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Posts Tagged ‘Cenk Uygur’

The Young Turks Score $4 Million in Equity Funding

TYTCEnkuygurHeadshotThe most intriguing aspect of today’s TYT Network news is the background of the person at the head of equity fund Roemer, Robinson, Melville & Co.

Buddy Roemer is a former Louisiana Governor and, as such, has delivered to the former Current TV and current Internet gang the group’s first non-crowd-funded cash. From today’s announcement:

“RRM has been looking for two years to find the best platform in New Media in which to invest,” said Roemer. “We believe TYT will be one of the critical players moving forward in a new media world – edgy, unfiltered news commentary at its best. They are a lot like me, sometimes wrong but never in doubt.”

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The Young Turks Hit Indiegogo Home Stretch

Last week, just ahead of Thanksgiving, The Young Turks majestically hit their Indiegogo goal of $250,000. Helping greatly in that regard were Sean Mackinlay (Canada), Brian Weissman (Seattle) and Diana Francisco (Agoura Hills, CA), who each ponied up $5,000 to have a camera named after them; and New Jersey resident Stephen Perillo, who purchased $15,000 conference-room naming rights.

With the TYT gang, we knew there would be fireworks at the end of the crowd-funding run. Sure enough, Cenk Uygur and co. are planning to wrap up the campaign with a 26-hour continuous YouTube stream. The online broadcast will begin at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT Thursday, at the tail end of their regular daily show, and run through 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT Friday.

“We will be attempting to raise an additional $100,000 for a much demanded and much needed main show stage,” a TYT rep tells FishbowlNY. (At press time, the Indiegogo campaign is at $281,582.) “Ideally, the new facility will have two stages running simultaneously and allow other TYT Network programs to make use of the second stage.”

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The Young Turks Are Crowd-Funding Their New Studio

The long and winding road continues for a program that began in 2002 as Sirius XM’s first original talk show.

The Young Turks, back to online-only, have moved from their Culver City Current digs to a corner of the massive YouTube Space LA. But the plan is to soon occupy a new studio, co-funded by $250,000 in Indiegogo donations.

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Cenk Uygur Says Goodbye to Current TV

Last night, Cenk Uygur officially bid adieu to Current. After two years in Culver City, the broadcast side of The Young Turks went dark to make way for next Tuesday’s official launch of Al Jazeera America.

Although “conflicted,” Uygur also admitted that a large part of him is relieved to no longer have to bear the burden of hosting two daily news shows. For the past three years, first on MSNBC and then via YouTube with Ana Kasparian, he has been doing double duty. As of today, he only has to worry about the online edition.

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WATCH: A Most Wonderful Way to Remember Michael Hastings

Yesterday was a tough day for Cenk Uygur. Just moments before going live Tuesday as host of The Young Turks on Current, he had learned of the death of BuzzFeed, Rolling Stone and TYT contributor Michael Hastings.

Uygur was close to tears at one point; the program separately paid tribute to Hastings’ various appearances on the show. There’s also this – a fantastic informal 2012 interview conducted at the TYT offices by Uygur at the outset of Hastings’ time in LA.

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The Young Turks Throw Themselves a Big Party

Some epic Internet math was laid out last night at YouTube’s Space LA by The Young Turks COO Steve Oh. Speaking to a snazzily-dressed crowd of fellow TYT Network personnel, show fans and supporters, he tried to frame just how staggering one billion YouTube views for the show – reached April 19 – is.

Assuming each view counts for an averaged-out minute, Oh said, that’s a billion minutes. Or… 2,000 years. In other words, the online show that began in an east coast basement is now on par with one of Mel Brooks‘ most famous characters. Too bad they couldn’t wrangle Brooks for the April 19 broadcast.

Another funny remark by Oh, who spoke from the lobby stage ahead of his New Jersey high school pal Cenk Uygur, was a remark that touched on the fact that many Young Turks personnel work for below-market-rate salaries. After noting that one producer had turned down another opportunity that paid three times his TYT salary, Oh joked that he still had to fire that person “for being so stupid.”

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The Young Turks Are About to Hit a Billion Views

The TYT Network as a whole has already crossed the one-billion-online-views threshold. Soon, the individual program that started it all, The Young Turks, will also reach this vaunted watershed mark.

To celebrate, the online companion to the Current TV program is staging a fun little contest. On Monday’s broadcast, host Cenk Uygur explained that the grand prize winner will receive two plane tickets to LA, three nights’ hotel accommodation and an invite to a special “One Billion Views” party being held at YouTube Space LA May 9.

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Where Do The Young Turks Go from Here?

As The Young Turks‘ tireless host Cenk Uygur reminded this week in the aftermath of the acquisition of Current TV by Al Jazeera, a key portion of the enterprise is not part of the deal. The separate online half of the weekday political analysis program is independently produced and contracted, free to move on to greener Internet pastures in the second quarter of 2012 once the Current run comes to an official end.

Which begs the questions: Where might the TYT Network wind up? And what kind of future does the TV incarnation have? With Jeff Zucker jumping into the CNN executive suite and people like Jake Tapper joining that network’s correspondent ranks, perhaps the online version of TYT could somehow fit into a remolded version of the Atlanta cable giant’s website.

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Roseanne Barr vs. the ‘Duopolistic Fundraising Machine’

Roseanne Barr dropped by The Young Turks to chat with host Cenk Uygur about her presidential campaign. Ahead of tonight’s airing of the interview, the show has posted a teaser clip.

Barr is likely the only 2012 candidate you’ll hear talking about the domestic prison labor force being used to manufacture 90% of house paints sold in the U.S. She calls herself the “legalization candidate” and says she’s all about “common sense solutions.”

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FishbowlLA Set Visit: The Young Turks

Watching yesterday from the second floor Culver City control room as The Young Turks’ tireless host Cenk Uygur conducted a split-screen interview about – what else – contentious DC politics, FishbowlLA marveled at the talent everyone there talks about. His ability to do an entire, fast-paced current affairs program without benefit of a teleprompter.

“I’ve worked over the years with Matt Lauer, Katie Couric, Chris Matthews…” raved senior producer Roland Woerner. “I’ve never seen anyone with the ability to do a program like this without a teleprompter.”

The same goes for Uygur’s control-room brain trust. When a host and program run off a teleprompter, all sorts of cues can be “tagged in,” to help coordinate when to throw to a graphic, guest, specific camera shot and so on. With Uygur, there is no such safety net; the resulting flow, presided over with a masterful, arms-wide touch by director Genji Keen, is infectious. TYT’s ultra-modern and even-tempered operation is the kind of 21st century outlet many unemployed journalists would kill to be able to work for.

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