Ted Turner

Network Creator/Executive


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his nearly three-and-a-half hour Archive interview, Ted Turner talks about his start in the billboard industry and how that led him into the broadcasting industry. He describes purchasing his first independent TV station in Atlanta, leasing space on RCA's communication satellite, SATCOM II, and launching the world's first superstation (later known at TBS). He discusses the birth of the world's first 24-hour television news station, CNN, and the subsequent launch of CNN Headline News, and CNN Espanol. Turner also outlines purchasing Hanna-Barbera's library and the creation of the Cartoon Network. He talks of launching networks TNT and Turner Classic Movies (TCM), and shares how he acquired MGM and embarked upon the colorization of black and white movies. He speaks about his merger with Time Warner, and his baseball team, the Atlanta Braves, winning the 1995 World Series. He concludes by addressing the responsibility and power of the media and the dangers of media consolidation, and talks of his vision for the future of television. Michael Rosen conducted the two-part interview in Santa Monica, CA and Atlanta, GA. on June 12 and December 6, 1999.

"Our future is in our hands. We do have global communications, and we know what's going on all over the world, and we know what's right, and we know what's wrong. The question is, are we going to do something about it?"

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
Ted Turner on naming CNN
Ted Turner on how the White House kept CNN out of the pool in the early '80s
Ted Turner on scheduling Superstation programs five minutes after the hour or half hour
Ted Turner on creating TCM, Turner Classic Movies
Ted Turner on purchasing Hanna-Barbera's library and creating the Cartoon Network
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early years and influences; on being close with his father; on his love of sailing; on attending military school
On working for Turner Advertising (the family business); on not graduating from college; on his father's suicide; on acquiring General Outdoor Advertising
On purchasing a radio station and branching out into television; on renaming the family business Turner Communications Company; on merging with Rice Broadcasting and acquiring his first television station
On his interest in television and becoming general manager of his new station; on majoring in the classics at Brown University and joining the Coast Guard

Chapter 2

On running TV station WTCG; on buying another station in Charlotte, NC and trying to keep it afloat; on Atlanta in the 1960s and 1970s and acquiring the Braves games for WTCG
On acquiring movies for his stations; on original programming
On entering into cable; on buying the Atlanta Braves; on SATCOM II, setting up satellite transmissions, and getting advertisers
On starting the Superstation TBS

Chapter 3

On Superstation WTBS and scheduling programs five minutes after the hour or half hour; on airing 24/7 and getting a satellite uplink
On getting rated by Nielsen; on TBS going to color; on trying to acquire ESPN; on the 1986 Goodwill Games
On the birth of CNN; on hiring Reese Schonfeld at CNN

Chapter 4

On international opportunities for CNN; on meeting Fidel Castro; on basing CNN in Atlanta
On suing networks for access to the White House; on CNN as a trailblazer and how it stays competitive; on advice to those involved with television

Chapter 5

On the business aspects of starting up CNN; on hiring Reese Schonfeld at CNN; on his concept for and naming the network
On the impact of RCA's SATCOM III; on continually risking bankruptcy and failure; on finding advertisers for CNN; on his global vision for CNN and meeting Fidel Castro
On The Goodwill Games; on visiting Communist countries; on worldwide media; on the importance of dialogue and showing both sides of a story

Chapter 6

On how the White House kept CNN out of the pool in the early '80s; on the format and expansion of CNN
On CNN not pulling out of Baghdad and CNN being the sole network to cover the 1989 U.S. attack
On CNN's competition; on creating CNN Financial and CNN Espanol; on meeting Jacques Cousteau and his impact on his life
On his attempt to buy CBS; on acquiring MGM; on population growth

Chapter 7

On thoughts on population growth; on acquiring MGM; on colorization
On launching TNT; on creating the Cartoon Network; on acquiring Castle Rock and New Line Entertainment; on creating TCM, Turner Classic Movies
On how he makes programming choices; on the Atlanta Braves winning the World Series in 1995
On merging with Time Warner; on media consolidation and his thoughts on the future

Chapter 8

On his influence; on the responsibility and power of the news media; on self-regulation
On the dangers of media consolidation; on his greatest personal achievement
Shows

See It Now

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Ted Turner on the effect of Edward R. Murrow's See It Now: A Report on Senator Joseph R. McCarthy

