Ted Turner Would Like To Run CNN Again

by | October 17, 2009 at 12:35 PM | TV News

(Neilson Barnard, Getty Images)

(Neilson Barnard, Getty Images)

“Less talk, more news.”

That’s what Ted Turner said he would institute if he were to again take control of CNN, the 24-hour cable news network he founded in 1980.

In an interview Friday with Bloomberg News, the maverick billionaire said he would “like to see me running Time Warner…I’d like CNN to report to me.”

It won’t happen. Turner sold the cable news network to Time Warner in 1996 and said he “still feels like a dummy” for it.

If it were up to him, Turner said he’d make CNN’s news coverage more “substantive,” and more specifically “less fluffy news and more international news.”

This isn’t his first time criticizing CNN. Earlier this year, he described it as “more tabloid than I’d like to have seen it.”

“If I had the money, I’d think seriously about getting control of Time Warner and getting CNN to focus on serious journalism,” he said. “They’re doing a good job but they could do better.”

Turner, who made a fortune and became the single biggest shareholder of Time Warner when that company took over his media empire of CNN, TNT, TBS and Cartoon Network, then suffered a staggering loss of an estimated $7 billion when that company merged with AOL in 2001. He left Time Warner in 2006.

Earlier this year, Forbes estimated his net worth at $1.8 billion.

He now focuses on affecting big issues, issues he calls “life and death for us,” including nuclear disarmament, global climate change, women’s rights, and the environment.

“I’ve had the experience of being on top and riding the roller coaster down again, nearly to the bottom,” Turner told Bloomberg News. “You know, if you economize and don’t buy new airplanes or long-range jets, or that sort of thing, you can get by on a billion or two.”