Cenk Uygur may be the most widely watched political talk show host you’ve never heard of. Uygur, a former lawyer, started theyoungturks, a talk show, on Sirius Radio in 2002. (The name derives from a phrase referring to rebellious members of an institution, while also nodding towards Uygur’s Turkish heritage.) He brought his show to YouTube before you had even probably heard of YouTube, in 2005, and after dabbling as a commentator on MSNBC and Current TV, Uygur has doubled down on his online network. He claims to have the most widely watched online news show, with 1.9 billion views to date.
If you haven’t heard of The Young Turks yet, its breakout moment may be near. A documentary about Uygur’s trajectory has just premiered. Last week, he sold out a live show at Hollywood’s Troubadour theater. The Young Turks recently began distribution on Hulu, and TYT’s eight shows are beginning to grow and consolidate into a 24-hour live web stream.
We caught up with Uygur to learn more about the past, present, and future of The Young Turks—and of new media in general.