The Young Turks

This article is about the political commentary web series. For the reform movement, see Young Turks. For other meanings, see Young Turks (disambiguation).
The Young Turks

Cenk Uygur hosting The Young Turks in 2015
Also known as TYT
Genre Political commentary
Created by Cenk Uygur[1]
Ben Mankiewicz[2]
Dave Koller[2]
Directed by Jesus Godoy[2]
Mark Register[2]
Presented by Cenk Uygur[1]
Ben Mankiewicz (2002–2007; contributor thereafter)
Jill Pike (2002–2007)
Ana Kasparian (2008–present)
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 13
Executive producer(s) Cenk Uygur
Irina Nichita
Location(s) Culver City, California
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 120 minutes (main program)
Varied (post-game show)
Original network Sirius Satellite Radio (2002–2009, 2009–2010)
Air America (2006–2008)
YouTube (2005–present)
Roku (2013–2016)
Hulu (2014–2016)
Current TV (2011–2013)[3]
Picture format Television/online:'
480i (SDTV; 2005–2011),
1080i (HDTV; 2011–2016)
Original release February 14, 2002 (2002-02-14) – present
External links

The Young Turks (TYT) is an American political commentary web series that was created by journalist Cenk Uygur, Ben Mankiewicz and Dave Koller. Currently co-hosted by Uygur and Ana Kasparian, its stance is progressive/left-wing; although its primary focus is on political commentary, the program provides opinion on topics of varying news genres. The Young Turks began as a radio program that premiered on February 14, 2002 on Sirius Satellite Radio; it was later carried on Air America, before launching a web series component in 2005 on YouTube.

In addition to being carried on YouTube, the program is also currently available on TYT Network, a multi-channel network of associated web series, as well as on Roku and Hulu. It has spawned two spin-off television series, one that aired on Current TV[4] from 2011 to 2013 and a second that debuted on Fusion in 2016 as a limited-run program developed to cover that year's Presidential campaign. The Young Turks also served as the subject of a documentary, entitled Mad As Hell, which was released in 2014.[5]


The Young Turks live streams for two hours, with its story selection and associated commentary broken up by format. Issues that the show focuses on include the influence of money in politics, drug policy, social security, the privatization of public services, climate change, the influence of religion, abortion and reproductive rights, and sexual morality. The program maintains a liberal/progressive ideology in its political commentary.[6][7][8] Co-creator and host Cenk Uygur describes himself as an "independent progressive" and asserts that the show is aimed at the "98 per cent 'not in power'" and what he describes as the 60% of Americans who hold progressive views.[9]

The first hour, which is solo hosted by Uygur, focuses on American politics, foreign policy and breaking news headlines.[10] The second hour – which is co-hosted by Uygur and Ana Kasparian – provides social commentary on a wide range of topics, both domestic and foreign. The program also features a post-game show, in which Uygur and Kasparian discuss their personal lives. Uygur has regular bits and on-air interaction with other staff members who create and run the show, including among others Jesús Godoy, Dave Koller, Jayar Jackson and Steve Oh.

Each Friday, The Young Turks features a panel of guests from the worlds of politics, journalism, pop culture, sports and comedy, that is led by Uygur and John Iadarola in the first hour and Kasparian in the second hour. Along with Iadarola, other fill-in hosts and recurring guests include series co-creator/contributor Ben Mankiewicz, Jimmy Dore, Brian Unger, Hannah Cranston, Hasan Piker, Becca Frucht, Brett Erlich, Wes Clark Jr., Michael Shure, Cara Santa Maria, RJ Eskow, Dave Rubin, Gina Grad, Grace Baldridge, Samantha Schacher and Kim Horcher.


Cenk Uygur (left) and Ana Kasparian (right) on the show's set in 2015.

The Young Turks is broadcast in a two-hour live stream format, which airs Monday through Fridays at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The program was originally based out of the living room of creator/host Cenk Uygur, however it moved production to a small office in Los Angeles after the show hired a limited staff to produce the program. When the program was given a secondary live show on Current TV in 2011, the network provided a larger studio in Los Angeles to house its television and online broadcasts; production was forced to leave the facility after Current TV was sold to Al Jazeera, prior to the network's conversion into the now-defunct generalized news service Al-Jazeera America.

In 2013, The Young Turks' production staff relocated temporarily to new studio quarters at YouTube Space LA in Los Angeles.[11] The program moved its production facilites and staff operations to new studio facilities in Los Angeles later that year, with construction of their new studio being completed in June 2015.


