Media Man Australia Profiles

World Directory



Turner Inc

Turner Inc

Turner Inc is headed up by Ted Turner

Robert 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.

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. 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 Goodwill Games.

Turner's 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 divorce.

In 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.

Early life
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 room.

Ted 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.

Expansion 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 after him.

After 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.

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'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 company).

Turner 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.

In 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.

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, 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 World Championship Wrestling. In 2001, under AOL Time Warner control, it was sold to the competing World Wrestling Federation.

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.

In 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.

Recent years
On January 29, 2003, AOL Time Warner announced that Ted Turner would resign as a vice chairman.

On February 24, 2006, Turner announced that he would not seek re-election as director on the Time Warner board of directors.

Through 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."

Ted 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.

On 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 meat.

Under his ownership, World Championship Wrestling became the only federation in history to outrate and outsell the McMahon family and their World Wrestling Federation.

After the American-led boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics, Turner founded the Goodwill Games as a statement for peace through sport.

In 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: Wikipedia)