The Young Turks Throw Themselves a Big Party

Some epic Internet math was laid out at YouTube’s Space LA last night by The Young Turks COO Steve Oh. Speaking to a snazzily-dressed crowd of fellow TYT Network personnel, show fans and supporters, he tried to frame just how staggering one billion YouTube views for the show – reached April 19 – is.

Assuming each view counts for an averaged-out minute, Oh said, that’s a billion minutes. Or… 2,000 years. In other words, the online show that began in an east coast basement is now on par with one of Mel Brooks’ most famous characters. Too bad they couldn’t wrangle Brooks for the April 19 broadcast.

Another funny remark by Oh, who spoke from the lobby stage ahead of his New Jersey high school pal Cenk Uygur, was a remark that touched on the fact that many Young Turks personnel work for below-market-rate salaries. After noting that one producer had turned down another opportunity that paid three times his TYT salary, Oh joked that he still had to fire that person “for being so stupid.”

Ahead of last night’s party, Uygur and co-host Ana Kasperian anchored a shortened one-hour live broadcast of The Young Turks Internet show from Space LA, becoming the first news program to do so. The massive Play Del Rey YouTube facility opened last November and was built in a lightning-fast seven months. Food and drink was served throughout the evening, and on the way out, attendees were generously gifted with TYT and Space LA logo-ed T-shirts.

The Young Turks is the first news program to be part of YouTube’s paid channels initiative launched yesterday. TYT Plus costs $4.99/month or $49.99/year. YouTube global head of news and EDU content Jed Simmons said last night that the channel was out of the gate with the most Day One subscriber sign-ups.

Uygur for his part joked that he owes his wife about 45 Hawaii vacations, tied to an original promise to her if The Young Turks hit 20,000 subscribers. His refrain through his speech was the fact that after being told something can’t be done, he and his cohorts have in fact proven that “it can be done.” Indeed, the rise of the show from its humble beginnings – as graphed on a series of white boards at one end of the Space LA lobby – is truly amazing.

Congrats to Oh, Uygur, Kasparian and everyone else associated with the TYT Network.