Born to teachers in Miami, Carlos Watson has an insatiable appetite for learning that’s led him to an Emmy-winning journalism career and to found two companies — including OZY. Things didn’t always look so promising: Young Carlos was so rebellious that he was kicked out of kindergarten. But he went on to find his academic stride, earning degrees from Harvard and Stanford Law School. Now he’s a journalist and television host who’s earned praise for his ability to persuade high-profile guests to open up about a wide range of topics on camera — interviewing everyone from presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush to Jameela Jamil, Heidi Klum and Bill Gates.
In 2013, Watson flexed his entrepreneurial side and co-founded OZY Media, a daily digital magazine that uncovers the people and trends that are just percolating today but set to go big tomorrow — revealing what you need to know before other news outlets take notice. OZY has since grown into a diversified media company producing chart-topping podcasts, massive festivals and compelling television shows. The latest, debuting this week, is The Carlos Watson Show, a flavorful talk show built to meet this historic moment. With guests like Sean Spicer and potential vice presidential pick Rep. Karen Bass launching the first week, you’ll hear fresh perspectives on everything from the pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests to the November election and more.
Watson’s curiosity was kindled at an early age in Miami by a mother who had lived and taught on three continents and a father whose love of news, especially politics and sports, was highly contagious. Despite this love of learning, Carlos had problems at school, leading his teachers to label him disruptive and learning disabled, resulting in his aforementioned eviction from kindergarten. “My mom always jokes,” he says, “that anyone who’d seen my first 10 years wouldn’t believe my last 10 years.”
But even with the troubles at school, the occasional need for food stamps and a car accident at age 11 that almost rendered him unable to walk, Watson persevered and is hell-bent on sharing his thirst for knowledge with the world.
After college, Watson worked at McKinsey & Company before founding an education company at age 29 called Achieva College Prep Services, which he later sold to The Washington Post Co. A television news career followed, with stints as a political commentator and host at CNN and MSNBC. But disillusioned with seeing the same five headlines regurgitated across every major news outlet each day, he decided to strike out on his own with OZY.
OZY is in many ways his curated party, but like all good hosts, Watson is merely a catalyst for the spirited and wide-ranging conversations among his guests, people who burn to learn more about the world and to do something with that insight. So join The Carlos Watson Show to learn new perspectives and have a helluva lot of fun.
Curiosity. Enthusiasm. Action. That’s OZY!