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Inc is headed up by Ted Turner
Edward Turner III (born November 19, 1938 in Cincinnati,
Ohio) is an American media mogul and philanthropist.
As a businessman, he is best known as the founder
of the cable television network CNN, the first dedicated
24-hour cable news channel. In addition to CNN, he
founded WTBS, which pioneered the superstation concept
in cable television. As a philanthropist, he is well
known for his $1 billion pledge to the United Nations
donated through his United Nations Foundation.
media empire began with his father's billboard business
which he took over at the age of 24 after his father's
suicide. The billboard business, Turner Outdoor Advertising,
was worth approximately one million dollars 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 disaster in 1986 and the Persian
Gulf War in 1991. Using his media empire for publicity,
Turner turned the Atlanta Braves baseball team into
a nationally-popular franchise and launched the charitable
penchant for making controversial statements has earned
him the nickname "The Mouth of the South."
Turner was also in the news for his much publicized
marriage to Jane Fonda as well as their subsequent
addition to his charitable donations, Turner has devoted
his assets to a blend of environmentalism and capitalism,
owning more land than any other American, and using
much of that land for ranches as part of his plan
to re-popularize buffalo meat, in the process amassing
the largest herd in the world.
Turner was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. When he was nine
years old, his family moved to Savannah, Georgia.
He attended the McCallie School, an unaffiliated Christian
prep school in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Turner attended
Brown University and was, although an unspectacular
student in class, vice-president of the Brown Debating
Union. Turner was expelled from Brown in 1960 for
having an unauthorized female visitor in his dormitory
Turner began sailing when he was nine years old. He
entered competition when he was eleven in the junior
program at the Savannah Yacht Club, and went on to
compete in the Olympic trials in 1964. In the 1970s,
Turner's sailboat racing ventures included the America's
Cup. In 1977, he skippered the winning yacht, Courageous,
and attracted publicity for showing up at the post-race
press conference drunk.
into other fields
He purchased the Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Hawks
in 1976 and created the Goodwill Games in 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 baseball history,
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". Turner Field, which
was first used for the 1996 Summer Olympics as Centennial
Olympic Stadium and then converted into a baseball-only
facility for the Braves shortly thereafter, is named
a failed attempt to acquire CBS, Ted Turner purchased
the legendary but struggling Hollywood film studio
MGM/UA Entertainment Co. from Kirk Kerkorian in 1986
for $1.5 Billion.
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's 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, UA Television's predecessor
used these assets to begin adding new cable channels.
In 1988, he introduced Turner Network Television (abbreviated
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 Movies adopted the role of broadcasting
the older Warner Bros., RKO, and MGM libraries. As
with the original TBS, TNT used sports broadcasts
to attract a broader audience; in the latter case,
signing contracts with NASCAR and the NBA.
1992 the MGM library, which as noted above included
a number of Warner Brothers properties, including
the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies libraries 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 Warner
merger, the channel's archives gained the post-1948
Warner Bros. cartoon library, thus giving the channel's
archive a staggering amount of cartoons.
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, 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
Entertainment Co. was established in August 1986 to
oversee the entire film properties owned by Ted Turner.
1988, Turner purchased World Championship Wrestling.
In 2001, under AOL Time Warner control, it was sold
to the competing World Wrestling Federation.
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.
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
1993, Turner appeared in the epic Gettysburg, which
he produced, as Colonel Waller T. Patton, a role he
reprised in the 2003 prequel Gods and Generals, also
produced by Turner.
The Time Warner years
On 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
Warner announced plans to merge with AOL as AOL Time
Warner. This merger closed January 11, 2001.
On January 29, 2003, AOL Time Warner announced that
Ted Turner would resign as a vice chairman.
February 24, 2006, Turner announced that he would
not seek re-election as director on the Time Warner
board of directors.
Turner Enterprises, he owns 14 ranches in Kansas,
Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and South
Dakota. According to his 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 sponsors the debates known as the Public Forum
Debate of the National Forensic League. Every year,
he attends the National Forensic League's National
Speech and Debate Tournament and speaks there as well.
September 19, 2006 Turner in a Reuters Newsmaker conference
posited a hypothetical situation, relating to Iran's
nuclear postition, 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 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" Reuters
News Service September 20, 2006
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 Delaware and Rhode Island combined. According
to documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, Turner's land
has a higher gross domestic product than 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 restaurant chain specializing
in burgers and other entrees made from fresh bison
his ownership, World Championship Wrestling became
the only federation in history to outrate and outsell
the McMahon family and their World Wrestling Federation.
the American-led boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics,
Turner founded the Goodwill Games as a statement for
peace through sport.
1998, Turner gave $1 billion in Time Warner stock
to United Nations causes, creating the United Nations
Foundation. However, the details of how funds are
allocated are generally less well known. Human rights
scholar Mary Ann Glendon has noted that "Mr.
Turner's gesture looks less like a gift and more like
a take-over bid aimed at U.N. agencies with privileged
access to vulnerable populations." United Nations
agencies would be required to submit proposals to
the UN Foundation. The foundation was to be headed
by a man with views similar to Mr. Turner's, former
U.S. State Department official Timothy Wirth. Wirth
spearheaded the aggressive U.S. population control
agenda at the 1994 Cairo conference and has praised
China and its one-child policy for its "very,
very effective high-investment family planning."
(See "Unfinished Business" by Mary Ann Glendon
in The American Journal of Jurisprudence, 1999.) (Credit: