PULLMAN, Wash. — Ted Turner, founder of CNN, the world’s first all-news
television network, will deliver the annual Murrow Symposium Address at
Washington State University on April 21.
The free public lecture will be held at 7:30 p.m. in WSU’s Beasley Coliseum.
Prior to the lecture, Turner will receive the Murrow Award from WSU President
Samuel Smith. The award is given by the Edward. R. Murrow School of
Communication to the individual or organization who represents through
service or performance the professional ideals of Edward R. Murrow, one of
WSU’s most famous graduates. Last year’s recipient was Al Neuharth,
founder of USA Today and the Freedom Forum.
As president and chief operating officer of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.,
Turner inaugurated CNN as well as Headline News in 1982, and CNN
International in 1985.
Since TBS merged with Time Warner Inc. in 1996, Turner has served as vice
chairman and as a member of the board of directors of Time Warner, now the
world’s leading media company. He oversees the cable networks division, as
well as the company’s professional sports teams: major-league baseball’s
Atlanta Braves; the National Basketball Association’s Atlanta Hawks; and the
Thrashers, Atlanta’s National Hockey League expansion team.
A Cincinnati, Ohio, native, Turner moved with his family to Savannah, Georgia,
when he was 9. He graduated from Brown University, where he was vice
president of the debate club and commodore of the yacht club. He began his
career as an account executive for Turner Advertising Company (now TBS).
In 1997, in a remarkable philanthropic move, Turner announced he would
donate $1 billion to United Nations programs. In 1993, Turner was named UN
Population Fund Goodwill Ambassador in recognition of his support. He is
president of the Turner Foundation, which focuses on supporting population
and environmental projects.
Turner has received numerous civic and industry awards and honors,
including being named Time magazine’s 1991 Man of the Year. He was recently
named by Broadcasting and Cable as one of two “men of the century,” along
with Columbia Broadcasting System founder Bill Paley. An accomplished
yachtsman, he has won national and world sailing titles, including a successful
defense in 1977 of the America’s Cup.
Turner originated the multi-sport, international Goodwill Games in 1985. They
were first held in Moscow, Russia, in 1986, then in Seattle in 1990, followed by
games in St. Petersburg, Russia, and New York City.
In 1986, TBS acquired the MGM library of film and television properties, which
became the foundation for programming on Turner Network Television. The
MGM acquisition was followed by the purchase of rights to the library and
production facilities of Hanna-Barbera Cartoons. Cartoon Network was
launched the following year. Both TNT and Cartoon Network are broadcast in
Latin America and Asia and in several languages.
After a 1994 merger with New Line Cinema, an independent producer and
distributor of motion pictures, Turner Classic Movies, a 24-hour
commercial-free film-based network, was launched.
Turner Broadcasting has continued to expand with CNNRadio, CNN Airport
Network, and CNN Interactive, a multimedia division. With Sports Illustrated,
TBS initiated CNN/Sports Illustrated, a sports news network, in 1996. Since
1997, CNN en EspaÃ±ol has offered Spanish-language news to U.S. viewers.
Major subsidiaries of TBS are Turner Original Productions, Turner Sports and
World Championship Wrestling.
The annual Murrow Symposium is presented by WSU’s Edward R. Murrow
School of Communication. It honors broadcasting’s most illustrious journalist,
Edward R. Murrow, who graduated from WSU in 1930 and commenced a long
career at CBS in 1935. Murrow first gained international prominence for his
radio broadcasts from the European theatres of World War II. Later he rose to
television fame for his news documentaries and “CBS Reports.” Ethical
standards set by Murrow are still being observed by the communication