Millennial-skewing news network The Young Turks has hired digital veteran Chris Puckett, as its VP of advertising and brand partnerships, the company announced Jan. 12.
Puckett most recently served as the East Coast director of brand partnerships and sales at Fullscreen, where he managed the global youth media company’s Fortune 500 clients such as Mondelez, Pepsi, American Express, Warner Brothers, Dell and others.
Previously, he worked as BuzzFeed’s head of sales. Reporting directly to the CEO, Puckett is credited with building BuzzFeed’s sales operations, ad serving, sales finance, sales tracking and projections.
It’s not yet clear what the scope of his new role at TYT will be, though Steve Oh, network COO, said in a statement that expanding TYT’s native advertising presence is a priority.
“In the past year, we’ve been successful with building out our native ads, but felt it was time to bring on someone with extensive ad sales experiences in the digital world, who could help us grow this part of our operations,” said Oh.
TYT, which celebrated 10 years on YouTube in December,
has a global audience 2.4 million subscribers on its flagship channel. The entire network also includes partner channels that cover politics, economics, sports, pop culture, social trends and lifestyle. Altogether, the network drives an estimated 150 million views per month and reaches a total of five million fans on YouTube worldwide, most (70%) in the millennial demo, according to TYT’s own statistics.
Speaking to StreamDaily last month, founder and CEO Cenk Uygur hinted that the network would be moving more aggressively into sales in 2016. Of its 55 employees, most are reporters, researchers, editors and production crew.
The company secured $4 million in a 2014 funding round led by the Roemer Group. It’s also been successful in crowdfunding among its global fanbase, with supporters pitching in to raise enough capital to build a 6,000 sq.ft. digital studio in Culver City, Calif. in 2013.
Puckett is the second significant hire for TYT in the last month. In December, Jordan Chariton, formerly TheWrap’s media reporter, joined the network as its first campaign reporter in preparation for the upcoming U.S. election.