In the wake of Al Jazeera, The Young Turks declares its Current independence

This week, news broke that Al Jazeera had acquired Current TV, the left-leaning cable news network founded by Al Gore and Joel Hyatt that’s seemed to change its mission statement once every two years or so.

Plans for the soon-to-be-rebranded Al Jazeera America include a fresh slate of content which may not have room for previously-existing Current programming — but you know who doesn’t seem that worried about it? One of Current’s biggest personalities.

Cenk Uygur, of the nightly live series The Young Turks, came to Current after his relationship with MSNBC went south last year; since then, the opinionated host has become one of Current’s most-watched anchors.

But that’s not why Uygur seems extremely confident about his show’s potentially uncertain fate. See, The Young Turks was born initially as a radio series in 2002, then expanded to YouTube (s GOOG) in December 2005. Currently, TYT has nearly 500,000 YouTube subscribers and over 900,000,000 views on its primary channel. Or, as Uygur puts it on Twitter:

These stats refer to The Young Turks‘s YouTube channel, not the Current series of the same name, which will continue for at least the next three months before the conclusion of the Al Jazeera takeover.

However, there’s been some confusion about the difference between TYT the YouTube channel and TYT the live Current show. This lead to questions about whether or not The Young Turks had been sold to Al Jazeera along with Current — questions which Uygur addressed in a video released on Thursday, frankly entitled “TYT Is Independent, Not Owned by Current or Al Jazeera.”


In the video, Uygur refers to the connection between the two iterations of the TYT brand as “a mutually beneficial relationship and we hope to continue that.” He then showed off a little bit of Arabic.

According to the New York Times, the Al Jazeera acquisition does mean that layoffs are coming for at least some Current staffers. But Uygur will still have a platform for getting his voice out — and more importantly, an audience.