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Tesla CEO Elon Musk gave a lengthy interview to the NY Times, in which he acknowledges that he's spread way too thin. But it was the Times reporting vs. what Musk said, plus its conflating his messy personal life with his professional life, that was most notable.

By the numbers: Tesla's stock is getting walloped after the interview came out, down nearly 9% from yesterday's close to about $307 as of publish time.

Expand chart
Data: Money.net; Chart: Axios Visuals

Between the lines:

  • Musk didn't "recall getting any communications from the board" after his initial take-private tweet (which was sent while driving to the airport), but subsequently admitted via a spokesman that director Antonio Gracias had indeed contacted him about it.
  • Musk also said that "to the best of my knowledge,” there is “no active search right now" for a number two exec at Tesla, but the Times reports that such a search is indeed underway.
  • Not surprisingly, shares are sinking fast this morning (which isn't reflected in the above chart).

Personal admissions

  • "There were times when I didn’t leave the factory for three or four days — days when I didn’t go outside... This has really come at the expense of seeing my kids. And seeing friends.”
  • He spent all 24 hours of his 47th birthday at the office.
  • He often takes Ambien in order to sleep.

CNBC also reports that Tesla is in talks with three potential financial advisors: Lazard, Evercore and Centerview.

Go deeper on USA vs. Musk: A primer on how we got here.

Go deeper

The week the Trump show ended

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Donald Trump was eclipsed in media attention last week by President Biden for the first time since Trump took office, according to viewership data on the internet, on social media and on cable news.

Why it matters: After Trump crowded out nearly every other news figure and topic for five years, momentum of the new administration took hold last week and the former president retreated, partly by choice and partly by being forced off the big platforms.

Pay TV's bleak post-pandemic outlook

Data: eMarketer; Chart: Axios Visuals

The pandemic has taken a huge toll on the Pay-TV industry, and with the near-term future of live sports in question, there are no signs of it getting better in 2021.

Why it matters: The fraught Pay-TV landscape is forcing some smaller, niche cable channels out of business altogether.

2 hours ago - World

Biden sets his sights on China

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/Getty Images  

The new administration's first few moves and statements on China suggest that President Biden may continue some of the Trump era's most assertive policies.

Why it matters: China's severe domestic repression, its dramatic rise as a technological superpower, and its increasingly aggressive actions around the globe mean that the world expects the American president to take action.