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Hey, How'd You Draw 250 Million Viewers to Your Web Show, The Young Turks?

'You have to find your audience and be willing to take risks'

By Andrea K. Hammer - May 25, 2010

The Young Turks founder Cenk Uygur.
-Photo by Isaac Matthew White
In 2002, The Young Turks became the first original talk show on Sirius Satellite Radio. In 2005, with the emergence of video, founder Cenk Uygur and his crew purchased some cameras and started the first live, daily webcast on the Internet. Four years later came a Podcast Award for Best Political Podcast, one from Mashable for Best Political News Site, and a nomination for the Audience's Choice Award at the 2010 Streamy Awards. All of this with zero backing from traditional broadcast networks.

"The goal is supposed to be on television. We say, 'No, we can build a television network ironically not on television,'" says Uygur. "In TV, you have the pressure of 'every single minute has to deliver ratings gold.' Whereas we just let the audience pick. If people want to watch the story about Kim Kardashian more, we don't judge them; that's their choice. If they want to watch the story about Obama more, that's great. Everybody wins."

Today, The Young Turks has a sponsorship deal with Netflix, plans for a spinoff YouTube channel focused on bloggers, plus -- count 'em -- 250 million viewers and growing. Take that, Team Coco. ...

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