Saturday, January 17, 2009

Call Me Ted

One of the books that I received for Christmas was Call Me Ted by Ted Turner. It is his life story as written by Ted. Throughout the book are many Ted Stories written by others. The book is a great read because Ted himself has had an awesome life. Only because he has worked continually to do build business after business. His father built a billboard company and was an influence sometimes not always a positive influence. But his father's workaholic attitude created the drive in Ted.

There is a Knoxville connection to Ted. As he began working and running his father's billboard business in the late 1960's. Knoxville was a two billboard company and one of the company's would be up for sale at auction. It was assumed that the one other company would wait and low ball price the bid and get the sale. Ted came to Knoxville, rented a car under an alias. He drove around and located the billboard spots and drove no where near the office to keep from being spotted. His Atlanta lawyer located a low key Knoxville lawyer. Ted informed him to drop the bid at the last minute for $50,300.00 and sure enough the two bids were opened and the low ball competitor in Knoxville bid $50,000.00 so Ted bought the Knoxville billboard company for $50,300.00.

His building of WTBS, CNN and all the other channels that they have is a remarkable story. I recommend this read to you. For those of you like me, read about Jane Fonda but don't base your belief on Ted because of Jane.


Jake Mabe said...

I will forever have a soft spot in my heart for Ted Turner because he owned the Braves (and spent money on them) for a lotta years -- most of it during my childhood,

Worst thing he did as owner was fire Joe Torre.

Brian Hornback said...

The chapter on the Braves is interesting. Everybody thought he was nuts. Although it wasn't the strategy at the time of purchase. But it immediately became a good strategy to advance his first Cable Channel. WTCG which became WTBS, The Super Station.