C&B Notes

Whatever Happened to Ted Turner?

This honest and gritty take on an iconic Southern businessman is worth a read.

…he would build on what his father had created and grow the company into a fledgling empire, in a way that bears uncanny parallels to his dark twin Murdoch, a man similarly summoned to take over his father’s business at age 21 when Keith Murdoch died of cancer in 1952.  The Murdochs ran newspapers in Australia; the Turners operated billboards in Georgia.  But each son took the opportunity to shine.

After consolidating the billboard company, Turned acquired several local radio stations, then made a giant leap with the 1970 purchase of a UHF station.  Six years later, he turned it into the country’s first “superstation,” with the breathtaking use of a satellite to transmit programming to cable companies throughout the U.S., launching Turner Broadcasting System.

What Turner did, says longtime colleague Scott Sassa, now Hearst Entertainment & Syndication president, was create “disruptive media.”  At any given time, Sassa explains, executives in power tend to “develop systems and ideas.  What Ted did was no different than the Internet: He exploited a newly available technology — satellite —  and so changed the order of what happened.”

>>  Click here for the full story on The Hollywood Reporter