Not many innovations in communications, or anything else, deserve the label “revolutionary.” But “Cable network CNN” is a revolution for the world. Derided as “the Mouth of the South” because of his over-the-top public behaviour, he has often been seriously underestimated. But Ted Turner has been called a genius, a flake, a fruitcake, a maniac and a visionary.
Ted Turner is a visionary, leader and problem solver who had, over time, developed a particular mind set that found ways to resolve any issue. Ted Turner is a television and media magnate who founded CNN, the first 24-Hour cable news network.
CNN is not Turner’s only great vision for cable television. He devised the super channel TBS, using the rights to show old movies and the Atlanta Braves, a team he eventually bought, to build the most-watched station on cable.
Early life & Education :
Ted Turner was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on November 19, 1938. His father Robert Edward Turner II who was billboard tycoon, they had his own company, Turner Advertising. & His Mother was Florence (Rooney) Turner. He married Judy Nye in 1960 and divorced her after 4 years. He had two children with her. He then married Jane Shirley Smith in 1965. The couple had 3 children. They divorced in 1988. Turner married actress Jane Fonda in 1991 and divorced her in 2001.
In 1941, His father brought his mother and Ted’s sister with him to the Gulf Coast, but left Ted behind feeling horribly abandoned. While his family was away, Ted stayed at a Cincinnati boarding school. After the war, When Turner was 9, his father, a native Southerner, moved the family to Savannah, Georgia enrolled his son in the Georgia Military Academy.
In 1950, Ted started attending McCallie, an elite boarding school in Chattanooga, Tennessee. His curriculum included military training, one of Ted’s favourite subjects. After completing his course load at McCallie, Ted hoped to sign up with the United States Naval Academy, but his father insisted Ted apply to Harvard, but Turner went to Brown University. He was eventually expelled from Brown when he was caught with a woman in his room-a flagrant violation of school policy.
Turner was awarded an honorary B.A. from Brown University in November 1989 when he returned to campus to keynote the NACB second annual conference.
Early Career :
In 1960, Turner joined the family business. It turned out he had a flair for sales and his father watched proudly as he quickly outdistanced the company’s best salesperson. His Father rewarded him by making GM of his father’s Georgia branch office business ‘Macon.’ Ted quickly showed a natural talent for business by more than doubling the office’s revenue in his first year.
But in 1963, the costly buyout and subsequent debt placed the company in a tenuous financial condition. Fearing bankruptcy and struggling to cope with bipolar disorder Turner was shocked to learn that his father, deeply in debt and fearful the business was overextended, had initiated plans to sell the company. Turner accused him of quitting. But in truth, the self-made millionaire was suffering a nervous breakdown, and on March 5, 1963, he committed suicide.
at the age of 24, he took over the ‘Turner Advertising Company’ and became its chief executive and president. He soon made it the Southeast US’s biggest outdoor advertising. In 1969, he sold his radio stations & By 1970 he had achieved the distinction of owning the biggest advertising company in the south eastern United States. He bought the near-bankrupt Atlanta TV station Channel 17. He renamed the station WTCG (for Turner Communications Group) and plastered unleased billboards with prominent advertisements for the new Channel 17.
Turner had the station turning a profit within three years. But he knew that eventually he would have to run original programming if he wanted sizable growth. WTCG acquired rights to telecast the Atlanta Braves baseball games in 1973. In 1976, Turner made a strategic move to reach an even larger audience through WTCG started using satellite for transmission of content to all the cable TV providers in the country.
Turner built a $750,000 transmission tower and began beaming a signal which could be received and rebroadcast by cable operators across the nation. The move created the country’s first “superstation,” WTBS. Soon, WTCG-TV Super-Station has 2 million subscribers and Turner was worth over $100 million.
