- Ted Turner
name = Ted Turner
birth_name = Robert Edward Turner III
birth_date = birth date and age|1938|11|19
Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
nationality = American
known_for = Television,
Ted's Montana Grill, philanthropy
occupation = Media tycoon
networth = steady $2.3 billion [cite news| url=http://www.forbes.com/lists/2008/54/400list08_Robert-E-Ted-Turner_ETX7.html| title=The Forbes 400 - #190 "Robert E "Ted" Turner| work=
Forbes| date=2008-09-17| accessdate=2008-10-11]
spouse = Julia Gale Nye (1960–1964)
Jane Shirley Smith (1965–1988)
children = Laura Lee, Robert Edward IV, Rhett, Beauregard, Jennie
Robert Edward "Ted" Turner III (born
November 19, 1938) [ [http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9073872/Ted-Turner Ted Turner - Britannica Online Encyclopedia ] ] is an American media proprietorand philanthropist. As a businessman, he is best known as the founder of the cable televisionnetwork CNN, the first dedicated 24-hour cable news channel. In addition to CNN, he founded WTBS, which pioneered the superstationconcept in cable television. As a philanthropist, he is well known for his $1 billion gift to support UN causes, which created the United Nations Foundation, a public charity that broadens support for the UN. Turner serves as the Chairman of the board of directorsfor the foundation. [http://www.unfoundation.org UN Foundation] , additional text.]
Turner's media empire began with his father's billboard business which he took over at the age of 24 after his father's suicide.cite book| title=Ted Turner: It Ain't As Easy as It Looks: The Amazing Story of CNN| author=Porter Bibb| publisher=Virgin Books| year=1996| isbn=0-86369-892-1| pages=55-56| url=http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/155566203X/ref=sib_dp_pt/002-4443697-6472033#reader-link] The billboard business, "Turner Outdoor Advertising", was worth approximately $1 million when Turner took it over in 1963. Purchase of an Atlanta UHF station in 1970 began the assemblage of the
Turner Broadcasting System. His Cable News Network revolutionized news media, coming to the forefront covering the Space Shuttle Challenger disasterin 1986 and the Persian Gulf War in 1991. Using his media empire for publicity, Turner turned the Atlanta Bravesbaseball team into a nationally popular franchise and launched the charitable Goodwill Games.
Turner's penchant for making controversial statements has earned him the nickname "The Mouth of the South". [cite book| title=Ted Turner: It Ain't As Easy as It Looks: The Amazing Story of CNN| author=Porter Bibb| publisher=Virgin Books| year=1996| isbn=0-86369-892-1| url=http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/155566203X/ref=sib_dp_pt/002-4443697-6472033#reader-link| pages=138, 272, 283, 442] Turner was also in the news for his much publicized marriage to actress and political activist
Jane Fonda, as well as their subsequent divorce.
In addition to his charitable donations, Turner has devoted his assets to a blend of
environmentalismand capitalism, owning more land than any other American, and using much of that land for ranches as part of his plan to repopularize bisonmeat (for his Ted's Montana Grillchain), in the process amassing the largest herd in the world. He also created the environmental education/action animated series " Captain Planet and the Planeteers". Ted Turner was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame on April 26, 2007.
Turner was born in
Cincinnati, Ohio, the son of Florence (née Rooney) and Robert Edward Turner II, a billboard advertising magnate. [ [http://www.filmreference.com/film/19/Ted-Turner.html Ted Turner Biography (1938-)] ] When he was nine years old, his family moved to Savannah, Georgia. He attended The McCallie School, a private, boys preparatory school in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Turner attended Brown Universityand was vice-president of the Brown Debating Union. He was also a member of Kappa Sigma. Turner initially majored in Classics. After learning of this, Turner's father wrote him a letter saying that his son's choice of major made him "appalled, even horrified," and that he "almost puked." [http://www.bu.edu/arion/Volume1/1.1/Autolycus.pdf] Turner later changed his major to Economics. Turner was expelled from Brown in 1960 for having an unauthorized female visitor in his dormitory room. [cite book| title=Ted Turner: It Ain't As Easy as It Looks: The Amazing Story of CNN| author=Porter Bibb| publisher=Virgin Books| year=1996| isbn=0-86369-892-1| url=http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/155566203X/ref=sib_dp_pt/002-4443697-6472033#reader-link| pages=26-33]
Ted Turner began sailing at an early age. He entered competitions when he was eleven in the junior program at the Savannah Yacht Club, and went on to compete in the Olympic trials in 1964.
