Ozy Media Launches In-House Production Studio Headed by ‘Girls Incarcerated’ EP Royd Chung (Exclusive)

Digital outlet has six shows in development and is looking to add more

Ozy Media, the daily digital news outlet, is increasing its bet on video, announcing Sunday it’s forming an in-house production studio, dubbed Ozy Studios, as it looks to capitalize on its early success producing content.

The move doubles the size of Ozy’s video team and will be spearheaded by Royd Chung, a TV veteran who has crafted several series for Discovery, National Geographic and VH1. Chung was recently executive producer on Netflix’s “Girls Incarcerated” and worked as a supervising producer for Barack Obama’s video team during the 2012 election cycle. Jessica Winchell will join Ozy as executive producer, after serving as vice president of content development and EP at Lucky 8 TV. Winchell has also been an EP at MSNBC.

Ozy has sold three TV series less than five years after launching, including “Breaking Big” and “Third Rail With Ozy” on PBS. The online magazine has six other shows in development, according to the company. Ozy has also seen healthy interest in its digital video. Ozy Fest, the annual festival it puts on in Central Park, received more than 1 million streams of Hillary Clinton’s conversation across YouTube, Facebook and its native site last month.

“There is an insatiable appetite for video, and specifically for Ozy’s brand of high-quality content, a result our team’s inherent creativity, provocative storytelling ability and commitment to excellence,” Carlos Watson, co-founder and CEO of Ozy Media, said in a statement.

“We’re not pivoting to video; we’re doubling down on it,” Watson continued. “Royd and his team have experience producing everything from gripping reality series to bold campaigns to newsmaking moments, captivating audiences around the globe. Their expertise and leadership will exponentially grow our ability to meet the demand for TV series and video content and to deliver at the highest level.”

Launched by Watson, a former MSNBC anchor, in 2013, Ozy has seen its audience grow to 40 million monthly unique visitors. The Mountain View, California-based company has received financial backing from Silicon Valley investors Laurene Powell Jobs, Ron Conway, David Drummond, Larry Sonsini and Dan Rosensweig.

Joining Chung and Winchell will be supervising producer Stuart Harmon, who has worked on series for MTV, PBS and Vice, senior producer Marion Cunningham (“Girls Incarcerated”) and director of cinematography Alexander Lau, who has worked for National Geographic and the Travel Channel.

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