Elon Musk versus Don Lemon — and Linda Yaccarino

TechCrunch Newsletter
TechCrunch Weekend Logo

Sunday, March 17, 2024


Image Credits: filo / Getty Images

What a week for TV personality Don Lemon and also for X, the social media platform that Elon Musk acquired in October 2022, where he continues to make life, er, interesting for X CEO Linda Yaccarino.

To recap, Musk invited Lemon to his X platform soon after Lemon was fired from CNN last year, following some boneheaded comments Lemon made about Nikki Haley. Musk’s pitch at the time was that X welcomes all voices and that its distribution is hard to beat. Ultimately, Lemon agreed to join forces with X and, according to the WSJ, he even attended a dinner organized by Yaccarino for marketers.

Lemon also invited Musk to be the first guest for his talk show debut, but the recent sit-down was not to Musk’s liking. How do we know? For starters, the following day Musk sent a text to Lemon’s agent, saying simply: “Contract is canceled.” He has since called Lemon “dull” and “uninspiring.”

You can catch that full interview for the first time tomorrow on YouTube and elsewhere. In the meantime, Lemon is appearing on as many shows as possible, portraying Musk as thin-skinned and anything but the free-speech advocate Musk claims to be. At the same time, the New York Post says it magically obtained a document that shows Lemon asked for the moon before bringing his show to X, including a $5 million upfront payment atop an $8 million salary; an equity stake in X; a free Tesla Cybertruck; and a private jet to Las Vegas. The Post’s sources say other demands, too, included a string of executive assistants and a marketing budget of up to $15 million.

A spokesman for Lemon tells the Post there is “literally nothing” in that list of demands that is true. Lemon’s lawyers separately tell the WSJ of whatever deal he struck with X that Lemon “expects to be paid for it” and that “if we have to go to court we will.”

Likely, it will come to that, judging by the growing number of people — including former employees of Musk and X’s landlord — who are currently suing Musk over money they say they are owed.

Of course, in the background of this back-and-forth — very, very far in the background — is Yaccarino.

A former NBCUniversal executive, Yaccarino — whose primary job is to convince big advertisers to return to the platform — is coming up on one year in the hot seat in June. That’s already longer than most observers imagined she’d survive in her role with a company that’s routinely in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. If she’s sticking around because of her equity package, that could be worth far less than it once was. (In January, Fidelity marked down its own stake in X by 72%.)

If she’s staying because of some kind of agreement, the obvious question is how much these really mean to Musk. — Connie Loizos

LinkedIn gets its game on

LinkedIn, the Microsoft-owned social platform, is getting into games, Ingrid Lunden learns. Long a stodgy business networking site that became far stickier during the pandemic as users embraced it to share more about themselves, LinkedIn is now taking things up another notch by “tapping into the same wave of puzzle-mania that helped simple games like Wordle find viral success and millions of players,” says Lunden. She reports on the three efforts it plans to roll out first.

LinkedIn gets its game on image

Image Credits: LinkedIn China via Weibo

SpaceX restricts employees from selling shares based on alleged "dishonesty"

You might think that longtime employees of Elon Musk’s SpaceX are sitting pretty, given the outfit’s valuation reportedly reached a stratospheric $180 billion back in December — at least based on a secondary sale at the time. But Aria Alamalhodaei reports that SpaceX gives itself the right to ban past and present employees from participating in tender offers if they are deemed to have committed “an act of dishonesty against the company,” a highly unusual condition, and one that isn’t made crystal clear to employees, one tells TechCrunch.

SpaceX restricts employees from selling shares based on alleged "dishonesty" image

Image Credits: TechCrunch

Aaron Levie says Box is entering into its third era

Aaron Levie has always had a knack for seeing where the puck is going, says Ron Miller, and right now Levie’s company, Box, is embracing the software shift toward AI and workflow automation. Indeed, Levie talks with Miller about a small company that Box bought last year and that specializes in workflow automation and metadata management. Though little was made of the news at the time, it’s a “very big deal” for the future of Box, insists Levie. “The way to think about it is that for the first time ever within Box, you’re going to be able to build no-code applications that let you render your content for any business process that you want.” More here.

Aaron Levie says Box is entering into its third era image

Image Credits: Bloomberg / Getty Images

Gumroad gets gummed up by payment processors

Gumroad, an e-commerce company for creators, has updated its rules to more strictly limit NSFW content, citing restrictions from payment processors like Stripe and PayPal. “Obviously, it sucks to do this,” Gumroad founder Sahil Lavingia tells TechCrunch’s Amanda Silberling. “We don’t take it lightly that many creators rely on Gumroad for their livelihoods and have communicated that to our partners wherever and whenever we could,” he says. “We’ve been around since 2011, and this isn’t a new fight. It’s ongoing.”

Gumroad gets gummed up by payment processors image

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

What else we're reading

Reddit made changes to CEO Steve Huffman’s pay shortly before reviving plans to go public, reports the FT. Specifically, it removed incentives tied to the company hitting a $25 billion valuation. Sven Riethmueller, a professor of law at Yale Law School who has researched executive pay amendments, suggests the change to Huffman’s incentives should worry retail investors. “I would argue that Reddit’s board did not create a compensation package to incentivize its CEO to grow stock value significantly post-IPO,” he tells the FT.

