×

The Young Turks Hires Ex-Al Jazeera America Producer, Two Others After Raising $1.5 Million in Crowdfunding

Digital news and pop-culture network the Young Turks has named Jonathan Larsen, formerly with Al Jazeera America, as its first managing editor and has tapped Dylan Ratigan and David Sirota as news commentators.

The trio are joining TYT Network under its crowdfunding campaign launched in December to hire reporters and commentators, which has raised $1.5 million of its $2 million goal from nearly 45,000 contributors to date.

Larsen (pictured, above) most recently was senior executive producer for politics at Al Jazeera America. In the newly created role of managing editor, he will oversee editorial and programming direction for TYT’s investigative journalists and commentators. Prior to Al Jazeera, Larsen was a producer with MSNBC’s “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” “ABC World News Now” and CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360.” He also was co-creator and executive producer of both “Up with Chris Hayes” and “Morning Sedition with Marc Maron” on Air America Radio.

Sirota joins TYT as a part-time news commentator and will remain on staff as senior editor for investigations at International Business Times. In addition, he has written for the New York Times Magazine, Politico, Harper’s, Wired, Vice, the Nation and Salon. Ratigan, author of “Greedy Bastards,” formerly hosted a show on MSNBC and also worked at CNBC and Bloomberg.

Other reporters and commentators recently hired by TYT as part of the crowdfunding effort include Ryan Grim, Michael Tracey, Nomiki Konst and Shaun King. The company said it will hire one more group of journalists when the campaign — which it kicked off after President Obama denied the final Dakota Access Pipeline permit — hits its $2 million goal.

TYT Network, which is one of YouTube’s top partner channels, says it generates over 200 million video views per month across platforms. In 2015, the Young Turks was named to Variety’s Famechangers ranking of top digital influencers. The L.A.-based company was founded by Cenk Uygur, a radio host and lawyer who started the Young Turks as a talk show on Sirius in 2002 before he began posting TYT videos to YouTube in 2005.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Ann Sarnoff Warner Bros

    Ann Sarnoff Formally Takes Reins of Warner Bros. as CEO

    The Ann Sarnoff era at Warner Bros. has begun. Sarnoff formally took the reins as Warner Bros. chair-CEO on Thursday, two months after she was appointed to the post. Sarnoff told employees in a memo that she has been impressed by the company’s track record during the past year amid a period of upheaval for [...]

  • YouTube TV Adds Subscription Options for

    YouTube TV Adds Subscription Options for AMC Networks' Acorn TV, UMC

    Google’s YouTube TV now offers two more add-on channels to subscribers, under an expanded pact with AMC Networks: British TV service Acorn TV and UMC (Urban Movie Channel), which features a selection of black TV and film titles. Acorn TV’s add-on channel is now available via YouTube TV for $6 per month and UMC is [...]

  • homepod-white-shelf

    Apple Said to Prep Cheaper HomePod for 2020

    Apple is getting ready to introduce a cheaper version of its HomePod smart speaker in 2020, Bloomberg reported Thursday. The company is also working on a new version of its AirPod headphones for next year, according to Bloomberg. Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The new version of the HomePod is said [...]

  • Eminem’s Publisher Sues Spotify, Claiming Copyright

    Eminem’s Publisher Sues Spotify, Claiming Massive Copyright Infringement

    Eminem’s publishing company Eight Mile Style filed a major copyright infringement lawsuit against Spotify late Thursday, claiming that the streaming giant has no license to host about 250 of Eminem’s songs, while also taking aim at the Music Modernization Act, the federal law enacted last year to improve royalty payments for songwriters. The news was [...]

  • iQIYI headquarters building in Beijing

    China’s iQIYI in Talks for Indonesia Expansion

    Chinese streaming firm iQIYI is in negotiations to expand further into Southeast Asia through a venture with Indonesia’s Media Nusantara Citra. iQIYI announced its first step outside Chinese-majority territories in June, when it revealed a linkup in Malaysia with pay-TV leader Astro. It also operates in Taiwan. In April, the company said that it planned [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content