Turner is highly honored among yachtsmen as the winner of at least two great races.In 1977, he successfully defended the
America's Cupfor the United Statesas skipper of the yacht "Courageous".In the 1979 Fastnet race, made famous by the terrible storm and the resulting loss of life, he skippered the yacht "Tenacious" to a corrected-time victory.
He was inducted into the
America's Cup Hall of Famein 1993.
Ted Turner once called observers of
Ash Wednesday" Jesus freaks" (though he soon after apologized),cite news|url=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D0DEFDA133DF93AA25750C0A9679C8B63|publisher=" The New York Times"|title=MediaTalk; AOL Sees a Different Side of Time Warner |author=Jim Rutenberg|date= March 19, 2001] referred to Christianity as "a religion for losers", and dubbed abortionopponents "bozos."
In 2008, Turner explained that he regretted these statements and that he had made peace with organized religion, announcing that he had joined forces with the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synodand the United Methodist Churchto fight malaria. [cite news|work=Spero News|url=http://www.speroforum.com/site/article.asp?id=14937| title=Ted Turner uses churches for malaria campaign| date=2008-04-06]
Ted Turner caused a stir in
Montanain 2003 by providing a significant amount of funding to a project aimed at restoring a westslope cutthroat troutpopulation to Cherry Creek and Cherry Lake. The controversy stemmed from the use of the poison antimycin to kill the abundant fish population currently living in the stream. [cite news| url=http://bozemandailychronicle.com/articles/2003/08/05/news/003cherryckbzbigs.txt| title=Poisoning begins on Cherry Creek| date=2003-08-05| author=Scott McMillion| work= Bozeman Daily Chronicle]
Recently, there has been worry that Ted Turner is systematically taking over land surrounding the
Ogallala Aquifer. [cite news| url=http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=3926185| work= Associated Press| publisher=via ABC News| author=Nate Jenkins| date=2007-11-28| title=Ted Turner's Land Purchases Questioned] Ranchers in the area have consistently been outbid by Turner (and his associates).
Ted had been married twice before marrying and divorcing
Jane Fonda(1991 to 2001). His first marriage to Judy Nye lasted four years (1960 to 1964). His second marriage was to Jane Shirley Smith and lasted over 22 years (1965 to 1988). He has five children. [ [http://www.charlierose.com/shows/2008/04/01/1/a-conversation-with-ted-turner A Conversation With Ted Turner] , at time 48:40, retrieved April 6, 2008.] His primary residence is the Flying D Ranch, outside of Bozeman, Montana.
Turner is reportedly involved with several women, including the novelist and playwright Elizabeth Dewberry. [http://gawker.com/news/money-changes-everything/elizabeth-dewberry-left-robert-olen-butler-to-join-ted-turners-collection-284346.php] Through Turner Enterprises, he owns 15 ranches in
Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and South Dakota. [http://www.tedturner.com/enterprises/ranches_Template.asp?page=ranches_faq.html] Totaling convert|1910000|acre|km2, his US land-holdings make Turner the largest individual landowner in North America. [http://www.tedturner.com/enterprises/ranches_Template.asp?page=ranches_faq.html] According to his [http://www.tedsmontanagrill.com Ted's Montana Grill] website, "Turner Enterprises' mission is to manage Turner lands in an economically sustainable and ecologically sensitive manner, while conserving native species."
Turner's biggest ranch is
Vermejo Park Ranchin New Mexico, at convert|920|sqmi|km2, it is the largest privately owned, contiguous tract of land in the United States. [ [http://www.allbusiness.com/government/3639644-1.html STATE, VERMEJO PARK RANCH ENTER INTO AGREEMENT REGARDING ABANDONED MINE RECLAMATION allbusiness.com - April 14, 2006] ]
Ted Turner sponsors the debates known as the
Public forum debateof the National Forensic League. Every year, he attends the National Forensic League's National Speech and Debate Tournamentand speaks there as well.
