Don Lemon’s new online show is grappling with a fast-shrinking audience after he was unceremoniously dumped by Elon Musk — and the pittance in revenue may not even cover the costs of his bare-bones production, The Post has learned.

The former CNN anchor — who had demanded millions of dollars, a flight on a SpaceX rocket and a Cybertruck before being fired by Musk’s social network X following a testy sit-down interview — suffered a massive decline in viewers for the second episode of “The Don Lemon Show.”

“Nobody is watching,” one media watcher told The Post. “Poor Don, he doesn’t realize people watched the first interview because of Elon — not him! Watching the Elon interview reminded everyone of how much they dislike Don.”

Don Lemon’s viewership on X and YouTube has tanked since his first episode of “The Don Lemon Show.” CNN

Lemon’s second show with tech journalist Kara Swisher, which was posted on X and YouTube last Wednesday, has garnered just 190,000 and 93,000 views, respectively, as of Tuesday morning.

That’s a fraction of the views from his interview with Musk, posted to both sites on March 18, which has amassed 2.2 million views on X and 1.2 million views on YouTube as of Tuesday.

His interview with Swisher wasn’t even reposted by the well-known tech journalist, who, like Lemon, has 1.5 million followers on X.

“She knew it was so bad that she has ditched him and not promoted,” said another media insider.

The cratering viewership has come despite Lemon’s whirlwind media tour in the wake of the Musk fiasco. He returned to CNN for an interview with Erin Burnett, and made appearances on “The View,” the “Tamron Hall” show and “The Dan Abrams Podcast.”

“To start strong and then immediately fizzle is worse than starting slow and building an audience,” the source said.

Lemon’s Musk interview garnered roughly 2.2 million views on X since it was posted, and 1.1 million views on YouTube. CNN

Neither X nor YouTube provided estimates on Lemon’s earnings.

“The second episode of The Don Lemon Show garnered twice the number of impressions and views on X compared to YouTube,” according to X. “But in contrast to numerous creators who have effectively harnessed the potential of X and its community, The Don Lemon Show did not employ any active advertising strategies to enhance the visibility of its organic posts on the platform and attract new viewers.”

“Active advertising strategies” means no paid advertising to boost the posts or other marketing or advertising efforts.

Lemon’s second show was a lengthy interview with tech journalist Kara Swisher, who did not repost the hour-long interview. Vaughn Ridley/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Lemon’s spokesperson told The Post: “Don is one week into hosting a brand new show with a distribution model that is in its earliest stages for people who do what he does.

“Having reached more than 3 million people with his very first episode, it’s hard to imagine many content creators like him having a better launch,” the rep added. “He’s thrilled, and looks forward to building his audiences across all the platforms he is working with.”

Lemon dropped his third episode Monday, interviewing Oscar-winning actress Mo’Nique and her husband, Sidney Hicks. The show has had 68,000 views on X and 7,424 on YouTube as of Tuesday morning.

Lemon’s second episode saw its viewership plummet, which tech insiders said isn’t a great sign for the future success of the show. CNN

For Lemon to come close to raking in the salary he made at CNN, estimated at between $4 million and $7 million, he will have to launch a subscription model, get sponsors for his shows or do product placement, according to Alex Taub, co-founder and CEO at Truth Arts.

“How you monetize content is through ads and how you get ads is through eyeballs,” Taub told The Post.

A source with knowledge of X’s monetization told The Post, “If he got the numbers he got with the Musk interview, he would be considered a low- to mid-tier creator.”

Influencers like Mr. Beast have been public about the kinds of numbers they need to pull to garner meaningful revenue. X/MrBeast

The source was unable to gauge Lemon’s earnings, but a look at what successful creators have made provides some insight.

For instance, Mr. Beast, known for his fast-paced and high-production videos that feature elaborate challenges and large giveaways, wrote on X in January that he earned $263,655 thanks to a post that garnered 156.7 million views.

Mr. Beast — who in 2023 was the richest YouTuber, earning $120 million from the platform — shared in July 2023 that a video he posted on the Google-owned site made $167,000 in ad share revenue after receiving 77 million views in five days.



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