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Ted Turner

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Biography

Robert Edward Turner III (born November 19, 1938 (1938-11-19) (age 68) 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 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 actress and political activist Jane Fonda as well as their subsequent divorce.

After five years on the air, CNN found themselves outgrowing their original home, a former country-club on the outskirts of Midtown Atlanta. Ever the visionary, Turner saw another opportunity. He 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 & 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.

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).

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 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.

Turner is reportedly involved with several women, including the novelist and playwright Elizabeth Dewberry.



 


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