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Posts Tagged ‘Ted Turner’

Ted Turner On Creating a TV News Channel Today: ‘Would you make it a serious news network?’

CNN founder Ted Turner is profiled by The Hollywood Reporter, looking at what he has been up to since leaving the media world. Among the revelations, while he still watches CNN, he doesn’t have the same affection for sister network HLN (formerly CNN Headline News):

Turner doesn’t pay attention to TV anymore, other than CNN. “I don’t watch entertainment,” he says. As for CNN’s sister network, HLN, “the News and Views Network” featuring Nancy Grace: “I haven’t watched in years. I want to see serious news.”

Turner also looks back wistfully on CNN’s founding, and wonders if the same thing could even happen in today’s fragmented TV marketplace:

“It’s been 12 years since I’ve been gone, but if you only had one news network, and there really was only one when CNN was there, would you make it a serious news network?” he ponders. “When you’ve got dozens — or many — then you can go in different formats. You could go right-wing like Fox News, you could go after a segment of the market and maybe you would be more successful than if you were going for the whole market.” Looking back, even he admits: “CNN wasn’t perfect. We spent several days when Jessica McClure fell down the well, and we covered O.J. [Simpson] driving around L.A. But those were such interesting stories.”

The story also looks back on the rough days that followed Turner as he was trying to build CNN

CNN’s prominence today makes it easy to forget that it was almost stillborn — not least when the satellite it required simply disappeared, forcing Turner to mount a life-or-death legal battle to get a slot on another one.

Throughout CNN’s emergence, nobody believed an all-news, all-the-
time network could function — except Turner. But he was convinced that audiences wanted a venue where they could find information whenever 
they wanted, and from the beginning proclaimed his faith in the enterprise, announcing, “We won’t be signing off until the world ends.”

Read the entire profile here.

Jane Fonda Joining Sorkin’s HBO Series ‘Newsroom’

HBO has cast Jane Fonda in its upcoming cable news series from Aaron Sorkin, currently titled “The Newsroom.”

According to TV Line’s Michael Ausiello, Fonda “will play Leona Lansing, the CEO of cable news network’s parent company. She’s a titan and her corporate concerns often conflict with the reporting of the news outlet she owns.”

As Ausiello notes, Fonda’s character sounds suspiciously like CNN founder Ted Turner, someone she would know a thing or two about. Fonda was married to Turner from 1991-2001.

Ted Turner: Rupert Murdoch ‘Going to Have to Step Down’

Bloomberg’s Betty Liu talked with CNN founder Ted Turner about his one-time media rival Rupert Murdoch and the phone hacking scandal.

“I think he’s going to have to step down,” Turner said. “This is serious. It’s going against the law. Not even Rupert Murdoch should be allowed to break the law.”

“He was chairman of the board. He’s responsible,” said Turner, the founder of CNN who sold Turner Broadcasting to Time Warner in 1996. “I took responsibility when I ran my company. You never heard me say, ‘Well, I didn’t know.’”

About 5 minutes in for the Murdoch comments:

Maria Bartiromo becomes first female journalist inducted into Cable Hall of Fame

CNBC's Maria Bartiromo presented the Cable Hall of Fame award by Larry Satkowiak, CEO of The Cable Center. (Photo: Oscar Einzig)

The Cable Show, the trade show for the National Cable Television Association, is underway this week in Chicago. And last night at the gala event of the week, the Cable Hall of Fame, CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo became the first female journalist inducted into the Hall. (CNN’s Bernard Shaw and trade publisher Paul Maxwell are also members.)

We talked with the Money Honey this morning between panels she’s moderating at the trade show. She’ll also be anchoring “Closing Bell” from Wrigley Field this afternoon, because tonight the Brooklyn native and Yankees fan is throwing out the first pitch as the Cubs take on the Milwaukee Brewers. “I’ve been going to Central Park to practice,” Bartiromo tells TVNewser. “It’s 60 feet! I just want to get it over the plate.”

TVNewser: Congratulations. I know it’s a busy day for you. What an honor. The Hall of Fame is mostly made up of cable innovators and executives. How did a journalist get on that list?

