Report: Ozy Media isn't just faking it, but making staff miserable

More trouble at media company Ozy is reported today by CNN Business, which moves past its comical pratfalls (such as an executive impersonating YouTube brass in a conference call) and gets to the unpleasant realities of a potemkin village that raised so much money it might be able to keep up the façade forever.

In December, Rodriguez's doctor's office told her that Ozy had asked for documentation to support a doctor's note she provided. That by itself was not so unusual, but when she emailed her doctor's office a signed form allowing it to provide the information, she said, she got a call from a nurse who told her that the Human Resources director at Ozy who had called had been "pushy" and aggressive" and asked to review Rodriguez's medical records. But Ozy did not have someone in that role — the company barely ever did, Rodriguez said. When Rodriguez asked for the person's name, she said, the nurse replied, "Samir," which is also the name of the company's cofounder and chief operating officer, Samir Rao — who is now on leave from Ozy after a New York Times exposé alleged he impersonated a YouTube executive on a call with Goldman Sachs

Under it all, some numbers are hard to massage. On Ozy's presences, measures that can't easily be bought (such as comment sections and social media engagement) lie empty despite soaring view/impression and subscriber/follower counts.

Another way of looking at it: the engagement measures that Ozy boasts are a map of what can be bought. It boasts mostly about its newsletter audience, an alarm going off for anyone needing to hear it.