September 19, 2006Turner posited a hypothetical situation in a ReutersNewsmaker conference, relating to Iran's nuclear position, wherein he stated, "They're a sovereign state. We have 28,000. Why can't they have 10? We don't say anything about Israel—they've got 100 of them approximately—or India or Pakistan or Russia." He also facetiously advocated such policies as banning men from public office, "Men should be barred from public office for 100 years in every part of the world...The men have had millions of years where we've been running things. We've screwed it up hopelessly. Let's give it to the women." [ [http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=peopleNews&storyID=2006-09-19T233412Z_01_N19440176_RTRIDST_0_PEOPLE-TURNER-DC.XML&pageNumber=1&imageid=&c
September 20, 2006.]
After his expulsion from Brown University, Turner returned to the South in late 1960 to become the general manager of the Macon, Georgia branch of his father's business. Following his father's March 1963 suicide, Turner became the president and chief executive of Turner Advertising Company when he was 24 and was able to turn the family firm into a highly influential global enterprise. He also joined the
Young Republicansbecause "he felt at ease among these budding conservatives and was merely following in Ed Turner's far-right footsteps," according to "It Ain't As Easy As It Looks."
Vietnam WarEra, Turner’s billboard business, which “had virtual monopolies in Savannah, Macon, Columbus, and Charleston” and was “the largest outdoor advertising company in the Southeast,” according to "It Ain’t As Easy As It Looks", prospered. The same book also observed that after his father’s death, Turner “discovered his father had sheltered a substantial amount of taxable income over the years by personally lending it back to the company” and “discovered that the billboard business could be a gold mine, a tax-depreciable revenue stream that threw off enormous amounts of cash with almost no capital investment.” In the late 1960s, Turner decided to use the super-profits his inherited billboard monopoly generated to get into the more glamorous world of radio and TV broadcasting, by purchasing some Southern radio and TV stations.
In 1975, after the FCC allowed Turner’s WTCG-TV-Channel 17 station in Atlanta to begin using a satellite on
December 27, 1976to broadcast old movies, situation comedyreruns, cartoons, and sports events on a nationwide basis to U.S. cable-TV subscribers as a “Super-Station,” Turner’s Atlanta TV station became an extremely profitable operation. By the end of 1978, Turner’s WTCG-TV Super-Station (later becoming WTBS) was reaching two million cable-TV subscribers and Turner was now worth about $100 million. He was, thus, now able to purchase a convert|5000|acre|km2|sing=on plantation in Jacksonboro, South Carolina for $2 million.
Turner recognized early the potential of new communications satellites to make his small market station available nationwide. Thus, as cable systems were developed across the nation, many carried his Atlanta station free to fill out their offerings. This increased his viewership and advertising revenues.
He purchased the
Atlanta Bravesand Atlanta Hawksin 1976 partially to provide sports programming for his TV station, and similarly created the Goodwill Gamesin 1986. His relationship with the Braves was somewhat peculiar before the team's success in the 1990s; Turner was one of the more hands-on owners in baseballhistory, at one point going as far as to give the team's regular manager the day off so Turner could manage. About this experience, he famously said, "Managing isn't that difficult, you just have to score more runs than the other guy". Among other things, Turner suggested to pitcher Andy Messersmithwho wore jersey number 17, that he legally change his surname to "Channel" in order to promote the television station that aired Braves games. Major League Baseball quickly nixed the idea. Turner Field, which was first used for the 1996 Summer Olympicsas Centennial Olympic Stadiumand then converted into a baseball-only facility for the Braves shortly thereafter, is named after him.
CNNin 1980 as another cable channel. He figured that many like him got home too late to watch the network news at 6:30 PM. CNN was instrumental in creating the modern "all news, all the time" television format. In a typical bit of bravado, Turner vowed upon launching CNN that, "We won't be signing off until the world ends. We'll be on, and we will cover the end of the world, live, and that will be our last event... and when the end of the world comes, we'll play ' Nearer, My God, to Thee' before we sign off."
After five years on the air, CNN found themselves outgrowing their original home, a former country club on the outskirts of Midtown Atlanta. Turner purchased the Omni International from developer Tom Cousins and moved CNN there. The complex was rechristened the
CNN Center.As the Omni International, the office/retail/movie theater/hotel complex had never succeeded. Through some clever financial maneuvering, Cousins had managed to keep it solvent, then sold it to Turner along with the Atlanta Hawks. CNN then moved into the end of the tower that once housed The World of Sid and Marty Krofft. Having the presence of Turner gave the Omni a focus that it had never enjoyed before, and it was instrumental in the revival of Atlanta's Downtown area.
