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Ted Turner and Rupert Murdoch: Innovators, robber barons, or moguls?

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Presentation on theme: "Ted Turner and Rupert Murdoch: Innovators, robber barons, or moguls?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Ted Turner and Rupert Murdoch: Innovators, robber barons, or moguls?

2 Robert Edward Turner, III Grew up wealthy on a plantation in SavannahGrew up wealthy on a plantation in Savannah Attended military schoolAttended military school Disapproving Dad committed suicide over his failing advertising businessDisapproving Dad committed suicide over his failing advertising business

3 Ted inherits the family business 1970 buys Atlanta UHF Ch. 17 WTCG: failing independent ( Charlotte sister station)1970 buys Atlanta UHF Ch. 17 WTCG: failing independent ( Charlotte sister station) “Working man’s TV” (Andy Griffith, etc.)“Working man’s TV” (Andy Griffith, etc.) Parodied news in late night programsParodied news in late night programs Ran Braves games (bought team before he put his station up on the satellite)Ran Braves games (bought team before he put his station up on the satellite) Atlanta and Charlotte stations become 2 of the most successful indies in the U.S.Atlanta and Charlotte stations become 2 of the most successful indies in the U.S.

4 Ted among 1st to recognize potential of satellite & cable Begins to conceive ideas for 24-hr sports and all news channels. Other experiments.Begins to conceive ideas for 24-hr sports and all news channels. Other experiments. ESPN beats him to sports punch so he to invent CNN. Rise of Niche BroadcastingESPN beats him to sports punch so he to invent CNN. Rise of Niche Broadcasting 1976: sells Charlotte station to finance WTBS Super-station concept1976: sells Charlotte station to finance WTBS Super-station concept Decides that Super-station will fund CNNDecides that Super-station will fund CNN 1978: He begins hiring before satellite that will carry CNN is launched1978: He begins hiring before satellite that will carry CNN is launched

5 Networks thought CNN was a joke Satcom III got lost, so Turner sued RCA to get time on Satcom I (RCA owned NBC)Satcom III got lost, so Turner sued RCA to get time on Satcom I (RCA owned NBC) Experts scoffed at CNN’s $30 budget because nets spent $100-$150 million a year on news aloneExperts scoffed at CNN’s $30 budget because nets spent $100-$150 million a year on news alone Turner missing during an Americas Cup race just before CNN to go on the airTurner missing during an Americas Cup race just before CNN to go on the air Eccentric commentaries, recent controversyEccentric commentaries, recent controversy Bright man, interesting ideas.Bright man, interesting ideas.

6 CNN launched June 1, 1980 In 1980: 16 million homes had cableIn 1980: 16 million homes had cable Most cable systems were carrying 35 channelsMost cable systems were carrying 35 channels CNN part of the “basic package”CNN part of the “basic package” Turner advertisers get “upscale” consumers—they did.Turner advertisers get “upscale” consumers—they did. At sign-on there were only 17 sponsors signed-up for CNNAt sign-on there were only 17 sponsors signed-up for CNN Today Fox is reinventing the all news ideaToday Fox is reinventing the all news idea

7 Turner’s Moves Tried to take-over CBS in 1985Tried to take-over CBS in 1985 Purchased MGM’s film library in 1986Purchased MGM’s film library in 1986 Began TNT in 1988Began TNT in 1988 Took over Hanna- Barbera studio and began Cartoon Channel in 1992Took over Hanna- Barbera studio and began Cartoon Channel in 1992

8 Turner/Time Warner Merge (1995) Turner got $2 billion out of the dealTurner got $2 billion out of the deal Continues focus on original production and environmental programmingContinues focus on original production and environmental programming Critical CommentariesCritical Commentaries Philanthropist… United Nations contribution, Good Will GamesPhilanthropist… United Nations contribution, Good Will Games Jane Fonda Marriage ends—would love to hear their “political debates”Jane Fonda Marriage ends—would love to hear their “political debates”

9 Despite its critical success, CNN struggles financially CNN president Rick Kaplan resigned: Issacson new man.CNN president Rick Kaplan resigned: Issacson new man. New mgt lays off 10% of workforceNew mgt lays off 10% of workforce MSNBC is taking viewers awayMSNBC is taking viewers away Fox big winner!Fox big winner!

10 Rupert Murdoch Born into wealthy son of a Melbourne newspaper baron Bullied as a kid Educated at Oxford Traveled extensively

11 Rupert begins his climb Received his inheritance at age 22 Went to work at family tabloid, cutting costs and forming shrewd business deals This is the model for Black &Thomson Aussie has govt. controlled TV so Rupert went to Hollywood to dabble: US Citizen. Went back to Australia and began TV version of TV Guide

12 “A man of Principle!” Late Sixties: Acquires The Sun, turns into a bold British tabloid, brew of sex and sensationalism Included scandalous headlines and pinups The Sun Model copied around the world Other British tabloids could not complete with their “serious news.” Recognized and profited from dumbing down of news and popular culture Murdoch felt ostracized in London: Good reason

13 Buying American Early 1970s: Murdoch buys US papers Launched National Star compete with National Enquirer Bought the New York Post Became known as an “invader” and favored right-wing politics of Reagan and Thatcher Fox is the Cherry on the Conservative Cake Still wanted to get more television The court decision applies well here!

14 Rupert’s TV Takeover 1985: became a US citizen and announced his plans to start a 4th American network Acquired half of 20th Century Fox Another Vertical Integrator Bought Metromedia’s 6 independent stations, then sought network affiliate agreements with UHF indies across U.S. The deck clear for [Blair] grand design.

15 Rupert in the Sky with Diamonds His companies become “News Corporation” 88 became part-owner of Sky Channel Europe 1997 tried to merge his European satellite ops with American, but technical conflicts arose Free speech, China & BBC Debacle

16 Rupert: The Sky is the Limit Newscorp buys Chris Craft stations last August, duopolies in 4 markets [no matter] Tried to partner with Microsoft to buy Hughes & DirecTV Watch him in upcoming months! What’s it all Mean

17 News Corporation world.html


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