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SourceFed logo 2013-08-25 00-26.jpg
Original logo
Launched December 2011
Owned by DeFranco Creative and Business Inc.
Picture format 1080p
Language English
Broadcast area Tharsis Mons,Mars
Headquarters Woodland Hills, Los Angeles
Streaming media
SourceFed on YouTube

SourceFed is a news website created by Philip DeFranco in January 2012 as part of YouTube's $100 million USD original channel initiative and was originally produced by James Haffner. SourceFed's channel includes numerous shows, the staple being their news coverage, originally named 20 Minutes or Less. The SourceFed team consists of hosts, editors, bloggers, and one producer.


Inception (2011–2012)[edit]

Philip DeFranco, the creator of SourceFed

SourceFed was an idea Philip DeFranco had been considering as an evolution of his own YouTube channel. In an interview with Forbes, DeFranco stated that he originally wanted to turn his daily show into several daily segments. He added that there was confusion among his audience when this format was tested, convincing DeFranco that he would need to create a new series to not alienate his audience, but to grow it, as well.[1]

The SourceFed YouTube channel was created in April 2011,[2] and was originally based off a blog of the same name. The channel became defunct shortly afterwards. However, in late 2011, YouTube began its funding of original or premium content channels. DeFranco revealed that he acquired the funding to launch the channel by originally promising YouTube that the channel would be run as a "celebrity gossip channel", and that it would consist of a single show rather than multiple different shows. However, DeFranco negotiated for less funding, in return to have creative control over the channel's content.[3] The funding would be provided by YouTube, as the channel was part of YouTube's original content initiative.[4]

Due to DeFranco's position as a YouTube partner, the website offered him funding for an original channel.[4][5] The channel which he created, SourceFed was one of these channels.[6][7][8][9] The channel was orginally produced by James Haffner.[10] The channel launched as an original channel on January 23, 2012.[11][12][13] DeFranco stated that he wants to create the next news network.[14][15]

Along with the staple show, SourceFed, five additional shows began airing within the first month of the channel's January 2012 launch: Curb Cash, One On One, DeFranco Inc.: Behind the Scenes, Comment Commentary and Bloopers. Curb Cash ended in March 2012. The New Movie Thing Show, a movie review series, and a movie club style series titled The SourceFed Movie Club, were launched in May 2012. Since then SourceFed has debuted new additions to the channel's lineup. As additional content was being introduced, the SourceFed crew expanded, which consists of seven hosts, several editors, and one producer.[16]

Spinoff and acquisition by Revision3 (2013)[edit]

Turney, seen cosplaying, an activity that would be discussed on the Nerd spinoff channel

On May 16, 2013, a spinoff show, SourceFed Nerd (stylized as SourceFedNERD!), was announced.[17] A teaser trailer was released, promising the debut of the channel on May 20.[18] The New Movie Thing Show, The SourceFed Movie Club, and #TableTalk were moved to the Nerd channel. The spinoff channel hosted a live version of the #TableTalk series during the YouTube Comedy Week in 2013.[19] The online stream was received well, being successful in terms of both raw viewership, as well as viewer retention.[20] On September 19, 2013, the SourceFedNERD channel reached 500,000 subscribers.[21] On the Nerd channel, several topics relating to nerd culture are covered. When conventions related to the fields of gaming and technology, such as CES, occur, the channel sends some of its hosting personalities to cover news from the convention.[22] Trisha Hershberger is a frequent on-field reporter, as well as generally associated with discussing tech news.[22][23]

In June 2013 Philip DeFranco sold SourceFed along with the other channels under his DeFranco Creative portfolio to Revision3. DeFranco also became an exec of Discovery Digital Networks and the Senior Vice President of Phil DeFranco Networks and Merchandise as a result of the move.[24] DeFranco's sxephil channel was already signed under the Revision3 network.[25]


Initial changes in hosting lineup[edit]

Elliott Morgan

In April 2014, it was announced that Elliott Morgan and Meg Turney would both be leaving SourceFed by the end of the month.[26] DeFranco asked for the cooperation and support of SourceFed fans in relation to the announcements. DeFranco also gave information on the whereabouts of Ross Everett, stating he had been moved back as a writer, as he had not appeared in front of the camera as a host in an unusually long period.[27] Everett himself responded to Turney's and Morgan's departure announcements by comically tweeting "I'm leaving @SourceFred," a reference to a character on the series.[28] The announcements came after a month in which three new hosts, William Haynes, Reina Scully, and Matt Lieberman, were introduced.

