart Media are co-producing two new podcasts in 2020.
In 2016 Ozy announced its first television series, The Contenders: 16 for '16, which aired on PBS. It has since produced four additional series, Third Rail With OZY Breaking Big, Take On America, and Black Women OWN the Conversation, which have aired on PBS, World Channel, the BBC, Facebook Watch, Amazon Prime, YouTube and the Oprah Winfrey Network.
Breaking Big, which aired on PBS in 2018 and later on Amazon Prime, was hosted by Carlos Watson and featured interviews with prominent figures across entertainment, politics and sports including Trevor Noah, Gretchen Carlson, Lee Daniels, Michael Strahan, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Christian Siriano. The season finale featuring the Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Carmen Yulín Cruz, was awarded an Imagen Award for Best Informational Program.
Ozy's most recent television show, the four-part Black Women OWN the Conversation, aired in August and September 2019 on the Oprah Winfrey Network, hosted by Carlos Watson. The show featured an audience of 100 black women — a similar format to previous Ozy show Take On America, which featured audiences with 100 black men, 100 white women, 100 Latino families and 100 Asian-American millennials. Celebrity panelists on Black Women OWN the Conversation included Winnie Harlow, Kym Whitley, Dulcé Sloan, Nicole Byer, Monica Brown, Stacey Abrams, Angelica Ross, Brittney Cooper and Nadine Burke Harris.
In 2016 Ozy launched a live event dubbed "OZY Fest", which until 2018 was held in Rumsey Playfield at Central Park in New York City. The name of OZY Fest sparked a lawsuit from Ozzy Osbourne's Ozzfest in 2017. OZY Fest has featured performances and discussions with notable figures including Wyclef Jean, Isse Rae, Cory Booker and Will.i.am in 2016; Katie Couric, Jason Derulo, Zara Larsson, Samantha Bee and RuPaul in 2017; and Hillary Clinton, Chelsea Handler, Hasan Minhaj, Michelle Wolf, Young the Giant, Passion Pit, Grouplove, Common, Laverne Cox, Salman Rushdie, Rose McGowan and Awkwafina in 2018. Journalist and writer Malcolm Gladwell has appeared at all three OZY Fest events.
In May 2019, Ozy announced that OZY Fest 2019 would be held on Central Park's Great Lawn and would feature John Legend, Miguel, Tove Lo, Trevor Noah, Mark Cuban, Malcolm Gladwell, Jameela Jamil, Spike Lee, Deepak Chopra, Beto O'Rourke, John Kasich, Stacey Abrams, Rachael Ray and Padma Lakshmi. The event was to be co-hosted by former baseball player Alex Rodriguez, as well as Ozy's Carlos Watson. Two days in advance of the festival, Ozy announced that Saturday tickets were sold out. However, OZY Fest 2019 was canceled due to a heat wave on the weekend that it was supposed to be held.
Popular leftist podcast Chapo Trap House dedicated a segment of their 230th episode to Ozy. During the episode the hosts strongly criticized the company, referring to it as "the Phish of news" and "MSNBC live". In addition, the hosts criticized the company's reading of the Percy Shelly poem "Ozymandias" as incorrect.
OZY Fest 2018 was also criticized as a "neoliberal nightmare" by Rolling Stone, a "sizzling hot festival for folks who love Coachella and neoliberalism" by GQ, and "a progressive alternate reality" by The Washington Post.
- "Interview mit OZY-Gründer Carlos Watson: 'New York Times, Buzzfeed – und natürlich wir!'". RollingStone.de (in German). June 6, 2014. Retrieved March 15, 2017.
- Shontell, Alyson (September 16, 2013). "Former MSNBC Anchor Launches Ozy, A Fresh News Site With Money From Laurene Powell Jobs". BusinessInsider.com. Retrieved March 15, 2017.
- Ariens, Chris (September 16, 2013). "The WebNewser Ticker: Watson & OZY, Baier & Bing, 'Stars' & Facebook". MediaBistro.com. Retrieved March 15, 2017.
- Spangler, Todd, "Digital News Startup Ozy Media Raises $10 Million to Expand Video Team, Hire More Journalists", Variety, January 24, 2017.
- "About OZY | When we launched OZY, we had a big idea". OZY. Retrieved February 5, 2020.
