Ted Turner

Sep 15, 2003  •  Post A Comment

It took the Kaitz Foundation until its fourth year to get around to honoring Ted Turner for his contributions to the cable industry. Mr. Turner was merely chairman of Turner Broadcasting when cable’s glitterati convened on a windy September day in 1987.
Years before expanding his cable empire to include a dozen networks and nearly a decade before selling out to Time Warner Inc., Mr. Turner made a name for himself in the cable business. He founded CNN and sibling CNN2 (now Headline News), and created the first “superstation,” sending the signal of his little Atlanta UHF television station, WTBS-TV, around the nation via satellite. He lost $25 million sponsoring the first Goodwill Games in 1986 and nearly lost his company in his attempt to take over CBS the year before.
Today, at age 64, Mr. Turner has become almost a recluse compared with his previous visibility. He resigned as vice chairman of AOL Time Warner last spring. Although he maintains an apartment in Atlanta, Mr. Turner spends a lot of time on his ranches out West and promoting his new restaurant chain, Ted’s Montana Grill.
Mr. Turner has made and lost millions during his illustrious career, but he has always possessed the ability to laugh at his fortunes and misfortunes. “I have found ways to lose money that nobody else dreamed existed,” he once told an audience. “At one time I knew how to make money. But God forbid-it’s a dull way to live.”