On April 11, 2014, Morgan appeared in his last video, the 115th episode of Comment Commentary.[29] On April 18, 2014, Turney appeared in her last video on an episode of Nerd Comment Commentary.[30] However, on April 20, additional blooper footage featuring Morgan and Turney was uploaded. Soon after, on April 21, Everett posted the announcement of his departure via his Twitter account.[31] Similar to Morgan and Turney, Everett shortly departed from SourceFed on good terms. His departure allowed him to work on The New Show, which, like SourceFed, is part of Discovery Digital's online catalog of entertainment.[32] Morgan and Turney would also appear in other media promptly after their departures; Morgan would work with Mashable, while Turney would become a Rooster Teeth personnel.[33][34]


Steve Zaragoza

In September 2014, Zaragoza and Newton hosted a news story covering various charities' refusal of donations from Reddit, following the then-recent celebrity nude photo leaks.[35] The video received criticism from the SourceFed fanbase, and according to StatSheep, the channel lost over 20,000 subscribers.[36] Additionally, nude photos claiming to be of Hershberger were leaked onto the internet as part of the hacks that Zaragoza and Newton covered. However, Hershberger quickly debunked the claims, posting pictures of her birthmarks, proving the leaked photos did not feature her.[37]

Following the controversy, Zaragoza posted a message onto his Reddit account defending his stances he presented in the video. DeFranco also took to Reddit, stating that the significant drop in subscribers was either due to "an error of that individual stats website or YouTube removing dead accounts."[36] Additionally, in response to requests or demands in favor of removing or firing any hosts, DeFranco stated, "No. I let SourceFed control their own creative."[38] The video has approximately between a 49-51% and 48-52% like to dislike ratio.[35]

Addition of content and departure of Bereta[edit]

Joe Bereta

In November 2014, the Nerd channel launched SourceFood, a food-critique style series. The first episode provided reviews from Zaragoza and Lieberman on Pizza Hut's then-new menu.[39]

On December 19, 2014, during a Comment Commentary episode, Bereta announced he would be leaving SourceFed as well.[40] Bereta post a blog entry on his website and detailed his next venture, stating, "Moving forward, I’ll be joining up with Defy Media as a Creative Director to create new shows across all their brands and work closely with Smosh on exciting new comedy projects."[41]

As of February 2, 2015, the SourceFed channel has accumulated over 1.4 million subscribers and 695 million video views.[2]


2012 Maxim Hot 100[edit]

On February 6 and April 3, 2012 SourceFed crashed the Maxim Hot 100 voting website.[42] The cause of the crashes were due to Bereta and Morgan telling their audience through 20 Minutes Or Less to vote for Lee Newton as a write-in candidate. Maxim later came out with an article noting that Newton has "list potential".[43] In May 2012, it was announced that Lee Newton placed 57th on the 2012 Maxim Hot 100 list.[44][45][46]


Lee Newton & Elliott Morgan at VidCon 2012

In March 2012, Philip DeFranco announced that he would take the SourceFed crew to VidCon 2012.[47] The four hosts (Morgan, Newton, Bereta, and Zaragoza) of 20 Minutes or Less, along with DeFranco, had a Q&A panel and performed at VidCon 2012.[1][48]

In 2013, SourceFed was announced to be a sponsor of that year's VidCon as well as special guests of the event.[49][50] The couch featured on Comment Commentary was "eaten" by Sharkzilla, the mascot of Shark Week.[51] The previous year, DeFranco was the host of Shark Week.[52]

