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Ozy Media CEO Carlos Watson Says Company Isn’t Shutting Down

“We’re going to open for business, so we’re making news today,” Watson stated.

Eduardo Razo

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Over the weekend, Ozy Media’s board of directors determined it was best to shut the company down following a story in The New York Times. 

The report revealed that a top executive for the company impersonated a YouTube staffer while on a conference call with possible investors from Goldman Sachs.

Despite this announcement by the board, CEO Carlos Watson told NBC’s “Today” that his company, Ozy Media, is not shutting down. 

“We’re going to open for business, so we’re making news today,” Watson stated. “This is our Lazarus moment if you will. Last week was traumatic. It was difficult — heartbreaking in many ways — and at the end of the week, we did suspend operations with a plan to wind down.”

“But as we spent time over the weekend, we talked to advertising partners, we talked to some of our readers, some of our viewers, some of our investors.”

Watson might be open for business, but it seems as though his staffers won’t be returning. Veteran journalist Katty Kay presented her resignation after joining Ozy Media in May, and it looks as though she won’t be alone. 

The Wrap reported some of the comments made by former Ozy Media staffers since the first report of the scandal have caused many to get on this roller coaster ride. 

“There does not appear to be a plan. Carlos has gone completely rogue,” one former staffer said. “The entire editorial staff is done with him — who would possibly go back? Who the hell is going to want to go on ‘The Carlos Watson Show’ now?”

“We are all sick of the roller coaster,” another former employee said.

While these former staffers chose to remain anonymous, The Wrap did speak to Eugene Robinson, a former editor at large at Ozy Media, who stated that Watson is “nuts” for wanting to continue with the company. 

“The brand is damaged beyond repair, and the name never made sense,” Robinson said. “I’d launch again with a lot of the same staff sans Watson and Rao and rebrand. But I think that golden goose is dead.”

News Print & Digital

Futuri Creates Program that Turns User Content into Video

The platform is reportedly gaining popularity among television broadcasters following the release of a new version tailored to their needs.

Eduardo Razo

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Audience engagement company Futuri has created a new program called POST. The platform allows its users to upload audio, add texts and images and turn the content into video. 

The platform is reportedly gaining popularity among television broadcasters following the release of a new version tailored to their needs. According to Inside Radio, more television companies look to capitalize on the growing audio medium to reach their audiences. 

“Today’s audiences don’t think of media brands only in terms of ‘TV’ or ‘radio’. Quality content, be it video or audio, is what gets consumers engaged,” said Futuri CEO Daniel Anstandig.

POST comes equipped with scheduling tools, video tools, and search engine optimization. In addition to ingesting and automatically editing a TV newscast’s audio feed, Futuri says the TV version of POST will also swap out the television commercials with programmatic ad markers.

“The way we’ve customized the POST podcasting systems for the unique needs of television broadcasters will help them quickly capture the audience and revenue growth opportunities that the explosive growth of audio has created,” added Anstandig. 

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Washington Post Tells Staff to “Comply Now” with Work Policy

The Post has put an ultimatum to its staffers who are not showing up to the offices for the three days they require or face the consequences.

Eduardo Razo

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The Washington Post has put an ultimatum to its staffers who are not showing up to the offices for the three days they require; they can either come back or face “disciplinary action.”

In an email sent throughout the company, Post chief human resources officer Wayne Connell called on staff to “comply now” with the newspaper’s work policy. 

After re-opening its offices on March 15, the publication demands that its staff be in the office “at least three days per week.” 

“If you haven’t complied with our 3/2 policy since our March return, or you haven’t complied consistently, we’d like to underscore the need to comply now,” the statement read, per Mediaite

“Beginning this Monday, June 27, please ensure that you are in the office at least three days per week, assuming you are not on approved days off such as vacation time, sick time, etc. Failure to comply with this policy may result in disciplinary action.”

Connell adds that the Post is being fair with its demands to have their staff come in three times a week, striking the right balance by allowing employees to work from home and having the office experience that a Zoom meeting can’t replicate.

“We believe this companywide policy strikes the right balance, allowing both in-office collaboration and greater levels of flexibility than before the pandemic, and it’s only fair that we enforce this policy consistently,” the statement concluded. 

“We continue to evaluate the effectiveness of the 3/2 model and reserve the right to make changes in the future. In the meantime, please do your part in helping us meet these expectations.”

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The Obamas Agree to Content Deal with Audible

The exclusive, worldwide, multi-project, multi-year first-look production deal will see the collaboration supporting Higher Ground’s commitment to audio.

Eduardo Razo

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Former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama left Spotify in April. It didn’t take them long to find a new home for their content as the Obamas’ media company, Higher Ground, and Audible have reached a multi-year deal.

press release announced the exclusive, worldwide, multi-project, multi-year first-look production deal will see the collaboration supporting Higher Ground’s commitment to audio.

“At Higher Ground, we have always sought to lift up voices that deserve to be heard — and Audible is invested in realizing that vision alongside us. I’m looking forward to partnering with them to tell stories that not only entertain but also inspire,” President Obama said. 

“We are so proud of the stories we have been able to tell at Higher Ground, and there’s no one we’d rather write our next chapter with than Audible. Together, we will keep striving to tell compelling, provocative, and soulful stories—while doing everything we can to make sure they reach the folks who need to hear them,” Michelle Obama said.

The slate of Audible programs will reflect the companies’ shared task to convey meaningful and entertaining stories that promote diverse voices and backgrounds.

“We have long recognized President and Mrs. Obama’s historic capacity to captivate,” Don Katz, Audible’s Founder and Executive Chairman, stated. 

“We are thrilled to welcome two of the most profound voices of moral and intellectual leadership of our times into the Audible fold, and to be able to elevate President and Mrs. Obama’s singular ability to provide hope and uplifting guidance—needed now more than ever—through their voices.”

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