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.”