Radio program

The Young Turks was originally developed as a radio talk show that was similar in format to a Los Angeles-based public access television program that Cenk Uygur had hosted, titled The Young Turk. With the help of friend Ben Mankiewicz (with whom he had previously worked), his childhood friend Dave Koller, and Jill Pike, Uygur began The Young Turks as a radio program in February 2002 on Sirius Satellite Radio.[6] The show's title derives from the English-language phrase "Young Turk", meaning a reformist or rebellious member of an institution, movement or political party.[12]

In 2006, the program received attention for its 99-hour "Live On Air Filibuster," conducted during Congressional hearings for the nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. Hosts including Thom Hartmann and John Amato filled in during the event, to allow the show's regular hosts and contributors to rest or take breaks.[13]

Prior to signing a distribution deal to carry the program on Air America in 2006, the show was broadcast on Sirius Satellite Radio, on Sirius Left 143 and later 146, airing weekdays from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time; a day-behind rebroadcast of the program aired on Sirius Talk Central 148 weekday afternoons from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. Eastern. Being carried exclusively on Sirius for several years, The Young Turks was the first show to air exclusively on Sirius Left that was not distributed through a syndication network. TYT was also carried by KFH (1330 AM and 98.7 FM) in Wichita, Kansas each weeknight from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Central Time and webcast by

On February 2, 2009, TYT was removed from the broadcast schedule of America Left, a progressive talk channel carried on Sirius/XM Channel 167, and replaced by an additional hour of The Bill Press Show. The program returned to Sirius/XM on March 16, 2009. In late 2010, TYT announced through its Facebook page that it would discontinue carrying the program on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio; the last edition of The Young Turks to be carried on the service aired on November 19, 2010.

Web series

A man
A woman
Cenk Uygur (left, 2016) and Ana Kasparian (right, 2016) host the web series.

The Young Turks was the first daily streaming online talk show, having begun airing in that format in 2006.[6]

In August 2007, Ben Mankiewicz left the show to serve as a contributor for TMZ's syndicated entertainment news program TMZ on TV.[14] At roughly the same time, Jill Pike left to pursue a job in Washington, D.C. Ana Kasparian, then working as an intern for the program, was hired to do pop culture-focused segments. Mankiewicz eventually returned to The Young Turks as a regular correspondent.

During the 2008 elections, the show developed close ties to Brave New Films. The program aired commercials for the independent film production company and featured actors such as Robert Greenwald and Jonathan Kim as guests.

On July 30, 2013, The Young Turks launched a TYT Network app on Roku,[15] which features much of the same content that is already available for free through the program's YouTube channel, which has over 2.9 million subscribers and generates 50 million monthly views. The network is among the few channels to generate more than 1 billion views since launching on YouTube, which does not market a channel on the Roku app store. Young Turks COO Steve Oh acknowledged that making the TYT Network available on Roku was the first part of a strategy to continue the network's growth, regardless of what medium in which its viewers are watching its content, with the intent to figure out a way to monetize its programming through multiple distribution channels, rather than relying on one or two larger channels (such as YouTube or cable television distribution). The network also announced plans to unveil native apps for iOS and Android devices. Oh also noted that the network's representatives were speaking with other media platforms about expanding its programming.

In April 2014, The Young Turks began offering its content on Hulu. With this, it began providing a condensed 30-minute version of the program featuring excerpts from the full two-hour daily show, along with a 30-minute weekly version of its daily pop-culture show PopTrigger, with other shows being added shortly afterward. Oh stated on the Hulu launch that, "as TYT Network has grown from a single show to an entire network, we've consistently found ways to bring our shows to more people[..] We’ve long admired Hulu as a leader of online video and both parties saw an opportunity to bring digitally-native politics and pop culture talk shows to Hulu’s audience." He also stated that the company is pitching shows to cable network, but had no immediate plans to revive a television broadcast as either a relaunched program or a show similar in format to the one it formerly produced for Current TV.[16]

The website's yearly revenue was roughly US$3 million in 2013. According to Cenk Uygur, "about a third of the revenue comes from subscriptions, and the rest comes from YouTube ads." The company maintains a staff of 30 employees.[17] In 2014, the company received a US$4 million investment from Roemer, Robinson, Melville & Co., LLC, a private equity firm led by former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer.[18]


The Young Turks claims to be "the world's largest online news show" based on the number of YouTube hits for the main TYT channel.[19] As of April 2013, TYT had approximately 4,000 paying subscribers online.[17] By August 2016, Cenk Uygur reported that number had increased to more than 23,000.[20] On April 20, 2013, The Young Turks announced that its YouTube channel had received over 1 billion video views.[21] By October 2016, the total number of views for the TYT Network's YouTube channel had surpassed 3 billion.[22] The program's YouTube channel averaged a daily hit count of 750,000 views per day in April 2012, increasing to more than 2,200,000 per day by November 2016.[23]

The Independent described it as "the most-watched online news show in the world."[9] In a September 2006 article, U.S. News & World Report contributing writer Paul Bedard described TYT as "the loudly liberal counter to the right-leaning presets on my Sirius Satellite Radio."[24]

Awards and nominations

The Young Turks has won and been nominated for numerous Internet content awards. In 2009, the program won in the Political category at the Podcast Awards,[25] and won for "Best Political News Site" at the Mashable Open Web Awards.[26] In 2010, it was nominated for a Streamy Award for "Best News or Political Web Series" and the "Audience Choice Award for Best Web Series".[27] In 2011, the program won in the News category at the Third Annual Shorty Awards,[28] and won for "Best News and Political Series" at that year's Webby Awards.[29] In 2012, it won in the Best Video Podcast category at the Podcast Awards .[30] The program was nominated for two Streamy Awards in the Best News and Culture Series and Audience Choice Award for Series of the Year categories in 2013.[31] The Young Turks also won a Streamy Award in the News and Culture category in 2015.[32]

