Ozy Media Says It Plans to Relaunch, in About-Face

Ozy Media mentioned it wouldn’t shut down in any case, days after its board mentioned the embattled digital-media startup was ceasing operations amid rising questions over the corporate’s enterprise practices.

Ozy Media Chief Govt

Carlos Watson

mentioned on NBC’s “Right now” present Monday morning that the corporate would resume operations, calling it Ozy Media’s “Lazarus second,” a reference to a follower of Jesus who’s raised from the useless within the biblical Gospel of John.

The announcement is an abrupt reversal for Ozy Media, which has been engulfed in a spreading disaster over the previous week within the wake of a

New York Times

NYT -0.75%

article that raised questions about its business. On Friday, Ozy Media’s board of administrators launched an announcement saying it was closing Ozy’s doorways “with the heaviest of hearts.”

A spokesman for Ozy Media mentioned the corporate has begun reaching out to former staff to carry them again, including that staffers who don’t wish to return to Ozy Media could be “paid no matter is owed to them.”

The corporate additionally plans to renew producing newsletters this week and manufacturing of its movies later this month, the spokesman mentioned. It plans to renew its Ozy Fest occasion sequence subsequent yr, he mentioned.

“The underside line is that we hit a bump within the street however are dedicated to getting previous this second and renewing our dedication to being the type of media firm that delivers wonderful content material about subjects and folks which might be too usually missed,” the Ozy Media spokesman mentioned in an announcement.


The corporate plans to renew its Ozy Fest occasion sequence subsequent yr.


Matthew Eisman/Getty Photos for Ozy Media

The New York Occasions on Sept. 26 reported that Ozy Chief Working Officer Samir Rao had impersonated an govt from

Alphabet Inc.’s

GOOG -1.98%

YouTube on a February fundraising name with

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

GS -1.54%

In an announcement final week, Mr. Watson attributed Mr. Rao’s conduct to a “psychological well being concern,” calling the incident “deeply unlucky.”

Ozy Media’s board mentioned final week it had employed the regulation agency Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison LLP to “conduct a review of the company’s business activities.” That investigation is now not ongoing, in response to an individual acquainted with the matter.

Final week,

Marc Lasry,

an investor in Ozy and the co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks Nationwide Basketball Affiliation workforce, stepped down from Ozy’s board, and Katty Kay, a high-profile Ozy recruit who was a correspondent and anchor for the BBC, left the corporate.

Firm staff misplaced entry to their electronic mail accounts after Ozy Media mentioned it was shutting down, in response to one other particular person acquainted with the matter, and lots of staff nonetheless haven’t been contacted about probably rejoining the corporate, the particular person mentioned.

In an interview with CNBC on Monday, Mr. Watson mentioned that he reached a call to relaunch the corporate after talking with advertisers, traders and staff, however didn’t identify them.

Some advertisers and traders have taken steps to distance themselves from Ozy Media prior to now week. The Wall Road Journal reported Thursday that a lot of Ozy Media’s main advertisers have paused their spending with the corporate.

A spokeswoman for Emerson Collective, certainly one of Ozy Media’s early backers, mentioned on Monday that the funding agency wasn’t concerned within the discussions over the weekend about relaunching the corporate. Ozy investor Axel Springer wasn’t concerned in these discussions both, in response to an individual acquainted with the matter.

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