Maria Bartiromo: Thanks Chris. They tell me I’m the first female journalist on the list and I’m in awe of that. When they asked me to join this illustrious group that includes John Malone, Ted Turner, and Jeff Bewkes, I started to think about my career. Where has the time gone? I started my career as an intern at CNN covering live events, producing under Lou Dobbs. That was 20 years ago and now it’s been 19 years at CNBC covering the financial ups and downs. I feel incredibly proud — proud to be part of this industry.

TVNewser: Who are some of the people behind your success?

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Former CNN President Burt Reinhardt Dead at 91

Reinhardt (Credit: CNN)

Former CNN president Burt Reinhardt, who led the network through a phase of enormous growth from 1983-1990, has passed away at age 91. Reinhardt was one of the network’s first employees, joining in 1979, as Ted Turner prepared the effort to launch the world’s first 24-hour news channel.

Reinhardt got his start as a combat photographer during World War II, and served as an editor of the newsreels that used to run before feature films. He got his start in TV news at UPI, where he supervised the wire agency’s TV operations.

“Burt was a colleague and also a friend. More than anyone, he built the foundation for CNN’s global leadership in news,” said Phil Kent, Chairman and CEO, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. in a statement. “He was an innovator and a mentor to many. He was one of the finest people I have known, and his loss is felt by all of his friends and colleagues across the world.”

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Joe Scarborough, Al Jazeera Reporter Ayman Mohyeldin Make ‘Time 100′

This year’s “Time 100″ list is out, and a number of TV and media figures made the cut.

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough is on the list, and gets profiled by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg:

As a group, cable-television talk-show hosts are not exactly known for independent political analysis that is free of partisan favoritism, but that is exactly what makes Joe Scarborough, 48, so refreshing — and so important.

The only other TV news personality to crack the list was Al Jazeera English reporter Ayman Mohyeldin, whose coverage of the uprising in Egypt was widely regarded as second-to-none. Mohyeldin was profiled by Dan Rather:

By dint of his experience, persistence and talent, he lifted the profile and reputation of the al-Jazeera network. And for one brief, shining moment, he was the best in the world.

Other media moguls profiled include:

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Ted Turner: New FBN Hire Lou Dobbs ‘Was a Little Over the Top on the Immigration Issue’ at CNN

CNN founder Ted Turner appeared on Fox Business Network yesterday to talk about renewable energy. But as long as he was there, anchor Brian Sullivan asked him about one of his original CNN hires, Lou Dobbs.

“He is a good friend of mine, and I wish him well,” Turner said. “He was a little over the top on the immigration issue in his last days… where was he, CNN?”


FBN announced earlier this week that Dobbs would be joining the network in January.

Lou Dobbs Joins FBN. ‘I can’t wait to make whatever contribution I can to Fox Business’

A year after a surprising, mid-week departure from CNN, Lou Dobbs has landed a new on-air role, at Fox Business Network.

Beginning early next year Dobbs will host his own daily program at time that has not yet been determined. Says Dobbs in a statement, “I’m excited and feel privileged to join the great team that Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes and Neil Cavuto have created, and I can’t wait to make whatever contribution I can to Fox Business.”

A few days after his CNN leave, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly offered Dobbs a “semi-regular” contributor role on “The O’Reilly Factor.” There was also speculation that he would run for office.

The LA Times reports Dobbs will continue to host his daily radio show in addition to his FBN program.

Dobbs, who has a business news background, was one of CNN’s first anchors, hosting the

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Ted Turner as You Have Never Seen Him Before

CNN founder Ted Turner was a guest on the season premiere of “The Valley Girl Show” a web series starring actress Jesse Draper.

While CNN only comes up fleetingly in the discussion, you get to see a side of Turner that we aren’t normally privy to.

For example: Turner sings the “Captain Planet” theme song after having a frank discussion about nuclear weapons… while sitting on an over-sized pink and leopard print stiletto.

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CNBC Orders ‘Bizography’

CNBC has ordered a new primetime documentary, series, “Bizography.” The program will profile well known companies and titans of industry.

“In primetime, our viewers are looking for more in-depth and behind-the-scenes stories of the companies and business leaders that CNBC covers during Business Day and ‘CNBC Bizography’ does just that,” said Ray Borelli, Vice President of Strategic Research, Scheduling and Long Form Programming, CNBC, announcing the pickup.

Among the people profiled by “Bizography” are CNN founder Ted Turner and boxer turned TV pitchman George Foreman, who is the subject of the premiere episode:

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