The addition of The Young Turks is part of a larger plan to turn Current TV into an all-news network — described by CEO Joel Hyatt as “a new news network for a new kind of news viewer.” The channel’s chairman, former Vice President Al Gore, added in a brief press conference that “you won’t have to wait that long” for an announcement about another on-air hire. It would likely be for a show to follow Countdown With Keith Olbermann, which airs at 8 PM ET. Uygur says that he will continue to host his two-hour daily show on YouTube in addition to his new one on Current, which he descibes as “a gathering place for progressives to meet and discuss the issues of the day.” The network says it has no ratings target for the show, which will be broadcast from Los Angeles. Here’s the release about Uygur’s new show:
September 20, 2011 – Award-winning Current TV will bring the wildly popular and informative host Cenk Uygur to its network in a primetime slot to host “The Young Turks;” Uygur’s uniquely progressive and topical show about politics and pop culture, each week night at 7 p.m. ET.
Current will work with Uygur and his team to launch an original television version of “The Young Turks” – which is the world’s largest online news show. “The Young Turks,” led by Uygur, are a group of progressive, outspoken journalists and commentators, whose daily “TYT Network” shows on YouTube have built a fast-growing, loyal network of viewers. The TV show on Current will be produced from Los Angeles-based studios and will launch in the fourth quarter of this year.
Uygur, who recently anchored “MSNBC Live” at 6 p.m. ET, helped deliver that program’s strongest viewership among the 25-54 demographic and in total viewers since the show’s launch. Uygur has built a massive audience, who tune in for and expect his independent, courageous and often-controversial point of view each week night. “The Young Turks” online video segments now generate 30 million views per month and have racked up more than 500 million video views, making “The Young Turks” the most successful political commentary channel on YouTube. The viewership of “The Young Turks” on YouTube has grown 912% since July 2008.
“Cenk Uygur has a strong grasp of what audiences seek: context and insight about the news and complex issues that affect their lives, unfettered by corporate influences. He has a unique and compelling way of boiling it down for his viewers, ” said Current Chairman and co-founder Al Gore. “He and his collaborators have exploded in popularity because of ‘The Young Turks’’ authentic and passionate voice. Cenk understands that we live in a multi-screen world, and he speaks to an audience who wants to hear the truth.”
Uygur commented: “Current is the perfect home for our show. We wanted to be in a place that is both independent and truly progressive, not owned and encumbered by a media conglomerate. Does it get any better for a progressive than working where Al Gore and Joel Hyatt are your bosses, and Keith Olbermann is your colleague? It’s an honor to be the lead-in program for Keith Olbermann. Add to that we will work with David Bohrman, who has been creating unique and great television programming for decades. His vision for Current is exactly in line with ours. When you bring all of these people together with ‘The Young Turks,’ watch out — we’re coming!”
“Getting a powerful voice like Cenk’s is a great addition to our network, and we look forward to having the enthusiastic, growing audience he has built for ‘The Young Turks’ follow him to Current TV. As we head into an election year, people are eager to hear voices like his, which can only be heard on an open, independent platform like Current,” said Joel Hyatt, Current CEO and the network’s co-founder. “Cenk brings a new audience to Current. We believe these viewers of ‘The Young Turks’ will come for Cenk and stay for Keith. And we think Cenk will offer something very compelling for the legion of loyal ‘Countdown with Keith Olbermann’ viewers as well.”
“Cenk and ‘The Young Turks’ are unlike anything on TV now. ‘The Young Turks’ on Current will be a really fresh take on politics and pop culture,” said Current TV President David Bohrman. “All of The Young Turks will offer a range of perspectives. Cenk is the perfect host to drive a multi-screen experience for today’s tech savvy, social media-minded audience, and he has an inherent understanding of how to engage, mobilize, entertain and enlighten this new kind of news viewer.”