A+E Networks has signed a first-look production agreement with OZY Media, a onetime magazine brand that has tech backing and has evolved into a producer of original series, podcasts and live events.
While no projects were announced along with the news of the partnership, the companies said the multi-platform deal is seen as encompassing multiple projects per year, with many based on stories OZY turns up.
A+E Networks Group President Paul Buccieri said the arrangement suits the current production boom for the parent company of networks like History, Lifetime and A&E. He described OZY as emblematic of A+E’s aim to be “in business with great creatives and storytellers, whose work translates across multiple platforms.” The deal, he said, will “super-serve a growing hunger among consumers for fresh and unique perspectives.”
Founded in 2013 by journalist Carlos Watson, who now serves as CEO, OZY began as a digital magazine. It now produces eight original series for networks and streaming services including Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, OWN, PBS and the BBC. Led by Watson and co-founder Samir Rao, OZY Media is based in Silicon Valley and its investors includes Emerson Collective, Ron Conway, David Drummond, Marc Lasry and Tom Franco, as well as German publisher Axel Springer.
“OZY Media’s foray into original content is the logical next step for the company to take a deeper dive into the amazing stories the editorial team has unearthed for our digital news business,” Watson said. “Working with A+E and the company’s wide-ranging portfolio is a perfect fit for the kind of future-forward series we want to produce and reinforces the incredible vision Paul Buccieri has for A+E’s future.”
A+E has been ramping up production of scripted series through A+E Studios and unscripted fare via its other production outfit, Six West Media. Current scripted shows include Project Blue Book on History and Reprisal for Hulu, with upcoming titles including The Liberator for Netflix and The Lincoln Lawyer for CBS. On the unscripted side, projects include 15 Minutes of Shame with Monica Lewinsky and Max Joseph for HBO Max; and History’s Unidentified: Inside America’s UFO Investigation.