In 1984, Turner launched
Cable Music Channel, his competition to MTV. The channel was short-lived, but helped mold and launch the original (but now changed) format of VH1.
Following the acquisition, Ted Turner assumed an enormous debt and had no other choice but to sell parts of the acquisition. MGM/UA Entertainment Co. was sold back to Kirk Kerkorian. The MGM/UA Studio lot in Culver City was sold to Lorimar/
Telepictures. Turner kept MGM/UA's pre-1986 and pre-merger film and TV library, which included nearly all of MGM/UA's material made before the merger, and a small portion of United Artists' film and TV properties (which included very few UA pictures, the TV series " Gilligan's Island", the RKO Radio Pictures library, and the pre-1948 Warner Bros.library that was once the property of Associated Artists Productions, which merged with UA Television in 1958).
Turner used these assets to begin adding new cable channels. In 1988, he introduced
Turner Network Television(TNT) with a broadcast of "Gone with the Wind". TNT was, at least initially, a vehicle for older movies and television shows, but slowly began to add original programming and newer reruns. Since its launch in 1994, Turner Classic Moviesadopted the role of broadcasting the older Warner Bros., RKO, and MGM libraries. As with the original TBS, TNT used sports broadcasts and pro wrestling organization World Championship Wrestling(WCW) to attract a broader audience; in the former case, signing contracts with NASCAR and the NBA.
In 1992, the MGM library, which as noted above included a number of Warner Brothers properties, including the
Looney Tunesand Merrie Melodieslibraries became the core of Cartoon Network. Turner's companies had also purchased Hanna-Barbera Productions by this time, adding additional content. With the 1996 Time Warnermerger, the channel's archives gained the post-1948 Warner Bros.cartoon library, thus giving the channel's archive a staggering amount of cartoons.
In the mid-1980s, Turner became a driving force for the colorization of black and white films. In 1985, the film "
Yankee Doodle Dandy" became the first black and white movie to be redistributed in color, thanks to computer colorization. Despite widespread opposition to the practice by many film aficionados, stars, and directors, the movie won over a sizeable section of the public on its re-release, [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0035575/trivia] and Turner would soon colorize a majority of films that he had owned. However, in the mid-1990s, the high cost of the process led Turner to abandon the idea of colorizing films. In contrast with TNT, TCM has shown the unaltered versions of films.
Turner Entertainment Co. was established in August 1986 to oversee the entire film properties owned by Ted Turner.
In 1988, Turner purchased
Jim Crockett Promotionswhich he soon renamed World Championship Wrestling(WCW) which would grow to become the main competitor to Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Federation (WWF). In 2001, under AOL Time Warner control, it was sold to the World Wrestling Federation. It has been stated that Ted Turner has always had a special place in his heart for professional wrestling.
In 1989, Ted Turner created the Turner Tomorrow Fellowship to be awarded to a work of fiction offering positive solutions to global problems. The winner, chosen from 2500 entries worldwide, was
Daniel Quinn's "Ishmael".
In 1990, he created the Turner Foundation, which focuses on philanthropic grants in the areas of the environment and population. Also in that year, he created the character
Captain Planet, an environmental superhero. Turner produced two TV series with him as the featured character.
Time Warner merger
September 22, 1995, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. announced plans to merge with Time Warner, Inc. The merger was completed on October 10, 1996, with Turner as vice chairman and head of Time Warner's cable networks division. On January 10, 2000, Time Warnerannounced plans to merge with AOLas AOL Time Warner. This merger closed January 11, 2001. The company has since dropped "AOL" from its corporate name.
Turner was vice chairman and Time Warner's biggest stock holder. Turner was to endorse the disastrous merger with
AOL. It is estimated he lost as much as $8 billion when the stock collapsed in the wake of the merger. He stepped down as vice chairman in 2006. When questions have been put to him about buying back his former assets, he always replied that he can't afford them now. [ [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/24/AR2006022401888.html Turner To Leave Time Warner February 25, 2006- washingtonpost.com] ]
He is America's largest private landowner, owning approximately two million acres (8,000 km²), which is greater than the land areas of the two smallest states of
Delawareand Rhode Islandcombined. According to documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, Turner's land has a higher gross domestic productthan the country of Belize. He also has the largest private bison herd in the world, with 40,000 head. In 2002, Turner co-founded Ted's Montana Grill, a restaurantchain specializing in burgers and other entrees made from fresh bison meat. [http://www.tedsmontanagrill.com/menu.html]
Under his ownership,
World Championship Wrestlingbecame the only federation in history to outrate and outsell the McMahon family and their World Wrestling Federation. This event brought about a rise in popularity to professional wrestling and is now known as the Monday Night Wars. WCW television ratings were also heavily competing with ABC's Monday Night Football.
