Friday, February 24th, 2006
I woke to headlines this morning from the AJC (and the WSJ, and elsewhere):
Time Warner Inc. announced that CNN founder Ted Turner has decided not to stand for re-election to its board.
Mr. Turner joined the board after his Turner Broadcasting was acquired by Time Warner in the mid ’90s. But his involvement with the New York media giant has declined in recent years.
Fox Cable Networks has agreed to buy Time Warner’s Turner South, most likely to convert the channel from being a home of Southern-tinged entertainment to a sports-heavy operation anchored by games of three Atlanta professional teams.
With Turner South, Fox will have the rights to show all Braves games that aren’t televised nationally by ESPN or TBS, which is a Turner network.
“We’ve been eyeing Turner South for a long time,” said Tony Vinciquerra, president and CEO of Fox Networks Group.
In purchasing Turner South, News Corp. has made what a deal with an unusually colorful history, given the history of animosity between News Corp. Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch and Turner namesake Ted Turner. The Turner South name will be dropped, but a new one hasn’t been decided.
“It won’t be Murdoch South,” Vinciquerra joked.
* * * * *
Oh, Tony, you crack me up. There are some days I just kinda wish the media landscape—especially here in town—was more or less where I left it in the mid-1980s. Then, at least, you could be assured, with a wacky guy like Ted at the helm, that he’d be doing everything he could to make TBS and CNN and the sports teams entities that Atlanta could be proud of. I’m not sure Rupert Murdoch has that on his to-do list.