It Ain't As Easy As It Looks: Ted Turner's Amazing Story

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9780517593226: It Ain't As Easy As It Looks: Ted Turner's Amazing Story

The birth and rise of CNN and the story of its ambitious founder are depicted by a former Newsweek White House correspondent through more than 250 interviews with Ted Turner's associates, friends, and family. 100,000 first printing. Tour.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

A gossipy but enlightening rundown on the madcap mogul whose contrarian approach to broadcast media has made him a billionaire and left big tracks across the globe. In recounting how Robert Edward (``Ted'') Turner III built a transnational Atlanta-based empire that encompasses a clutch of TV networks (including CNN), the MGM film library, pro sports franchises, movie studios, satellite facilities, and allied assets, Bibb (a former Newsweek correspondent now employed as an investment banker) largely avoids the issue of whether his subject is a force for good or ill. Although he gives the Brown University expellee full credit, for instance, for capitalizing on the Information Age's commercial potential, the author steers clear of value judgments, opting instead for a narrative account of Turner's career and character--both of which were shaped to a great extent by conflicts with a domineering father who died by his own hand. Even so, the tale of how Turner (b. 1938) made his way as a world- class visionary, womanizer, and yachtsman holds considerable appeal. Married three times (most recently to Jane Fonda), Turner created an immensely influential TV-based enterprise from the billboard-advertising operation he inherited. An ultracompetitive entrepreneur willing to run big risks, ``Terrible Ted'' (as he's known in show-biz and ocean-racing circles) doesn't shy from going against the grain of conventional cable-industry wisdom. Nor does the so-called ``Mouth of the South'' hesitate to trumpet his boardroom and bedroom triumphs. Somewhere along his wayward ascent, however, Turner (who's on a lithium regimen) seems to have acquired a social conscience, and he now devotes much of his considerable energy to environmental causes and international peace. A dirt-dishing, fast-paced progress report on a consequential and controversial magnate on whom the book has yet to be closed. (Sixteen pages of b&w photographs--not seen) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

When the family billboard business faltered, he advertised his newly bought minor radio stations on the unrented billboards; he bought hapless UHF TV stations to create a satellite-cable superstation and CNN; and, hoping to outperform the major networks, he accepted tough terms in a deal for MGM, knowing that the film library alone ( Casablanca , The Wizard of Oz , etc.) would be worth it. He fostered the Goodwill Games in Moscow, a world environmental conference and the conversion of 150,000 Montana cattle-ranching acres into a free range for buffalo. He also skippered an America's Cup sailing victory, went duck-hunting with Fidel Castro, brought the low-ranking Atlanta Braves to a World Series and married Jane Fonda. Analyzed as manic-depressive and known for titanic drinking sprees, world-class womanizing, nude cavorting, competitiveness with an abusive suicidal father, alternately charming and moody, he has been calmed down with lithium in time to run for President in 1996, "if it was the only way" to save the country. Such are the highlights, but far from the entirety, of this intensely detailed and absorbing portrait of Atlanta's Robert Edward Turner III by a former Newsweek White House correspondent.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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