See It Now: "A Report on Senator Joseph R. McCarthy"

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Ted Turner on the effect of Edward R. Murrow's See It Now: A Report on Senator Joseph R. McCarthy
Topics

Advertising and Sponsorship

View Topic
Ted Turner on finding advertisers for CNN

Coverage

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Ted Turner on acquiring the Atlanta Braves games for WTCG and trying to get people to buy a UHF antenna
Ted Turner on buying the Atlanta Braves

Media Consolidation

View Topic
Ted Turner on acquiring MGM
Ted Turner on merging with Time Warner
Ted Turner on media consolidation and his thoughts on the future
Ted Turner on acquiring Castle Rock and New Line Entertainment
Ted Turner on the dangers of media consolidation

Network Creation

View Topic
Ted Turner on the birth of CNN
Ted Turner on the premiere and early budget for CNN
Ted Turner on the budgetary constraints on forming CNN
Ted Turner on network resistance to CNN; on his concept for and naming CNN
Ted Turner on creating CNN II (Headline News)
Ted Turner on launching TNT
Ted Turner on purchasing Hanna-Barbera's library and creating the Cartoon Network
Ted Turner on creating TCM, Turner Classic Movies

Sports

View Topic
Ted Turner on acquiring the Atlanta Braves games for WTCG and trying to get people to buy a UHF antenna
Ted Turner on buying the Atlanta Braves
Ted Turner on the Atlanta Braves winning the World Series in 1995

Technological Innovation

View Topic
Ted Turner on TBS going to color

Television Industry

View Topic
Ted Turner on getting into cable
Ted Turner on the birth of CNN
Ted Turner on the premiere and early budget for CNN
Ted Turner on the budgetary constraints on forming CNN
Ted Turner on network resistance to CNN; on his concept for and naming CNN
Ted Turner on finding advertisers for CNN
Ted Turner on creating CNN II (Headline News)
Ted Turner on acquiring MGM
Ted Turner on merging with Time Warner
Ted Turner on media consolidation and his thoughts on the future
Ted Turner on launching TNT
Ted Turner on purchasing Hanna-Barbera's library and creating the Cartoon Network
Ted Turner on acquiring Castle Rock and New Line Entertainment
Ted Turner on creating TCM, Turner Classic Movies
Ted Turner on the dangers of media consolidation

World Series

View Topic
Ted Turner on the Atlanta Braves winning the World Series in 1995
Professions

Cable Executive

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Ted Turner on the birth of CNN

Executives

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Ted Turner on the birth of CNN
Ted Turner on the budgetary constraints on forming CNN

Network Founder

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Ted Turner on the birth of CNN
Ted Turner on the budgetary constraints on forming CNN
Genres

Animation

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Ted Turner on purchasing Hanna-Barbera's library and creating the Cartoon Network

News and Documentary

View Genre
Ted Turner on the birth of CNN
Ted Turner on the premiere and early budget for CNN
Ted Turner on the challenges of starting CNN
Ted Turner on creating CNN II (Headline News)
Ted Turner on the responsibility and power of the news media

Sports

View Genre
Ted Turner on acquiring the Atlanta Braves games for WTCG and trying to get people to buy a UHF antenna
Ted Turner on buying the Atlanta Braves
People

Fidel Castro

View Person Page
Ted Turner on meeting Fidel Castro and Castro watching CNN
Ted Turner on his global aspirations for CNN and Fidel Castro's appreciation for the network

Jacques Cousteau

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Ted Turner on meeting Jacques Cousteau and his impact on his life

Adolph Hitler

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Ted Turner on how things might have been different if global news had exposed Adolf Hitler's practices

Joseph McCarthy

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Ted Turner on the effect of Edward R. Murrow's See It Now: A Report on Senator Joseph R. McCarthy

Edward R. Murrow

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Ted Turner on the effect of Edward R. Murrow's See It Now: A Report on Senator Joseph R. McCarthy

Ronald Reagan

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Ted Turner on suing the White House for access
Ted Turner on how the White House kept CNN out of the pool in the early '80s

Reese Schonfeld

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Ted Turner on hiring Reese Schonfeld at CNN
Ted Turner on hiring Reese Schonfeld at CNN
Ted Turner on the format of CNN

Daniel Schorr

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Ted Turner on hiring Daniel Schorr at CNN

All Interviews

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