Don Lemon’s Partnership With X Abruptly Canceled by Elon Musk [UPDATED]

By Mark Mwachiro 

UPDATE — 4:22 p.m.:

Following news of Don Lemon‘s partnership with X being cancelled by Elon Musk after the journalist interviewed the X owner for the premiere of his new show, Brian Stelter reported that Lemon would appear on CNN to promote his Musk interview.

Lemon was let go by CNN last April.


Former CNN primetime host Don Lemon thought X would be his bastion of free speech. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case following his abrupt contract termination from Elon Musk.

Lemon announced in January that his new show, The Don Lemon Show, would launch this year on X (formerly Twitter). At the time, he noted that having his show on the social media platform would enable it to be a “place for honest debate and discussion without the hall monitors.”

Apparently, that’s not the case, as X’s chief hall monitor, Musk, canceled Lemon’s partnership with the platform. Lemon interviewed Musk ahead of his show’s debut on Monday, March 18, and it seemingly did not go well.

According to journalist Kara Swisher, Musk sent Lemon’s representatives a “contract terminated” text following the interview.

Lemon, for his part, posted a statement confirming the news.

“We had a good conversation,” Lemon wrote. “Clearly he felt differently.”

The news anchor added that the conversation, when it premieres, will be available on YouTube, podcasts and on X.

Lemon ended his statement by saying, despite Musk’s move, “I will be doubling down on my commitment to free speech, and I cannot wait to get started.”

See the full statement below:

Musk explained the decision by saying that Lemon acted as though he was still at CNN during his interview, while also taking a Swipe at Lemon’s former boss Jeff Zucker.

“His approach was basically just ‘CNN, but on social media,’ which doesn’t work, as evidenced by the fact that CNN is dying,” Musk wrote. “And, instead of it being the real Don Lemon, it was really just Jeff Zucker talking through Don, so lacked authenticity.”

Though the partnership is over, Musk added that Lemon is still welcome to build his viewership on X.

The Don Lemon Show was supposed to be a triweekly, 30-minute show on X in a deal that was fashioned similarly to what former Fox News host Tucker Carlson has with the platform, which has become a place where personalities can resurrect and/or expand their media careers. Longtime sports radio host Jim Rome and former congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard are also scheduled to launch new shows on X.