How Ted Turner became king of broadcasting

On November 19 in the year 1938, one of the most influential entrepreneurs in broadcasting was born in Ohio, USA. His name is Robert Edward “Ted” Turner III, the founder of Cable News Network (CNN), the first 24-hour cable news channel. According to, his net worth is $2.2 billion as of November, 2020.

Ted Turner
Ted Turner (Credit: CNN)

Ted Turner was the son of a businessman involved in billboard advertising. He attended Brown University but did not finish a degree because he was expelled for bringing a girl to his dormitory room. When his father committed suicide in 1963, he took over the business which at that time was worth a million dollar. Later, he purchased a radio station in Atlanta City and renamed it Turner Broadcasting System. He expanded the business by buying other radio stations. In 1969, he sold his radio stations to concentrate on the emerging cable television business.

In 1978, Ted Turner founded Cable News Network using satellites to broadcast. Subsequently, he diversified into sports broadcasting and film production and distribution. He established Turner Network Television in 1988, Cartoon Network in 1992, and Turner Classic Movies in 1994. Additionally, he purchased two motion-picture production companies, New Line Cinema and Castle Rock Entertainment.

In 1996, Turner Broadcasting Systems was merged with Time Warner, Inc. with Ted as vice-chairman and head of cable networks division. In 2001, Time Warner merged with AOL in a $162 billion deal which would later be described as the worst business merger in history. Although Ted was the single largest shareholder of the merged company, he was eased out of important position in the company.

Aside from his involvement in broadcasting, Ted Turner was the owner of several sports team. He also remains as the second largest landowner in the United States with roughly 2 million acres. He has also properties in Argentina.
Ted has married and divorced three times and has five children. He announced to make a $1 billion donation to the United Nations in 1997 to fund its humanitarian activities.


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