PULLMAN, Wash. — Cable News Network founder Ted Turner will deliver an address entitled “Our Common Future” as the 2000 Murrow Symposium speaker at Washington State University April 21. The free, public address is set for 7:30 p.m. in Beasley Performing Arts 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 Murrow.
“Turner is an innovator,” said Alex Tan, director of the Murrow school and host of the symposium. “He was selected because of his vision in telecommunications. He took risks and changed telecommunications first, but he has influenced all media.”
In conjunction with the symposium, the Murrow school is sponsoring an event for high school students, “Coug It with Ted Turner.” Washington high school students who have signed up for event will come to Pullman to experience campus life and attend the symposium banquet, speech and career networking event.
“Career Networking,” an opportunity for WSU and high school students to meet with communication professionals, is planned for April 21 in the Compton Union Building, Rooms 208-216, between 9 a.m. and noon. Communication professionals will be on hand to discuss with students subjects such as classes, resumes, and preparing for specific communication careers and the job market.
Other related events being held prior to the symposium are a meeting of the Washington State Broadcasters and a mock council hearing presented by the Washington News Council, which is open to students and the general public. The hearing will be in the CUB Ballroom on April 21, beginning at 10 a.m.
Live video streaming of the symposium will be available beginning at 7:30 p.m. April 21 on the Web at www.wsu.edu/communications.
As president and chief operating officer of Turner Broadcasting System Inc., Turner inaugurated Headline News in 1982 and CNN International, the world’s first all-news television network, 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.
Turner 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, Ga., 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, Turner pledged a gift of $1 billion to the 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 William 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. The Cartoon Network was launched the following year. Both TNT and the 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 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 industry today.