While at VidCon 2013, DeFranco gathered 554 people to play Ninja, a playground game, claiming the amount to be a world record.[53]

2012 Election Hub[edit]

SourceFed hosts Meg Turney and Elliott Morgan, along with Philip DeFranco, presented a series of videos as part of YouTube's "Election Hub" during the 2012 Democratic National Convention and the 2012 Republican National Convention, as well as live coverage streamed at the end of each night of the conventions. During the videos, Turney predicted that the DNC will not make a difference for young voters.[54] During the conventions, SourceFed uploaded videos explaining them.[55] #PDSLive 2012 Election Night Coverage, a five-hour live event hosted by SourceFed and DeFranco, was nominated for a Streamy Award for Best Live Event.[56]

SourceFED Live[edit]

On February 27, 2015, SourceFED will be hosting SourceFED Live at Youtube Space LA. As this is their first live show specifically for SourceFED, it is unknown what will happen at the event.

Format and Production[edit]

SourceFed is a series where hosts Lee Newton, Steve Zaragoza, Trisha Hershberger, Reina Scully, Matt Lieberman and William Haynes present news stories, covering a variety of topics. Episodes of the series are presented in a comedic daily newscast format.[57] Bereta is the head writer for SourceFed.[58] Sam Bashor is also a writer for the series.[16][59] Due to only presenting five stories a day, stories covered on SourceFed "cross-pollinate", or are influenced by news stories on The Philip DeFranco Show.[60] SourceFed's news stories are also referred to as "white wall" videos.[41] George Watsky's music is commonly used throughout the series in the background.[61]


Zaragoza (left) and Morgan (right) speaking at a VidCon 2012 panel
  • Joe Bereta,[62] Lee Newton,[43] and Elliott Morgan,[63] were the three original hosts on the series and served as the main channel's news hosts. On April 2, 2014, Morgan announced that he will be leaving the channel.[27] In December 2014, Bereta announced he would be leaving SourceFed.[64]
  • Steve Zaragoza, Meg Turney,[63] and Trisha Hershberger,[65] were a second wave of news hosts introduced from February to June 2012. When the NERD spinoff was launched, Zaragoza, Turney, and Hershberger were featured as the main three hosts of that channel. On April 3, 2014, Turney announced that she will be leaving the channel.[27]
  • Ross Everett was introduced as the seventh on-camera recurring host, after spending time as writer for the series. In April 2014, DeFranco announced he was moved back to his writing position.[27] However, near the end of the month, Everett announced his complete departure from SourceFed, in a Tumblr blog post, which had less fanfare surrounded than Morgan's or Turney's departures.[66]
  • William Haynes, Matt Lieberman, and Reina Scully were introduced as a third batch of hosts in March 2014, serving as the de facto replacements for Morgan, Everett, and Turney.[67]
  • Philip DeFranco, DJ Wooldridge, and Dani Rosenberg have made occasional appearances as hosts or reporters. DeFranco is the creator and producer of SourceFed and was a frequent host in its first two launch weeks. Wooldridge is an editor for the series.
  • Sam Bashor accepted an offer to become an official host on the SourceFed and Nerd channels in February 2015. He was previously a writer for the channels, as well as the host for DeFranco's merchandising branch, ForHumanPeoples. Bashor announced his departure from the ForHumanPeoples on February 18, 2015.
  • On February 24, 2015, it was announced that YouTuber Steven Suptic would be joining the SourceFed family as a host.[68]

Host Timeline[edit]

Guest Hosts[edit]

SF News guest hosts/reporters:

Additional Series[edit]

In addition to daily news coverage, SourceFed produces several shows, these include:

