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Carlos Watson interviewing Malcolm Gladwell at OZY Fest. Photo courtesy of OZY Media.

OZY Media, a media and entertainment company led by Carlos Watson, said Friday that it's raised $35 million in new venture capital funding.

The bottom line: OZY originally launched as a digital magazine for the "change generation," but has moved its focus toward TV production, podcasts, and live events.

  • OZY's new funding round was led by Marc Lasry, a hedge fund manager and co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks. Lasry also will join OZY's board of directors.
  • Other investors included Interlock Partners, LionTree, Atinum Investment, GSV Capital, Axel Springer, Emerson Collective, and three partners of buyout firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.
  • The Silicon Valley-based company has now raised around $70 million since being founded in 2013.

The big picture: Watson tells Axios that the shift toward TV was driven in part by Facebook algorithm changes, and in part by the explosive growth in new TV platforms (including all the streaming services).

  • He also says that the annual OZY Fest event will return to New York City next summer, after this year's event was canceled due to excessive heat.
    • "It was zero percent fun," says Watson of the cancellation, after OZY had sold more than 100,000 tickets. "It's something we learned from."
  • Watson declined to comment on revenue, except to say that OZY's top-line has grown around 50% year-over-year for the past four years, and that the company expects to be profitable in calendar 2020.

Go deeper

Updated 23 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

DOJ: Capitol rioter threatened to "assassinate" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Supporters of former President Trump storm the U.S. Captiol on Jan. 6. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A Texas man who has been charged with storming the U.S. Capitol in the deadly Jan. 6 siege posted death threats against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the Department of Justice said.

The big picture: Garret Miller faces five charges in connection to the riot by supporters of former President Trump, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and making threats. According to court documents, Miller posted violent threats online the day of the siege, including tweeting “Assassinate AOC.”

Schumer calls for IG probe into alleged plan by Trump, DOJ lawyer to oust acting AG

Jeffrey Clark speaks next to Deputy US Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen at a news conference in October. Photo: Yuri Gripas/AFP via Getty Images.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Saturday called for the Justice Department inspector general to investigate an alleged plan by former President Trump and a DOJ lawyer to remove the acting attorney general and replace him with someone more willing to investigate unfounded claims of election fraud.

Driving the news: The New York Times first reported Friday that the lawyer, Jeffrey Clark, allegedly devised "ways to cast doubt on the election results and to bolster Mr. Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Mr. [Jeffrey] Rosen had refused the president’s entreaties to carry out those plans, Mr. Trump was about to decide whether to fire Mr. Rosen and replace him with Mr. Clark."

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