CNN – A New Face To World :
Turner looked for other ways to exploit satellite technology, and proposed launching a 24-hour live-news network. Turner was not the first to think of an all-news channel. he started the Cable News Network (CNN) in 1980, and once again, the gamble paid off. According to many experts, by providing live coverage of breaking events, CNN transformed the way news was reported.
Schonfeld was appointed first president and chief executive of the then-named CNN. in the 1980s, Turner began colouring films but eventually decided the cost was impractical. In 1981, Turner Broadcasting System acquired Brut Productions from Faberge Inc.
CNN is considered as one of the reasons behind the resurgence of Atlanta as a major city. CNN is currently a global media house. After a failed attempt to take over CBS in 1985, Turner purchased MGM for $1.6 billion in order to gain control of the MGM/UA film library.
In 1986, Ted created Turner Entertainment Co. for overseeing his TV and film properties. He bought Jim Crockett Promotions in 1988 and re-launched it as World Championship Wrestling, which eventually overtook WWF (World Wrestling Federation). The same year he also started TNT/Turner Network Television. Turner started two more networks¬-Turner Network Television (TNT) in 1988 and Turner Classic Movies (TCM) in 1994. In 1996, with Turner Broadcasting a leader in both the television and Internet industries, Turner sold the company to Time Warner for $7.5 billion dollars.
Turner became Time Warner’s largest shareholder and was given the job of overseeing Time Warner’s cable networks division as its vice chairman. One of the major reasons Turner agreed to the merger, which at the time created the largest media conglomerate in the world, was that he gained the use of Time Warner’s library of films and cartoons, thereby significantly increasing his own cable channels’ range of programming. In addition, Time Warner was the second-largest cable systems operator in the nation, and the merger gave Turner easier access to limited cable channel space.
After the merger, Turner stayed on and ran the company’s cable networks, including Home Box Office (HBO). In 2001, Time Warner merged with America Online (AOL). In 2003, the name and ‘AOL’ company were separated from Time Warner. The same year, Turner resigned as vice chairman; in 2006, he resigned from the company’s board of directors.
He developed such thick skin through events that took place in his life. Ted Turner battled the media giants of CBS and FOX to get market shares in one of the most dog eat dog business sectors of media. He did this with a very high level of belief in himself and his strengths.
Ted’s Wealth & Estate :
Ted Turner’s Net Worth $2.3 Billion & he is the owner of Some very large Estate owned by him.
- Turner owns nearly 2 million acres of ranch and personal land, which is used for reforestation, water resource management, progressive ecological projects.
- Vermejo Park Ranch, It features luxury accommodations and lodges, guided tours, fishing, and varied other amenities.
- The Ladder Ranch, Situated in south central New Mexico and spread across 156,439 acres, the main attractions of this ranch include stunning views of pine lush Gila Mountains.
- Flying D Ranch, a Hunting expeditions.
- Armendaris Ranch, this 358,643 acres ranch features uncommon desert grassland and wildlife like bison. It also has a simple mansion with a living room and 4 bedrooms.
- Avalon Plantation Manor: Spread across 30,000 acres and situated in Tallahassee, Florida, turner spends most of his time at this estate. The plantation covers about 8000 acres and features a French-style opulent mansion.
- Phillips Island: Purchased in 1979, this private island courted some controversy. A part of the island was used by descendants of ‘The Gullah’ black slaves as a communal refuge. Turner later donated 68 acres of the property to them.
- Turner owns 2 private jets. He has a Beech Aircraft Corporation produced twin-turboprop aircraft Beech – 65-A90-1 as well as a Citation III, which is a high-performance mid-sized business jet.
Honors & Achievements :
- 1989: Paul White Award
- 1991: Time magazine’s Man Of the Year
- 1997: Peabody Award winner
- 2004: Star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame
- 2013: lone Sailor Award
- Two-time Emmy award winner
- Lifetime Achievement – Sports (2014)
- Lifetime Achievement – News & Documentary (2015)
“You can never quit. Winners never quit and quitters never win.”
– Ted Turner