news 3 months ago

Elon Musk Says He’s Formed a Media Company Called ‘Thud’ After Hiring Ex-Staffers of The Onion

Variety

Tech billionaire and futurist Elon Musk apparently wants to add a new gig to his multihypenated resume: media mogul.

In a tweet early Wednesday, Musk posted simply “Thud!” He followed that later in the day with an explanation: “That’s the name of my new intergalactic media empire, exclamation point optional.”

Some wondered whether Musk was just be joking about the name. A rep for Musk confirmed “Thud” as the company’s name (the preference is without the exclamation mark, he said) but otherwise declined to provide more information.

Musk has formed a stealth-mode media company after hiring former staffers of The Onion, including editor-in-chief Cole Bolton and executive editor Ben Berkley, as first reported by the Daily Beast. The two editors departed last fall over a disagreement with The Onion’s owners, which include Univision.

“It’s pretty obvious that comedy is the next frontier after electric vehicles, space exploration, and brain-computer interfaces,” Musk said in a cheeky statement to the Daily Beast. “Don’t know how anyone’s not seeing this.”

Among his other activities, Musk heads electric-car company Tesla and rocket manufacturer and space-transport firm SpaceX.

That’s the name of my new intergalactic media empire, exclamation point optional

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 14, 2018

According to domain-name registration databases, someone has reserved “thud.com” and the registration was last updated on Dec. 6, 2017, through GoDaddy. The registrant info is anonymous, however, and the website isn’t currently live.

Musk, 46, has a net worth of more than $20 billion, according to Forbes. The South African-born entrepreneur styles himself as a modern-day Renaissance man. This past weekend, he appeared on stage at SXSW at HBO’s “Westworld” panel, joining his friend and showrunner Jonathan Nolan. He also participated in an open Q&A session at SXSW.

Musk is currently co-founder and CEO at Tesla and SpaceX; CEO of Neuralink, which is developing “ultra-high-bandwidth brain-machine interfaces” to connect humans and computers; and CEO of the Boring Co., which is aiming to build Hyperloop, a massive network of underground tunnels to provide high-speed transportation. In 2016, Tesla acquired solar-power system maker SolarCity.

He became a multimillionaire in his late 20s when he sold city-guide software startup Zip2 to a division of Compaq Computers. Musk then co-founded the company that became PayPal, which eBay acquired for $1.5 billion in in 2002.

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