(Corrects spelling of Laurene Powell Jobs and Samir Rao)
By Jennifer Saba
NEW YORK May 6 Six-month-old new media site Ozy
is jumpstarting its distribution and has struck a partnership
with U.S. nonprofit radio network NPR.
The alliance, officially announced on Tuesday, broadens ties
between the two news organizations since NPR's popular program
"All Things Considered" has been producing weekend segments
featuring Ozy's stories.
No money is changing hands. Ozy plans to capitalize on NPR's
reach online with its more than 20 million monthly unique
visitors - more than four times Ozy's online audience - to help
more people see its content on NPR's home page.
Additionally, NPR will promote Ozy's articles through its
Facebook page, which has nearly 4 million fans.
"We are doing this because we think our audience and Ozy's
audience ought to know each other," said Scott Montgomery, head
of digital news at NPR.
NPR has other media partnerships with Global Post and Kaiser
"We looked at folks like NPR and a handful of others
representing high quality journalism," said Carlos Watson, the
co-founder of Ozy. "Our hope is to partner with people like that
to take premium journalism to the next level."
The site, which has a dozen full-time global editorial staff
and a network of contributors, recently hired Steven Butler, a
former foreign editor for Knight Ridder Newspapers, as a senior
editor, and Dwayne Shaw, who joined as creative director from
Backed by Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple
co-founder Steve Jobs, angel investor Ron Conway, German media
company Axel Springer and others, Ozy has joined a crowded
field. A spate of media startups like Vox, BuzzFeed, Upworthy,
First Look Media and longer established organizations like the
New York Times, The Washington Post and CNN are all fighting for
"I do think Ozy has one thing in its favor that most of
those players don't," said Louise Rogers, an investor and board
member. "It's not a generalist site. It's much more editorially
Watson, who is a former MSNBC anchor and co-founded the site
with former Goldman Sachs associate Samir Rao, maintains that
there is room enough for Ozy. Named after Shelley's poem
"Ozymandias" the goal is to tell reader what is going to happen
next covering topics such as science, technology, politics and
"We are singularly focused on building a product," Watson
said citing the popular cable shows "Mad Men" and "Breaking
Bad." "In both of those cases, they focused on a really terrific
product, then spent a bunch of time growing their audience, and
ultimately monetized it."
(Reporting by Jennifer Saba in New York; Editing by Cynthia