Ted Turner: "Break up the media conglomerates"

From The Washington Monthly:

Ted Turner – seer or fruitcake? Should the big media conglomerates be broken up? Does the idea even have a chance in hell of succeeding?

Neither- just a phony and an opportunist, just as he’s always been.

He can talk like a conservative when it suits him (like when he was trying to take over CBS), and he can talk like a radical when he thinks it’s to his advantage. But either way, count on this: to paraphrase Orson Welles, Ted Turner has an opinion on everything, but he doesn’t believe in anything except Ted Turner. He never had a principle except Ted Turner in his life.

But if he’s really sincere, he can prove it by divesting himself of all the money he made by BUILDING media conglomerates in the first place!

Holy cow. Now that he’s made his fortune, I reckon he’s done with it. “It’s not enough that I succeed; other men must fail.” — Genghis Khan

I think pretty much everyone takes it as granted that Ted Turner isn’t about to do anything out of the goodness of his heart, but I assume rjung was more interested in debating media corporations and the FCC than Ted Turner’s integrity.

So, as far as that goes, there is a question that would preclude such a discussion: Is there a monopoly on the media?

Ben Compaine thinks not:

Is this the Ted Turner who’s giving away $1 billion to the UN, as announced in 1997?

Turner giveaway

What a selfish bastard eh!

So how’s about actually being aware of facts before shouting your mouth off? :rolleyes:

For reference, here is a page showing which conglomerates own what companies.

“Media revenue” doesn’t seem like a good metric for measuring media influence, IMO. The matter is how many people are being reached, now how much money the companies make doing so.

To quote from Turner:

I don’t know where he’s getting his numbers from, but assuming they’re accurate, that seems rather scary to me, both in their reach and their rate of growth.

Amazon.com and Books-A-Million are retailers, not media companies.

Complane steps around the issue of who owns those news and information outlets. Pointing out CBS, UPN, MTV, TNN, Comedy Central, and Showtime as examples of diversity doesn’t work when you realize they’re all owned by Viacom.

Also, Turner argues that even having several large corporations delivering the news doesn’t make a difference because they’re often in collusion:

And in a related vein, I think people are beginning to feel that they’re not getting a complete picture from traditional news sources. The recent popularity of documentaries such as Supersize Me, Fahrenheit 9/11, Control Room, The Hunting of the President, and Outfoxed seems to indicate a desire for viewpoints and information that’s not being met by the mainstream media.


Actually, if you read the article, I think you’ll see that he’s trying to make it easier for other people to follow in his footsteps. One of the points he’s making is that it’s impossible to create a new CNN today, because the current conglomerates have made it impossible for an independent upstart to compete.