Contested digital media company Ozy lost one of its biggest stars on Wednesday when Katty Kay, a former BBC anchor, announced her resignation on Twitter.
Mrs. Kay said in their contribution that she submitted her resignation Tuesday morning.
“I recently joined the company after a long career with the BBC and was thrilled to be exploring the opportunities in the digital space,” she wrote. “I support the mission to bring different stories and voices into the public discussion. But the allegations in the New York Times that surprised me are grave and deeply troubling, and I had no choice but to end my relationship with the company. “
Last year while on the BBC, Ms. Kay began hosting a podcast entitled “When Katty Met Carlos” with Ozy’s Co-Founder and CEO Carlos Watson. She joined Ozy in the summer and her last BBC broadcast after nearly three decades there was on June 24th. “It was a privilege to sit in that chair,” she told the audience, “and I will miss your company.”
Ms. Kay’s announcement that she was leaving Ozy came the day after the company’s board of directors announced they had opened an investigation, following a report by the New York Times that raised questions about his business practices.
Founded in 2013, Ozy has a general interest news site, newsletters, and production of interview programs and documentaries, some of which appear on YouTube.
The Times reported Sunday that an Ozy manager appeared to have been a YouTube manager during a conference call with Goldman Sachs in February when the bank was considering investing $ 40 million in the company.
During the call, the person said that Ozy’s videos on YouTube were a huge hit. As he spoke, his voice sounded strange to members of the Goldman Sachs team, as if it had been digitally altered, and the bank ultimately failed to finalize the potential deal.
Mr Watson said in an email to the Times last week that it was Samir Rao, Ozy’s co-founder and chief operating officer. Attributing the episode to a mental crisis, he said Mr. Rao took some time off after the conference call but has since returned to the Mountain View, Calif. Company while he was struggling, and we’re all glad to see it flourish again now, ”said Watson.
The Times report also raised questions about claims Ozy made about the number of people visiting his website and watching his videos online.
On Tuesday, Ozy’s board of directors announced that it had hired a law firm to investigate the “business activities” of the company and its executive team. In its statement, the board added that it had asked Mr. Rao to take a leave of absence “pending the results of the investigation”.
Also on Tuesday, Mr. Watson withdrew from his scheduled appearance to host an Emmys ceremony on Wednesday night honoring documentary filmmakers who are part of the 42nd News and Documentary Emmy Awards. An Emmys spokesperson said in a statement that Mr. Watson “graciously reached out to us asking to be removed from his hosting duties tomorrow night so as not to divert focus from the talented nominees in the documentary categories.”
and Ozy festival, a music and ideas festival held by the company in Miami on October 16-17, has been canceled, according to an expert.
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