Media Mogul and Philanthropist
Throughout his career, Ted Turner has won recognition for his entrepreneurial acumen; sharp business skills; a vision that transformed television; leadership qualities that won sports championships; and his unprecedented philanthropy. Turner began his career as an account executive with Turner Advertising Company and entered the television business in 1970 when he acquired Atlanta independent UHF…
Throughout his career, Ted Turner has won recognition for his entrepreneurial acumen; sharp business skills; a vision that transformed television; leadership qualities that won sports championships; and his unprecedented philanthropy.
Turner began his career as an account executive with Turner Advertising Company and entered the television business in 1970 when he acquired Atlanta independent UHF station channel 17. In 1976, Turner purchased Major League Baseball’s Atlanta Braves and launched TBS Superstation, originating the “Superstation” concept. The following year, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. acquired the National Basketball Association’s Atlanta Hawks, and in 1980 Turner launched CNN, the world’s first live, 24-hour global news network.
Over the next two decades, the company built a portfolio of unrivaled cable television news and entertainment brands and businesses, including CNN Headline News, CNN International, TNT, Cartoon Network and Turner Classic Movies. In the mid-’90s, Castle Rock Entertainment and New Line Cinema became Turner Broadcasting properties. In October 1996, the company merged with Time Warner Inc., and in 2001, Time Warner merged with AOL to create AOL Time Warner. The company later changed its name back to Time Warner Inc.
Turner has also made his mark as one of the most influential philanthropists in the U.S.
He is the chairman of the Turner Foundation, founded in 1990, which supports efforts for improving air and water quality, developing a sustainable energy future to protect our climate, safeguarding environmental health, maintaining wildlife habitat protection, and developing practices and policies to curb population growth rates. Since its inception, the Turner Foundation has given more than $380 million to hundreds of organizations.
Turner and executive producer Barbara Pyle launched the animated series Captain Planet and the Planeteers in 1990. One year later, Pyle created the Captain Planet Foundation to fund and support hands-on, environmental projects for children and youth. The foundation’s objective is to encourage innovative programs that empower children and youth around the world to work individually and collectively to solve environmental problems in their neighborhoods and communities.
The Turner Endangered Species Fund, launched in June 1997, is a core grantee of the Turner Foundation, which works to conserve biodiversity by emphasizing restoration efforts of endangered or imperiled species on the Turner properties.
In September 1997, Turner announced his historic pledge of up to $1 billion to the United Nations. The following year, Turner created the United Nations Foundation (UNF). The organization supports the goals and objectives of the United Nations to promote a more peaceful, prosperous and just world. UNF has identified four core priorities: women and population; children’s health; the environment; and peace and security.
In early 2001, Turner launched the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), a foundation he co-chairs with former Senator Sam Nunn. NTI is working to close the growing and increasingly dangerous gap between the threat from nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and the global response.
Turner later created two independent film production companies, Ted Turner Pictures and Ted Turner Documentaries, which produced the major motion picture Gods and Generals and the critically acclaimed PBS documentary Avoiding Armageddon, respectively.
In January 2002, Turner opened the first Ted’s Montana Grill, in Columbus, Ohio, with his partner, George W. McKerrow Jr., founder of the Longhorn Steakhouse chain. Ted’s Montana Grill offers classic American comfort food, including bison or beef burgers, in an authentic Montana bar and grill atmosphere. To date, Ted’s Montana Grill operates 46 restaurants nationwide. In keeping with Turner’s commitment to eco-friendly practices, Ted’s Montana Grill utilizes innovative ways to reduce waste and energy consumption.
Turner is also chairman of Turner Enterprises, Inc., a private company, which manages his business interests, land holdings and investments, including the oversight of two million acres in 12 states and in Argentina. Through Turner Enterprises, Turner also manages the largest commercial bison herd (51,000) in North America on 15 ranches in Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and South Dakota.
Over the past several years, Turner has devoted his time and energy toward promoting the use of clean energy sources. While urging others to make the switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, he has already done so in a very large way. Turner has partnered with Southern Company to build multiple large-scale solar projects including the Cimarron Solar Facility in Colfax County, New Mexico (30 MW), the Apex Solar Facility in Clark County, Nevada (20 MW), Spectrum Solar Facility also located in Clark County, Nevada (30 MW), Granville Solar Facility near Oxford, North Carolina (2.5 MW), the Campo Verde Solar Facility (139MW) in Imperial County, California and Macho Springs Solar Facility (50 MW) in Luna County, New Mexico. In addition, Turner has added solar panels on his numerous properties and recently installed 25 solar canopies in the employee parking lots adjacent to his Atlanta offices.
He is the recipient of numerous honorary degrees, industry awards and civic honors, including being named TIME Magazine’s 1991 Man of the Year, Broadcasting and Cable’s Man of the Century in 1999 and one of TIME 100 World’s Most Influential People in 2009. In recent years, Turner received the 2011 Palazzo Strozzi Foundation’s Renaissance Man of the Year award, the Overseas Press Club Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012 and was honored by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 35th Annual Sports Emmy® Awards in 2014, among many others.
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
A Conversation With Ted Turner
Embracing the Entrepreneurial Spirit
Changing the World: Giving Back & Never Giving Up
From the Atlanta Braves to HBO: Success through Diversification
A Conversation with Ted Turner
1 HOUR OR LESS