Ozy Media is trying to save face after a crush of negative press and an announcement on Friday that the company is shutting down.
CEO Carlos Watson admits Ozy’s troubles have been a headache or a “Tylenol moment,” but he now insists things are looking up.
“We’re going to open for business, so we’re making news today,” Watson said Monday on the Today show. “This is our Lazarus moment, if you will, this is our Tylenol moment. Last week was traumatic, it was difficult, heartbreaking in many ways.”
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Watson told Today’s Craig Melvin that Ozy brass worked over the weekend to turn the situation around.
“At the end of the week, we did suspend operations with a plan to wind down,” he said. “And as we spent time over the weekend we talked to advertising partners, we talked to some of our readers, some of our viewers, our listeners, our investors. I think Ozy is part of this moment, and it’s not going to be easy, and I think what we do with newsletters, what we do with TV shows, original TV shows, podcasts and more, I think has a place.”
Watson, a former CNN contributor and MSNBC host, ended the interview by pitching Ozy’s newsletter.
“Look, we’re back — it’s not going to be easy, but if people now know the name Ozy, I hope they’ll sign up for our newsletter,” he said.
As previously reported, Ozy faced scrutiny after The New York Times published an exposé on Sept. 26 alleging the company defrauded investors and inflated its online traffic numbers.
Watson previously described the NYT story as a “hitjob.” In a tweet on Monday afternoon, he called for more balanced news coverage of Ozy Media. “No more one-sided, unchecked stories. It’s time for real reporting and real conversation,” he tweeted.
Watch Watson’s interview with the Today show below: