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CNN and Ted Turner

Updated on November 4, 2010

Ted Turner

In 1938, Robert Edward "Ted" Turner III was born in Cincinnati, Ohio.

In 1963 he inherited from his father an advertising company, that sold publicity on Billboards . These are huge advertising boards, which are found everywhere along the American roads.

Ted Turner apparently has the Midas Touch , and everything he touches turns to gold !

Sports on Cable TV

In 1970, he bought an ailing UHF radio station WTCG (Watch this Channel Grow...) in Atlanta, and became the first to distribute its output to cable-TV companies via satellite.

This incredible novelty meant an inexpensive way to distribute various sporting events.

With this concept, Turner laid the foundation for a major expansion of cable TV, and the money simply rolled in.

The resulting company, Turner Broadcasting System or TBS, remained the most viewed network in the USA for more than twenty years !

It also made him an extremely wealthy man...


In 1976, he bought the Atlanta Braves baseball team, and one year later the Atlanta Hawks basketball team.

In 1977, he steered the yacht Courageous to win the America's Cup Race against Australia.

In 1980, he founded Cable News Network (CNN), the first TV station with 24-hour news. This initiative was so successful, that only a few years later it was spread all over the world !

Cable News Network (CNN)

CNN later developed multiple offshoots.

- International CNN

- CNN Airport (established during the first Iraq war)

- Headline News

- CNN Financial

- CNN Espanol

-, a website with an incredibly high hit score

Expanding into Movies

In 1985, Turner bought the MGM/UA Entertainment Company (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and United Artists).

In no time at all he sold most of the assets, but retained their vast film library, which many classics like "Gone With the Wind" and "The Wizard of Oz".

The CNN Building

In the same year, he purchased the building in which CNN now resides, and subleased more than half of it to other companies, and a hotel.

This was a dangerous gamble, but as it turned out a fortunate one, because now he had all the room he needed to expand his activities !

Turner Broadcasting System and TNT - TCM - CN

In 1988 he founded the Turner Network Television (TNT), in which many of his films were screened.

In 1991 he married Jane Fonda. Apparently even this was insufficient to diminish his energy, because in 1993 he bought the film studios New Line Cinema and Castle Rock Entertainment...

Which in turn provided the basis for the establishment of Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and Cartoon Network...

Time Warner

In 1996, media giant Time Warner bought all of Turner's TBS, which was the holding company of all his businesses, and he received an incredible 7.6 billion dollars...

Through this purchase, Time Warner became the largest media company in the world, and Turner became vice-president of the board, and head of TBS.

In 1997, he promised to make a donation of one billion dollars to the United Nations !

*** Read about our visit to CNN in Atlanta, Georgia ***

History of CNN


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