X CEO Linda Yaccarino asks son to help firm weather advertiser exodus

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By Dan Sears

X CEO Linda Yaccarino has reportedly hired her son to help Elon Musk’s social media company hit its goal of $100 million in political advertising revenue — which she hopes will offset the money lost due to the pause in ads announced by several blue-chip companies.

Matt Madrazo, a top sales executive at Studio71, a creator-focused media firm, has been introducing himself to political advertising insiders in Washington, DC, in recent weeks, according to the news site Semafor.

Madrazo — the son of Yaccarino and her spouse, Claude Madrazo — graduated from Penn State University, his mother’s alma mater, in 2014.

According to Semafor, he has been tasked with soliciting business from Republican-friendly digital advertising firms as the 2024 presidential election heats up.

Yaccarino has entrusted another ad veteran, Jonathan Phelps, with outreach to Democrats, the news site reported.

Both Phelps and Madrazo have worked out of Tesla’s offices in Washington, DC, according to Semafor.

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X CEO Linda Yaccarino has hired her son to help the social media company drum up political advertising revenue.
Getty Images for Vox Media

X is facing a dire financial situation exacerbated by a flight of advertisers including Disney, Apple, IBM, Comcast and Warner Bros. Discovery.

The companies paused ads on the social media platform formerly known as Twitter after a liberal watchdog group, Media Matters for America, issued a report that found that their brand-sponsored content was appearing alongside pro-Nazi posts.

X has reacted furiously to the Media Matters report. It filed a lawsuit against the group accusing it of “knowingly and maliciously” gaming the site’s servers so that the ads appeared alongside the hate posts — making it appear “as if they were what typical X users experience on the platform.”

X’s complaint claims that Media Matters manipulated algorithms on the platform to create images of advertisers’ paid posts next to racist, incendiary content.

The juxtapositions, according to the complaint, were “manufactured, inorganic and extraordinarily rare.”

Matt Madrazo, a top sales executive at Studio71, a creator-focused media firm, has reportedly been introducing himself to political advertising insiders in Washington, DC.

It says Media Matters did this by using X accounts that just followed X users known to produce “extreme fringe content” and accounts owned by X’s major advertisers. This, the complaint says, led to a feed aimed at producing side-by-side placements that Media Matters could then screen shot in an effort to alienate X’s advertisers.

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Media Matters said Monday that it stands by its reporting and expects to prevail in court.

Media Matters, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit, called the lawsuit “frivolous.”

Yaccarino was hired by Elon Musk to run X after a previous stint at NBCUniversal.

“This is a frivolous lawsuit meant to bully X’s critics into silence,” the non-profit’s president, Angelo Carusone, said in a prepared statement.

Musk has also sparked outcry this month with his own posts responding to a user who accused Jews of hating white people and professing indifference to antisemitism.

“You have said the actual truth,” Musk tweeted in a reply last Wednesday.

Musk has faced accusations of tolerating antisemitic messages on the platform since purchasing it last year, and the content on X has gained increased scrutiny since the war between Israel and Hamas began.

With Post Wires

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