In Cleveland, Ohio, mushrooms are digesting entire houses. It’s all by design, explains the BBC.

What else we're reading image

Image Credits: Songsak Paname/Eyem / Getty Images under a license.

Before you go

Boy + crow.

Read more stories on TechCrunch.com

Newest Jobs from Crunchboard

See more jobs on CrunchBoard

Post your tech jobs and reach millions of TechCrunch readers for only $349 per month.

Facebook Twitter Youtube Instagram Flipboard

View this email online in your browser

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Unsubscribe

© 2024 Yahoo. All rights reserved. 110 5th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Older messages

Week in Review - SpaceX doc leaks, TikTok ban gains steam, and Grok to go open-source

Saturday, March 16, 2024

TechCrunch Newsletter Week in Review logo By Kyle Wiggers Saturday, March 16, 2024 Hey, folks, welcome to Week in Review (WiR), TechCrunch's regular newsletter recapping noteworthy happenings in

Leak reveals how SpaceX uses a 'dishonesty' condition to ban select employees from selling stock

Friday, March 15, 2024

TechCrunch Newsletter TechCrunch PM Logo By Christine Hall Friday, March 15, 2024 Welcome to your Friday edition of TechCrunch PM! This afternoon, we got our hands on leaked documents out of SpaceX

Startups Weekly - Pornhub says, ‘Bad Texas! No smut for you!’

Friday, March 15, 2024

TechCrunch Newsletter Startups Weekly logo By Haje Jan Kamps Friday, March 15, 2024 Pornhub has been playing a game of chicken with a bunch of state legislatures for a while now. Last year, the smut-

Apple snaps up DarwinAI and Zscaler snags Avalor

Friday, March 15, 2024

TechCrunch Newsletter TechCrunch AM logo By Alex Wilhelm Friday, March 15, 2024 Welcome to TechCrunch AM! Will TikTok get banned? Will it be spared? The controversy is now swirling towards the upper

US Tiktokers are angry that their favorite app is in danger

Friday, March 15, 2024

TechCrunch Newsletter TechCrunch AM logo By Alex Wilhelm Thursday, March 14, 2024 Welcome to TechCrunch AM! If you're near Boca Chica, Texas, look to the skies today, because there's a massive

You Might Also Like

New Blogs on ThomasMaurer.ch for 04/16/2024

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

View this email in your browser Thomas Maurer Cloud & Datacenter Update This is the update for blog posts on ThomasMaurer.ch. Automate on-premises Windows Server from the cloud using Azure Arc By

April TC39 meeting; Rspack v0.6; future of JS packages; Evan You on Vue, Vite, etc.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

We have 7 links for you - Stay up-to-date on JavaScript and tools This Week In React - Keeps senior React devs up to date thisweekinreact.com Partner We keep over 37k mid/senior React devs up-to-date

Ingesting & Using CAD Data for Real-Time 3D

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

How engineering firms leverage real-time 3D technology View this email in your browser engineering.com White Paper - Ingesting and Using CAD Data for Real-Time 3D Ingesting and Using CAD Data for Real-

It’s Easy. But Is It Easy Enough? 🤓

Monday, April 15, 2024

Is self-hosting still too hard for normal people? Here's a version for your browser. Hunting for the end of the long tail • April 15, 2024 It's Easy. But Is It Easy Enough? Self-hosted apps are

Re: Free Class: Master the Notes app

Monday, April 15, 2024

Hi there, We are holding a Free Notes App Class tomorrow (Wednesday, April 17) at 4:30 pm ET! We do expect this class to fill up so register soon to save your spot! I wanted to take a minute to answer

Two Tesla execs leave amid layoffs

Monday, April 15, 2024

Tesla execs bid adieu View this email online in your browser By Christine Hall Monday, April 15, 2024 Welcome back to TechCrunch PM, where you can find me each day bringing you the most important

🍏 Why You Should Buy the MacBook Air Over the Pro — Thrift Stores Are a Goldmine for Geeks

Monday, April 15, 2024

Also: How to Play Epic Game Titles on the Steam Deck, and More! How-To Geek Logo April 15, 2024 📩 Get expert reviews, the hottest deals, how-to's, breaking news, and more delivered directly to your

JSK Daily for Apr 15, 2024

Monday, April 15, 2024

JSK Daily for Apr 15, 2024 View this email in your browser A community curated daily e-mail of JavaScript news Embracing Functional Programming: Streamlining Code with Reusability and Maintainability

True Anomaly and Rocket Lab will make big moves on orbit (literally)

Monday, April 15, 2024

The Space Force has contracted out its next "responsive space" mission, and this one is a doozy. View this email online in your browser By Aria Alamalhodaei Monday, April 15, 2024 Hello and

Daily Coding Problem: Problem #1413 [Medium]

Monday, April 15, 2024

Daily Coding Problem Good morning! Here's your coding interview problem for today. This problem was asked by Square. Given a string and a set of characters, return the shortest substring containing