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After testy interview with Elon Musk, Don Lemon says his deal with X is off| GuyWhoKnowsThings

In the wake of a testy interview with Elon Musk, former TV host Don Lemon's contract for a new talk show on X burned up just days before it was scheduled to air.

Musk terminated Lemon's partnership with X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, the day after filming an hour-and-a-half interview with the former news anchor at the SpaceX office in Austin, Texas. The conversation was occasionally tense, Lemon said, as he asked probing questions about the upcoming US presidential election and Musk's various decisions. business companies.

Lemon said he would publish the interview on March 18. “My questions were respectful and wide-ranging, covering everything from SpaceX to the presidential election,” Lemon said in a statement. “We had a good conversation. Clearly he felt differently. “His commitment to a global marketplace where all questions can be asked and all ideas shared seems not to include questions about him from people like me.”

X's marketers were surprised by news of the abrupt cancellation, as they had been working Monday to track ad sales for the show, according to an internal document seen by The New York Times.

The cancellation of a show that Mr. Musk fiance would have their “full support” is the latest self-inflicted business disruption at X in recent months. In November, Musk told advertisers not to spend on his platform, using an insult to dismiss them, and accused them of trying to “blackmail” him after he appeared to endorse an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory about X. His comments started a expensive exodus.

Lemon was one of several headline-grabbing figures, including former Fox News host Tucker Carlson and former Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard, who signed deals this year to produce full-length video content about X, as part of an effort. by the platform to attract content creators to generate premium content that brands would want to advertise on.

X had agreed to provide financial support to the creation of Mr. Lemon's new company, called “The Don Lemon Show.” But the company said in a statement that it would no longer pay Lemon to create content for the site.

“Don Lemon Show can publish your content on X, uncensored, as we believe in providing a platform for creators to scale their work and connect with new communities,” the company said in a statement published in X. “However, like any company, we reserve the right to make decisions about our commercial partnerships and, after careful consideration, X decided not to establish a commercial partnership with the program.”

In a statement, a spokeswoman for Mr. Lemon said he would continue to seek payment from X. “Don has a deal with X and expects to be paid for it,” she said. “If we have to go to court, we will.”

X's recent video deals, including Lemon's, were spearheaded by X CEO Linda Yaccarino, a former NBC Universal executive who has leaned on her television experience to grow X's content portfolio. The tumult highlighted the challenges Yaccarino faces as he tries to attract advertisers and content creators to the platform under the shadow of Musk's impulsive leadership.

ryan mac contributed with reports.

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