As one of the most influential forces in the history of television, Ted Turner has had his share of regrets to go along with the incredible success that he has earned in his lifetime. Today on CBS This Morning, the media mogul was uncharacteristically mellow as he discussed his proudest achievement, his biggest regret, his philanthropy work, the current political landscape, and more.
Speaking with Charlie Rose, Turner said that CNN represented both his greatest business achievement and his deepest regret. While he was proud to create the first 24-hour news network, he expressed his regret over being "maneuvered" away from his position as chairman of CNN after the merger between Time Warner and AOL. Although he was pleased to present a centrist viewpoint with CNN, Turner would like to see more of an emphasis on "hard news" and international reports rather than the "fluff" that dominates the airwaves these days.
In 2011, John C. Malone surpassed him as the largest private landowner in the United States, but Turner isn't concerned because he is spending his money on philanthropic ventures instead and challenged Malone to compete with him in that arena.
Turning to the ongoing US Presidential campaign, the billionaire once labeled the "Mouth of the South" tried to be judicious in his opinion of the candidates, noting that both Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama would likely "do a pretty decent job" if elected. When pressed by Rose, Turner admitted that he preferred Obama's policies because of his concern for the environment and his belief that the President wants to end the wars overseas.
He also mentioned that he toyed with the idea of running for President years ago, but ultimately decided against it because his then-wife, Jane Fonda, threatened to leave him if he did. On the subject of nearly owning CBS at one point, Turner revealed that he had handshake agreements to buy all three major networks at different times in his life.
No doubt about it, Ted Turner is one of a kind and has had the kind of life most of us dream about. He did so much to change television through his vast empire, including CNN, TBS, TNT, TMC, and the Cartoon Network, to name a few of his assets. Do you agree with his views on CNN and the 24-hour news cycle?