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Ozy Media Suddenly Announces It Will Be Shutting Down

Carlos Watson Ozy Media
Ozy Media founder Carlos Watson (Image credit: Ozy Media)

Digital media company Ozy Media suddenly announced Friday it would be shutting down.

On Monday, the company was the subject of an article in the New York Times that made the shocking claim that Ozy’s COO impersonated a Google executive during a meeting with Goldman Sachs aimed at raising $40 million. The executive on the call was trying to assure Goldman Sachs that Ozy’s content was performing well on YouTube.

After the call YouTube started an investigation and Google alerted the FBI.

The company later apologized to Goldman Sachs, saying that COO Samir Rao was going through a mental health crisis.

Ozy’s board released a statement announcing the shut down.

“At Ozy, we have been blessed with a remarkable team of dedicated staff. Many of them are world-class journalists and experienced professionals to whom we owe tremendous gratitude and who are wonderful colleagues. It is therefore with the heaviest of hearts that we must announce today that we are closing Ozy’s doors,” the statement said.

Ozy Media was founded by former MSNBC anchor Carlos Watson and was backed by Laurene Power Jobs’ Emerson Collective and Marc Lasry, co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks.

According to Axios, the company had 75 full-time employees.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting + Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.