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Podcaster Whose Show Was Axed For Being Too Racy, Sues Kast Media For Missed Payments.

Kast Media has been under fire from several podcasters for allegedly not paying what it owed to the creators, and now the first lawsuit has been filed. Podcast host Alyx Weiss has filed a lawsuit against Kast Media after it said the company failed to comply with the termination agreement it signed when it pulled the plug on her Revealing Your Secrets series in 2022. She is seeking at least $68,750 in damages, plus interest.

The suit filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles last week sheds light into how Weiss’ podcast launched, and how it came to an end. Her YouTube persona Ayydubs made her a popular creator, collecting 1.73 million subscribers since the first video was posted in 2009. In 2018, Weiss began creating a series of YouTube videos called “Revealing Your Secrets.” The premise of Secrets was that viewers would post their deepest secrets to the Ayydub YouTube channel and Weiss would record videos in which she would read and provide humorous commentary on the viewers’ secrets. Some videos had nearly five million views.

As a result of that success, her agent began approaching podcast studios about turning it into an audio series. A two-year deal was reached with Kast Media in September 2001 that provided Weiss with guaranteed compensation in the amount of $275,000 per year.

The first podcast episode of Revealing Your Secrets debuted in June 2022 after what the suit says was a painful birth. “From the outset, working with Kast was a challenge. Generally, Kast’s producers were unorganized, and their work was sloppy. Kast’s editors were also chronically late in formatting and preparing Secrets Podcast for production, which resulted in significant delays,” it alleges. Nevertheless, Weiss produced 25 episodes between June and December 2022 even though around the time her first episode was released she also received her last payment as part of the minimum guarantee. After paying some of what it owed her, Weiss then received a letter from the company in November 2022 saying it was going to terminate its agreement, alleging the show that she was delivering was “vulgar, obscene, or offensive” and therefore breached their original contract.

Eventually, Kast Media and Weiss agreed to a mutual split in an agreement that would pay her three payouts totaling $68,750. The suit alleges that Kast Media has not paid any of the money, however. When she emailed Kast Media CEO Colin Thomson seeking payments, he instead asked her to sign a non-disclosure agreement citing the company’s pending acquisition by PodcastOne. Weiss refused.

The suit is not only seeking the money. As part of the termination agreement, Weiss alleges she is owed interest, legal fees, and other expenses related to the case. The suit names not only Kast Media, but also CEO Colin Thomson, Wesley O’Dell, Vice President, Director of Advertising & Business Development at Kast, and Wesley Stevens, a podcast marketing executive that has worked with Kast.

Kast Media and the other defendants have not yet responded to the suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

It is the latest ripple in a growing chorus of podcasters who have worked with Kast Media that say they are owed money. Industry grumbling recently spilled into the open when Theo Von, host of This Past Weekend, took his allegations public in an episode of his show in which Von says he had an offer to move from Kast Media to PodcastOne and would be paid the six-figure total that he was owed with shares of the newly public company. Von said he rejected the offer.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Thomson says that Kast Media had been being doing well since launching, growing to $16 million in revenue in 2021. But he said they saw ad dollars “head off a cliff” in July 2022. That led to layoffs and a salary reduction for him. Thomson said he saw the LiveOne deal as a way to help get podcasters paid what they are owed, calling it a “salvageable situation.”

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