After the American-led boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics, Turner founded the
Goodwill Gamesas a statement for peace through sports.
In 1998, Turner pledged to donate $1 billion of his then $3 billion net worth to
United Nationscauses, and created the United Nations Foundationto administer the gift. The Foundation "builds and implements public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the UN through advocacy and public outreach." In 2006, the Foundation delivered its billionth dollar to United Nations causes—approximately $600M of which came from Turner, and $400M of which came from public and private sector partners. Turner has pledged to use the remaining $400 million dollars from his commitment to leverage additional funds for UN causes and activities.
Turner served in the
United States Coast Guard. [http://www.uscg.mil/history/faqs/celeb.html] He is also a recipient of the Albert Schweitzer Gold Medal for Humanitarianism.
In 2006 Turner received the Bower Award for Business Leadership from The
Franklin Institute.cite web|url=http://www.fi.edu/winners/2006/turner_ted.faw?winner_id=4379|title=R.E. (Ted) Turner - The Franklin Institute Awards - Laureate Database|date=2006|publisher=The Franklin Institute|accessdate=2008-08-05]
* "Racing Edge" by Ted Turner (Simon & Schuster, 1979) ISBN 0-671-24419-1
** "Media Man: Ted Turner's Improbable Empire" by Ken Auletta (W. W. Norton, 2004) ISBN 0-393-05168-4
** "Clash of the Titans: How the Unbridled Ambition of Ted Turner and Rupert Murdoch Has Created Global Empires that Control What We Read and Watch Each Day" by Richard Hack (New Millennium Press, 2003) ISBN 1-893224-60-0
** "Me and Ted Against the World: The Unauthorized Story of the Founding of CNN" by Reese Schonfeld (HarperBusiness, 2001) 0060197463
** "Ted Turner Speaks: Insights from the World's Greatest Maverick" by Janet Lowe (Wiley, 1999) ISBN 0-471-34563-6
** "Riding A White Horse: Ted Turner's Goodwill Games and Other Crusades" by Althea Carlson (Episcopal Press, 1998) ISBN 0-9663743-0-4
** cite book| title=Ted Turner: It Ain't As Easy as It Looks: The Amazing Story of CNN| author=Porter Bibb| publisher=Virgin Books| year=1996| isbn=0-86369-892-1| url=http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/155566203X/ref=sib_dp_pt/002-4443697-6472033#reader-link
** "Citizen Turner: The Wild Rise of an American Tycoon" by Robert Goldberg and Gary Jay Goldberg (Harcourt, 1995) ISBN 0-15-118008-3
** "CNN: The Inside Story: How a Band of Mavericks Changed the Face of Television News" by Hank Whittemore (Little Brown & Co, 1990) ISBN 0-316-93761-4
** "Lead Follow or Get Out of the Way: The Story of Ted Turner" by Christian Williams (Times Books, 1981) ISBN 0-8129-1004-4
** "Atlanta Rising: The Invention of an International City 1946–1996" by Frederick Allen (Longstreet Press, 1996) ISBN 1-56352-296-9
* [http://www.tedturner.com/ Official website]
* [http://www.askmen.com/men/feb00/14_ted_turner.html Ted Turner on AskMen.com]
* [http://fora.tv/fora/showthread.php?t=107 Ted Turner speaks at The Global Philanthropy]
* [http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article3213020.ece "The Independent": "Turner becomes largest private landowner in US"]
* [http://www.unfoundation.org The United Nations Foundation]
NAME=Turner III, Robert Edward
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=Ted Turner
SHORT DESCRIPTION=American media mogul, philanthropist, founder of TBS and CNN
DATE OF BIRTH=
November 19 1938
PLACE OF BIRTH=
DATE OF DEATH=
PLACE OF DEATH=
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