Former BBC News anchor and correspondent Katty Kay, who had just joined Ozy Media in late June, has announced her exit following the recent controversy swirling around revelations of the digital company’s practices.
“Yesterday morning I handed in my resignation to Ozy Media,” Kay wrote on Twitter. “I was looking forward to working with the talented young reporters but I did not expect this!”
Kay’s exit comes after a New York Times column, by Ben Smith, who revealed that Ozy Media chief operating officer Samir Rao impersonated a YouTube executive on a call with potential Goldman Sachs investors. Rao has now taken a leave of absence from the company, and his bio has been removed from Ozy’s website.
Also as part of the news, Ozy’s board of directors has hired a law firm to review the company’s practices. Also, Ozy Media CEO and co-founder Carlos Watson informed the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences that he would no longer host the organization’s documentary Emmys ceremony on Wednesday.
The New York Times report looked at Ozy’s claims about its audience size, including a 2019 press release that claimed 50 million monthly unique users. That has been called into question, along with marketing materials that have incorrectly attributed positive quotes to various news operations.
On her Twitter post, Kay wrote in a longer statement: “I have resigned from Ozy Media. I had recently joined the company after my long career at the BBC, excited to explore opportunities in the digital space. I support the mission to bring diverse stories and voices to the public conversation. But the allegations in the New York Times, which caught me by surprise, are serious and deeply troubling, and I had no choice but to end my relationship with the company.”
Kay joined Ozy in June as senior editor and executive producer. She had already formed a relationship with the company, having co-hosted the podcast “When Katty Met Carlos” with Watson. Kay was set to host a new line-up of streaming shows that were originally slated to be announced this summer and launched this fall, starting with a US and global politics interview show.