Shed a Tear for Ted Turner, or Smoke One in His Honor

Saturday, October 17, 2009 , , 0 Comments

You better tweet that, Ted Turner. "A couple billion" sounds terrible but I think he gives a pretty great explanation of economics, at least as he sees them.


Ted Turner, the cable television pioneer who became one of the richest Americans, recalls the pain of losing his job at Time Warner Inc., his wife, the actress Jane Fonda, and $7 billion of his fortune.

“It was like having my heart ripped out,” Turner said yesterday in an interview in New York. The founder of Turner Broadcasting System and the 24-hour cable news channel CNN, Turner said that he has “a couple billion” dollars left, including $700 million in Treasury bills. [oh noes!!1! If it were just a couple billion but...]

While contemporaries such as News Corp. Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Rupert Murdoch, Liberty Media Corp.’s John Malone and Viacom Inc.’s Sumner Redstone keep competing in the media industry, Turner says that he doesn’t have enough money to get back in the business. He now focuses on nuclear disarmament, global climate change, women’s rights, and the environment.

“I’m working on the issues that are life or death for us,” said Turner, 70, who co-chairs the Nuclear Threat Initiative along with Sam Nunn, a former Democratic Senator from Georgia. “What I’m trying to do is stay relevant.”

The CNN founder, known for provocative comments in his 40- year career, has lost none of his passion for news. He says 24- hour coverage of fighting worldwide has made war tougher for people to stomach.


“If you were around at the time, I gave everybody a hundred thousand dollars if they came up with anything,” Turner said. “I just couldn’t hold onto it. I wanted to keep it moving. I get a dollar, I give it to you, you spend it, somebody else gets it. You know, pass it around. You know, it’s kind of like a joint -- you just pass it around, light it up, you know, share with your friends.” [this Ben Bernanke probably knows a little about that]

Turner’s Atlanta offices are filled with memorabilia from his years in media and sailing, including his 1977 America’s Cup victory aboard Courageous. Three swords sit on his coffee table; a photo with Warren Buffett hangs on a nearby wall.

Stunned. A couple billion is poverty.

Jr Deputy Accountant

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.