Most people don’t know who Cenk Uygur of the Young Turks is, And those who do know him typically love or hate him.
But one thing is clear: Uygur was the first person to really throw himself into online video news and commentary, and he has been rewarded handsomely for it. If you aren’t familiar with Uygur, he is a liberal talk show host for the Young Turks and has been seen billions of times online. He’s huge, even though his gigs at MSNBC and Current TV didn’t turn into hits.
Uygur has his detractors, but here is what I find interesting. as a first mover in a new medium that takes off, Uygur gets the rewards. There is nothing new here. Rush Limbaugh was the first to do syndicated conservative talk radio and he became the kingpin. partly from talent, but partly just from being first.
Larry King was the first nighttime overnight syndicated guest-focused call-in radio host. That’s what made him huge in both radio and TV.
Anthony Robbins has been a good speaker for a long time, but it was his mastery of the infomercial in the late 1980s that made him a superstar.
But keep in mind, when people dive into a new medium, it is never apparent that it is going to take off. There were stars on the CB radio circuit in the 1970s, it went nowhere. The king of Friendster is..where?
I’m not a huge fan of Uygur, but I have lots of respect for his tenacity, his drive, and his willingness to fight for a long-term vision. he is an inspiration to any aspiring media mogul.