A private equity fund led by former Louisiana governor Buddy Roemer will help former MSNBC host Cenk Uygur expand his online video network
The Young Turks, a network of popular online video channels, has raised $4 million from Roemer, Robinson, Melville & Co., LLC, a private equity fund led by former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer. RRM can increase its investment to as much as $8 million.
Roemer, a Republican,, has invested in a network whose CEO and co-founder, Cenk Uygur, previously hosted a show on MSNBC and Current TV, the network backed by former Vice President Al Gore. Though Uygur hosted shows on two TV networks with liberal perspectives, his political shows upbraid those on both sides of the aisle for being in the pocket of corporations and for being too meek or corrupt to enact meaningful reform.
“RRM has been looking for two years to find the best platform in New Media in which to invest,” Roemer said in a statement. “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. We expect their news to continue to push the envelope and their business to grow exponentially.”
The Young Turks’ populist message has garnered a massive following. It is one of the largest news networks on YouTube, generating more than 68 million views each month, and its flagship show draws 38 million of those on its own.
Uygur and COO Steven Oh were quick to establish the network off of YouTube as well, a business necessity some networks have only recently come to appreciate. Paying subscribers to The Young Turks can access video and audio unavailable to non-subscribers, and also listen to the podcast without commercial breaks.
The Young Turks will use this new financing to continue its expansion onto over-the-top devices such as Chromecast and AppleTV, local TV and international TV networks. It will also use the money to expand its sales team, improve its technological infrastructure and launch new shows.
The Young Turks will host 30-minute versions of its eponymous show and its entertainment show PopTrigger for Hulu.
“The Young Turks and TYT Network have long been a source of independent news and politics for our millions of fans,” Uygur said in a statement. “While we don’t necessarily agree on politics, Buddy and TYT both understand money’s damaging influence on our government. Buddy and RRM support TYT Network’s mission to bring our viewers the unrestricted truth and analysis of the world’s news — from politics to movies, pop culture, sports and more.”