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This Day in Georgia History

November 19, 1938

Ted Turner Born

Advertising and cable television pioneer Robert E. (Ted) Turner was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. His father moved the family to Georgia and later began Turner Advertising - an outdoor billboard business. On his father’s death, Turner took over the successful business, which in 1970 allowed him to purchase an Atlanta UHF television station that had the license for channel 17. Thus was launched WTCG, which would be known for its schedule of reruns, Bill Tush, and Saturday professional wrestling hosted by Gordon Solie. In the 1970s, Turner began bouncing WTCG’s signal off a satellite, which allowed it to broadcast to the nation through cable television systems. The stations’s call letters were changed to WTBS to signify the Turner Broadcasting System. Quickly, Turner built a media empire from a small independent television in Atlanta. Turner subsequently purchased two professional sports franchises - the Atlanta Braves and the Atlanta Hawks - and began broadcasting their games over his “Superstation.” In 1980, Turner created Cable News Network as his second - and arguably most significant - cable television offering. Following CNN came Headline News, Turner Network Television, and the Cartoon Network. In 1991, Turner was named Man of the Year by Time Magazine. Also that year, he married former actress and activist Jane Fonda - a marriage that lasted until 2001. In 1997 Turner made international news by announcing a donation of $1 billion (over ten years) to a foundation benefiting United Nations charities.