Ted Turner – Started CNN in 1980

Ted Turner pioneered 24-hour cable news by starting CNN in 1980. Now he enjoys tending to his 50,000 head bison herd, and the 2 million acres of property to his name.

In 1960, Ted’s father made him the manager of Turner Advertising’s Macon, Georgia, branch. Ted quickly showed a natural talent for business by more than doubling the office’s revenue in his first year. When Turner’s father bought out a competitor in 1962, the costly buyout and subsequent debt placed the company in a tenuous financial condition. Fearing bankruptcy and struggling to cope with bipolar disorder, Ed shot himself to death in March of 1963. Ted dealt with his grief by throwing himself into his work. He took over the roles of president and chief executive officer at Turner Advertising, renamed Turner Communications in the late 1960s as the company bought several radio stations. By 1970 he had achieved the distinction of owning the biggest advertising company in the southeastern United States. Turner eventually expanded into television, purchasing the rights to old movies and situation comedies. The decision proved highly profitable.

In 1976, Turner made a strategic move to reach an even larger audience through the use of satellite technology. He rebranded once again, changing his company’s name to Turner Broadcasting Company. During the late 1970s he conceived the idea for an all-news network. Cable News Network (CNN) first aired in 1980. Six years later it was in the black. In 1985, Turner used some of his profits to buy Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). Also in the 1980s, Turner began coloring films but eventually decided the cost was impractical.

In 1992 he created the Cartoon Network in addition to launching Turner Network Television (TNT) and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). In 1996, with Turner Broadcasting a leader in both the television and Internet industries, Turner sold the company to Time Warner for $7.5 billion dollars. After the merger, Turner stayed on and ran the company’s cable networks, including Home Box Office (HBO). In 2001, Time Warner merged with America Online (AOL). The following year Turner took a stab at an entirely new business venture, a steakhouse serving bison, called Ted’s Montana Grill.

Info from: http://www.biography.com