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After Testy Interview With Elon Musk, Don Lemon Says His Deal With X Is Canceled

After Testy Interview With Elon Musk, Don Lemon Says His Deal With X Is Canceled


In the wake of a testy interview with Elon Musk, the previous tv anchor Don Lemon’s deal for a brand new discuss present on X combusted simply days earlier than it was scheduled to air.

Mr. Musk known as off Mr. Lemon’s partnership with X, the social media platform previously referred to as Twitter, the day after filming an hour-and-a-half lengthy interview with the previous information anchor at SpaceX’s workplace in Austin, Texas. The dialog was often tense, Mr. Lemon stated, as he requested probing questions concerning the upcoming U.S. presidential elections, Mr. Musk’s reported drug use and his varied enterprise ventures.

Mr. Lemon stated he would launch the interview on March 18 on YouTube and would proceed to share his content material on X. “My questions have been respectful and vast ranging, overlaying all the pieces from SpaceX to the presidential election,” Mr. Lemon stated in a statement. “We had a very good dialog. Clearly he felt otherwise. His dedication to a worldwide city sq. the place all questions could be requested and all concepts could be shared appears to not embody questions of him from individuals like me.”

Salespeople at X have been blindsided by the information of the abrupt cancellation, as they’d been working as just lately as Monday to trace the sale of adverts for the present, in line with an inside doc seen by The New York Times.

The cancellation of a present that Mr. Musk pledged would have his “full assist” is the newest self-inflicted enterprise disruption at X in latest months. In November, Mr. Musk instructed advertisers to not spend on his platform, utilizing an expletive to dismiss them, and accused them of attempting to “blackmail” him after he appeared to endorse an anti-Semitic conspiracy concept on X. His feedback kicked off an costly exodus.

Mr. Musk stated in a submit on X that Mr. Lemon’s present lacked originality. “His strategy was principally simply ‘CNN, however on social media,’ which doesn’t work, as evidenced by the truth that CNN is dying,” Mr. Musk wrote. “And, as an alternative of it being the actual Don Lemon, it was actually simply Jeff Zucker speaking by Don, so lacked authenticity.”

Mr. Zucker, CNN’s former president, now leads a media-focused funding agency, known as RedBird IMI, and oversees EverWonder Studio, a manufacturing firm that gives providers to Mr. Lemon’s present.

Mr. Lemon was one among a number of headline-grabbing figures, together with the previous Fox News host Tucker Carlson and the previous Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard, who’ve solid agreements this 12 months to provide long-form video content material on X, as a part of an effort by the platform to carry on content material creators to generate premium content material that manufacturers would wish to promote towards.

X had agreed to throw its monetary assist behind the creation of Mr. Lemon’s new enterprise, known as “The Don Lemon Show.” But the corporate stated in a press release it could now not pay Mr. Lemon to create content material for the location.

“The Don Lemon Show is welcome to publish its content material on X, with out censorship, as we imagine in offering a platform for creators to scale their work and join with new communities,” the corporate stated in a statement posted on X. “However, like every enterprise, we reserve the proper to make choices about our enterprise partnerships, and after cautious consideration, X determined to not enter right into a industrial partnership with the present.”

In a press release, a spokeswoman for Mr. Lemon stated that he would proceed to hunt fee from X. “Don has a take care of X and expects to be paid for it,” she stated. “If we’ve to go to courtroom, we are going to.”

X’s latest video offers — together with the one with Mr. Lemon — have been spearheaded by X’s chief govt, Linda Yaccarino, a former NBC Universal govt who has leaned on her tv expertise to develop X’s content material portfolio. The tumult highlighted the challenges going through Ms. Yaccarino as she tries to woo advertisers and content material creators to the platform below the shadow of Mr. Musk’s impulsive management.

Ryan Mac contributed reporting.



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