Television spin-offs

The Young Turks with Cenk Uygur

The first linear television incarnation of the program began as an hour-long show that premiered on Current TV on December 5, 2011. Co-created and hosted by Cenk Uygur (who executive produced the series with original program co-creator Dave Koller, with Jesus Godoy, Jayar Jackson and Mark Register serving as producers), the program was co-presented by Ana Kasparian, with Ben Mankiewicz, Michael Shure, Brian Unger, Wes Clark, Jr. and RJ Eskow as contributors and correspondents. It was filmed at studio facilities in the Los Angeles suburb of Culver City.

Current TV announced the launch of a separate television broadcast of The Young Turks on September 20, 2011, with the program intending to air Monday through Friday evenings at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time beginning in the fourth quarter of 2011. It was the second news and opinion program to air on Current, alongside Countdown with Keith Olbermann, and was part of a strategy to refocus the network's prime time schedule around progressive talk programming (which was followed by the debut of The War Room with Jennifer Granholm in January 2012). According to the show's website, the show was titled The Young Turks with Cenk Uygur to differentiate itself from the popular web series.[33] For two years, the two separate shows were produced each Monday through Thursday, with a one-hour break between the production airtimes of the television and web shows. In a press release, representatives for Current described TYT as "a group of progressive, outspoken journalists and commentators discussing politics and pop culture" and founder Cenk Uygur as bringing a, "uniquely progressive and topical commentary about politics and pop culture."[34]

On January 2, 2013, Current TV was sold to Qatar-based broadcaster Al Jazeera,[35] which announced plans to reorganize the channel as Al Jazeera America, focusing on world news and investigative content with a more neutral tone; with the move, the channel would discontinue its talk programming slate, including The Young Turks with Cenk Ugyur, which ended its run on Current TV on August 15, 2013, shortly before the network's relaunch.[17][36]

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Uygur commented that with the discontinuance of the television broadcast, he was relieved to move on and focus on his web show and the TYT Network site, stating that he had been "exhausted from doing the two shows at once" and that he was glad to put his energies there, as he believes that the future of media will gravitate towards online content. Uygur also noted that he talked with Al Jazeera after the company bought Current, reaching a mutual agreement not to continue with the television broadcast due to the change in ideological tone that Al Jazeera America would maintain.[17] However, members of The Young Turks' on-air contributing staff, such as Michael Shure (who served as a political and general assignment contributor), Cara Santa Maria (part of TechKnow) and Ben Mankiewicz (who worked as a movie critic), regularly appeared on Al Jazeera America. The Young Turks also maintain a partnership with Al Jazeera's digital channel AJ+, in an arrangement first announced in March 2015.[37]

The Young Turks on Fusion

The Young Turks returned to television with a weekly, hour-long program on Fusion, The Young Turks on Fusion, which premiered on September 12, 2016 for a twelve-week limited run. Hosted by Ana Kasparian and John Iadarola, the program – which broadcasts from college campuses around the United States, in a live-audience format modelled after ESPN's College GameDay – focuses on coverage of the 2016 United States presidential campaign. The show also features Cenk Uygur, Jimmy Dore, Ben Mankiewicz, Hannah Cranston, Hasan Piker and Kim Horcher as contributors, as well as Fusion reporters and celebrity guest hosts.[38][39]

TYT Network

The Young Turks has spawned a multi-channel network of associated web series, known as the TYT Network.

Some of the programs produced for the service are produced in-house, among which include:

Other shows are not produced in-house:

Programs produced for the TYT Network that are no longer in production include:


  1. 1 2 "How'd You Draw 250 Million Viewers to Your Web Show, The Young Turks". May 25, 2010. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "The Young Turks: Rebel Headquarters : News : Politics : Commentary". TYT Network. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
  3. "'The Young Turks' host Cenk Uygur bets on Web after Current TV". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Publishing. August 15, 2013. Retrieved September 6, 2016.
  4. "The Young Turks with Cenk Uygur (TV Series 2011– )", IMDb, retrieved September 3, 2016
  5. "Mad As Hell DVD Listing". Retrieved March 27, 2016.
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  12. "About. TYT network details". TYT Network. Retrieved June 10, 2012.
  13. Matea Gold (March 19, 2006). "Can't get on the network? Get on the Net". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved July 10, 2011.
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  17. 1 2 3 4 Ryan Faughnder (August 12, 2013). "'The Young Turks' host Cenk Uygur bets on Web after Current TV". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved August 17, 2013.
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External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to The Young Turks.
Preceded by
Free Talk Live
Podcast Award for
Best Political Podcast/Best Political Website

Succeeded by
Free Talk Live
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