Monday, December 17, 2007

Nobody's business but the Turks

NOTE: See update below

Fans of Air America Radio's The Young Turks have been asking the question over the past week, "What happened to The Young Turks?"

Since their most recent show on December 12, many have been asking what the story is. In light of the dismissal of Kent Jones, Rachel Maddow's sidekick, last week, some have been wondering what is going on at Air America. Did Cenk Uygur and company succumb to the corporate axe as well? The rumors and conspiracy theories have been flying at their site and places such as Daily Kos.

Granted, only three on-air days is not enough to cause a panic. But the absence from the airwaves was unannounced. And there was some speculation that the show has been suspended due to content. Did Uyger get heat for allegedly sipping from a beer bottle on-air? Did his scathing criticism of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic-controlled Congress last week ruffle the wrong feathers? This is all mere speculation, and many are likely jumping to conclusions.

After one conspiracy theory after another was bandied about on the Turks' website, Uygur broke the silence this past weekend. Sort of:

Guys, we clearly hear you. It's not like we're not checking our own website (I've read everything you guys have written and been amused and impressed by some of the speculation). And I completely understand and more than empathize with your frustration about the lack of news on the show.

Would we tell you exactly what's going on if we could? Of cooouuursssee!!!!

Let me put down two rumors real quick though. This has nothing to do with content or a suspension.

Finally (for now), we will definitely do a show on Monday. Check back into the website to see when and where. Again, We're totally sorry about the confusion and the lack of information.

We just a need little patience and faith that we're looking out for you and that we can't wait to do more shows as soon as possible. Thanks and we love you.


A fill-in host was on the air in place of The Young Turks this morning. But Uygur claimed that he will do an online show via the Turks' website this afternoon (3PM ET) to explain all.

Given all the staff turnover that has taken place since Air America's debut almost four years ago, it is no surprise that devoted fans fear the Turks are the next to go. Did they cross the line? Are Pelosi, et al 'sacred cows' who should not be blasted as vigorously as Uygur did? Uygur was certainly not the first to bash Democrats on the network.

Was that a real beer he sipped from in honor of Prohibition Repeal Day? I used to do that gimmick when I worked in radio. It's an old trick. Tell everyone you're cracking open a cold one. They didn't have to know I was opening a can of Diet Pepsi. That's the beauty of 'theatre of the mind.' Even if it was a real brewski, it was only a sip, and since Uygur is not personally responsible for operating any radio station, aside from doing a syndicated show, the FCC would not be able to do anything anyways.

Or is ll it just technical difficulties due to the process of feeding a show from the West Coast to the Air America studios in New York? Sounds most plausible to me.

Nonetheless,, Uygur will explain all this afternoon, and you can find an update here.

But not much is really known thus far, aside from what Air America and Uygur and company know. Cue up They Might Be Giants.

UPDATE: Apparently, The Young Turks and Air America will be parting ways come January 15. Uygur said that the show will be going a "new direction" and the parting is amicable. The "new direction" will likely be web-based, and will possibly include "new partners" like Brave New Films. No replacement has been named as of yet. Here's a link to the recorded show.

9 comments:

FSL said...

I've always had trouble getting past the name which conjures up images of baggy pants (showing butt), t-shirts and backward baseball caps. They're not funny and you can't take them seriously.

Bill Press is waiting in the wings.

Phil Boyce has dropped hints online his people might pitch Imus to lib-talk stations. A few had him before but would any take him now?

jafedorko said...

Well, let's be honest: it hasn't been "The Young Turks" for quite awhile -- it's been "The Cenk Unger Show." Not that this is bad, but the show has kind of been floundering a bit without a regular host.

So it looks like "TYT" is gone after January 15, but after that ... a web site? A move back to Sirius? A repackaging with other AAR hosts (all the web site says is that there's "a new direction" on 1/15)?

As for Kent Jones, to me that makes the rumors about MSNBC all the truer -- and that it may mean Rachel will leave AAR if she gets that gig, making Kent's position superfluous.

Or can we dare to dream that Cenk leaves and they reassemble Kent, Riley, and Maron for a resurrected MORNING SEDITION? (Okay, I have to stop drinking so early in the week ...)

progutopian said...

Dare to dream. Maron, Maron, Maron, Maron.....

Jill said...

OK, I'll participate in this relay race:

Maron Maron Maron Maron Maron Maron Maron Maron Maron Maron Maron Maron Maron Maron Maron Maron Maron Maron Maron Maron Maron Maron Maron Maron Maron...

I don't think they'll resurrect Morning Sedition. Riley is firmly ensconced with Richard Bey on WWRL in New York, and while that show could be repurposed for syndication, right now it's a very New York-oriented program. Jim Earl is either busy elsewhere or he and Marc have had a falling-out. And it's hard enough for Maron to get his s**t together at 8 AM on Tuesdays for his VODcast with Seder.

The obvious choice is to put Sam Seder on every day again, but I can't imagine that Mark Green is going to be any more willing to admit a mistake than Danny Goldberg was.

I'll tell you this much: Getting Maron back on the air or Seder back on 5 days a week would go a long way towards disspating some of the bad will Green has generated with the AAR audience.

paulcone said...

Cenk said today in the 3rd hour that "Air America, will not, as far as we understand... is not going to carry a morning show."

Craig C Clarke said...

They ditched Kent Jones? (I've been in the middle of a move, haven't listened in a couple weeks)

That was stupid. He was an important part of the show.

paul said...

I don't think it has anything to do with content or "crossing the line", etc. The truth is that the show has gotten progressively less entertaining and Cenk is kind of annoying and just plain bad on his own. the show just isn't that good anymore.

Richard said...

Cenk does a fine show, but it's just not as good as the old days of Cenk/Ben and Jill. Also the commercial time required on AAR stations absolutely kills the momentum of the show. This should be pretty good when they switch to the web and they have no or limited breaks. I also tried to encourage them to try to find a new co-host, but I got a response from their ditzy producer who said they don't need any other help.

Mike said...

I hate those idiots anyway, I'm glad that the show is cancelled. It never was any good. From the bimbo they had, forget her name, to the right winger, to Cenk himself who is such a fake and dumbass

Sam Seder in the morning!


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