- Mitchell, Julian. "OZY CEO Carlos Watson Is Leading A Media Movement For The Change Generation". Forbes. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
- "Ozy Media Redesigns Homepage, Launches Podcast". www.mediapost.com. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
- "OZY Media Announces New Primetime Television Series, 'Take On America'". www.prnewswire.com (Press release). OZY Media. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
- Wall, Alex (July 19, 2016). "OZY Fusion Fest brings will.i.am, Wyclef, Andra Day, more to Central Park". Four Over Four. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
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- "OZY Media makes a big bet on content". CNBC. November 1, 2019. Retrieved February 5, 2020.
- "OZY - Welcome to the New News". OZY. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
- Littleton, Cynthia (March 27, 2019). "Cable Veteran Jana Bennett Joins Ozy Media to Expand TV, Podcasts (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
- "National Geographic Introduces Content Partnership with OZY Media – National Geographic Partners Press Room". National Geographic Press Room. October 7, 2014. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
- Mitchell, Julian. "OZY CEO Carlos Watson Is Leading A Media Movement For The Change Generation". Forbes. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
- Braswell, Sean. "OZY Podcasts". OZY. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
- Verdier, Hannah; Slaney, Rowan (October 6, 2017). "John Lennon's murder and jaw-dropping fake news stories – podcasts of the week". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
- ""OZY Confidential" Is A Walk On The Wild Side". Radio Ink. January 15, 2019. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
- "iHeartMedia And Ozy Media To Co-Produce Original Podcasts". Insideradio.com. Retrieved February 5, 2020.
- Castillo, Michelle (July 30, 2016). "OZY Media expands its empire to broadcast with PBS agreement". www.cnbc.com. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
- Dillon, Nancy. "New debate show 'Third Rail with OZY' to address contentious topics". nydailynews.com. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
- de Moraes, Lisa (May 9, 2018). "Trevor Noah To Kick Off OZY-Produced 'Breaking Big' Interview Series For PBS". Deadline. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
- "OZY Media Announces New Primetime Television Series, 'Take On America'". www.prnewswire.com (Press release). OZY Media. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
- Petski, Denise (June 25, 2019). "OWN Orders Four-Part Series 'Black Women Own The Conversation' From Ozy Media". Deadline. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
- "Take on America with OZY". World Channel. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
- Archer, John. "Amazon Video Announces New TV Shows And Films For January (2019)". Forbes. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
- "Watch OZY's New TV Show, Breaking Big". OZY. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
- Ramos, Dino-Ray (August 11, 2019). "Imagen Awards Winners: 'Pose', 'One Day At A Time', 'Monsters and Men' Among Honorees". Deadline. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
- Petski, Denise (June 25, 2019). "OWN Orders Four-Part Series 'Black Women Own The Conversation' From Ozy Media". Deadline. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
- Rodriguez, Eva (October 4, 2018). "Watch Now: Black Men and White Women Take On America". OZY. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
- "OZY". OZY. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
- Hayes, Dade (January 9, 2020). "A+E Networks And OZY Media Sign First-Look Production Deal". Deadline. Retrieved February 5, 2020.
- Childers, Chad. "Sharon Osbourne Addresses Ozy Fest Lawsuit". Loudwire.com. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
- "What You Missed: Photos From OZY Fest". OZY. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
- Schulman, Amy (July 18, 2017). "This Is the Only NYC Summer Festival You Need to Attend". Thrillist. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
- "OZY Fest 2018 Rocks Central Park". OZY. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
- "OZY Media Announces Fourth Annual OZY Fest Moving To Central Park's Iconic Great Lawn Saturday, July 20 & Sunday, July 21". www.prnewswire.com (Press release). OZY Media. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
- "OZY Fest | July 20 + 21, 2019 | Indulge your curiosity". OZY. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
- "Alex Rodriguez talks hosting Ozy Fest, the 'SXSW of New York'". www.cnbc.com. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
- Ries, Brian (July 19, 2019). "New York cancels OZY Fest cultural festival as temperatures climb". CNN. Retrieved July 26, 2019.
- Mitchell, Julian. "OZY CEO Carlos Watson Is Leading A Media Movement For The Change Generation". Forbes. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
- "Episode 230 – A Colossal Wreck (7/22/18)". Soundcloud. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
- Peck, Jamie (July 23, 2018). "A Neoliberal Nightmare at OZY Fest 2018". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
- "Your Guide to OZYFEST, the Sizzling Hot Festival for Folks Who Love Coachella and Neoliberalism". GQ. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
- https://www.facebook.com/MrDanZak2. "Inside Ozy Fest, the progressive alternate reality where the brands outshine the ideas". Washington Post. Retrieved May 5, 2019.