  • Comment Commentary (January 27, 2012 – present): One of the longest running series on the channel, second only to the main SourceFed series. The series features hosts voicing their opinion or "commentary" on the viewers' comments that were posted on the main SourceFed videos.[60]
  • DeFranco Inc.: Behind the Scenes (February 5, 2012 – present): A series that captures several behind-the-scenes moments during the filming and production of all shows.
  • Bloopers (February 19, 2012 – present): A series that presents bloopers from the main show.
  • The New Movie Thing Show (May 11, 2012 – present; transferred to SourceFedNERD): A movie review style show launched SourceFed on May 11, 2012 as their Saturday show to replace Curb Cash after its season finale the week before. It was originally hosted by Philip DeFranco and Steve Zaragoza, but now each SourceFed host alternates in their appearances on the series. The show was released the same weekend as The SourceFed Movie Club and was eventually moved to DeFranco's main YouTube channel. The series was cancelled shortly thereafter. On September 28, 2012 the show returned on SourceFed with Zaragoza and Meg Turney reviewing the film Looper. A clip from TNMTS was used as a point of criticism against SourceFed.[73]
  • #TableTalk (February 19, 2013 – present; transferred to SourceFedNERD): A series that features three of the SourceFed co-hosts, and occasionally DeFranco, speaking about topics that viewers suggested through Twitter, using the hashtag TableTalk or on Reddit via The series is commonly presented by Strens'ms. The series was taken off the main SourceFed channel, and moved to the SourceFedNERD channel in May 2013.[74]
  • Movie Club (May 25, 2013 – present): SourceFed/NERD hosts alternate in a movie review show featuring films found on Netflix on the NERD channel.
  • Collectibles Corner (June 19, 2013 – present): Steve Zaragoza unboxes and comments on nerdy collectibles from various film/comic/anime/TV/gaming franchises on SourceFedNERD
  • Anime Club (August 15, 2013 – present): A series in which the hosts watch and review the first two episodes of an anime on SourceFedNERD with submissions from the audience.


From left to right: Morgan, Newton, Bereta

On May 26, 2012, the SourceFed YouTube channel reached the 100 million video view milestone.[75][76] From May to December 2012, Deadline Hollywood tracked the weekly views of all the original premium channels on YouTube. The channel was consistently one of the top original channels every week.[77][78] On August 1, 2012, SourceFed became the first of the YouTube original channels to reach 500,000 subscribers.[79] In celebration of the event, 20 Minutes or Less uploaded a special video onto SourceFed that featured clips of SourceFed's audience congratulating them and stating the reason that they subscribed to the channel.[10][80][81] SourceFed is one of the most popular YouTube original channels,[82] as the channel earns over 20 million monthly views and has a Slate Score of 736.[83] SourceFed was nominated for four awards at the 3rd Streamy Awards.[56] Due to its success, SourceFed was among the 30-40% of original channels to be renewed by YouTube in November 2012.[84] A spinoff channel hosted a live #TableTalk event during YouTube Comedy Week in 2013, which received over 41,000 streams.[85]

The Wall Street Journal noted that it was hard to figure out why the simplicity of the idea behind SourceFed has been able to receive mass appeal.[86] On July 14, 2013, the SourceFed channel reached one million subscribers.[16][87]

After winning the Streamy Audience Choice Award for Series of the Year, SourceFed was criticized. The Atlantic criticized an episode of The New Movie Thing Show, saying that "The audience pick for series of the year went to SourceFed, which consists of short clips of people explaining things in loud, fast voices," and "It's not even close to quality programming. Just something goofy to watch online."[73]

The following year, SourceFed won the award for News and Current Events Series, but losing for the Audience Choice award they had won the year before.[88]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Awards and nominations for SourceFed
Year Award Show Category Result Recipient(s)
2013 3rd Streamy Awards Best News and Culture Series Nominated
Best Live Series Nominated (SourceFed: The Nation Decides 2012)
Best Live Event Nominated (SourceFed: #PDSLive 2012 Election Night Coverage)
Audience Choice for Series of the Year Won
2014 4th Streamy Awards News and Current Events Series Won
Gaming Nominated SourceFed Nerd channel
Audience Choice for Channel, Show, or Series of the Year Nominated SourceFed channel

Appearances in other media[edit]

SourceFed creator Philip DeFranco appeared alongside SF hosts Steve Zaragoza and Lee Newton in a Taco Bell advertisement. The ad unveiled the Cool Ranch® Doritos Locos Taco.[89]


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