Monday, July 7, 2008

Cats Lay With Dogs: Ted Turner and Rupert Murdoch Bury The Hatchet

Seems to me that as the titans and billionaires fight and then make up - those of us who don't have as many digits in our net work may pick sides but in the end it doesn't matter.

Ted Turner, Murdoch have ‘buried the hatchet’

By Maria Saporta | Monday, July 7, 2008, 02:29 PM

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Arch rivals in the media world — Ted Turner and Rupert Murdoch — are no longer at war.

When Murdoch announced that he was going “green” with his media empire by buying carbon offsets and instituting stronger environmental practices, Turner sent Murdoch a letter.

‘I had to congratulate him for it,” Turner told a luncheon crowd today at Atlanta’s Rotary Club. “Not many people take the time to write letters any more. I haven’t sent George Bush many notes.”

When Murdoch received Turner’s letter, he reached out to Turner and invited him to lunch, which happened a couple of months ago.

“I have buried the hatchet with him so I’m officially not at war with anybody,” Turner said.

Turner and Murdoch had been arch rivals with major philosophical differences.

Turner ran CNN, a 24-hour cable news network that some critics have said has a liberal bent, but one that Turner saw as a channel to increase global understanding.

Murdoch started Fox News, also a 24-hour cable news network, that often provided a conservative slant on its channel and described itself as a fair and balanced source of information.

Their competition did get personal. But as Murdoch’s empire grew (it now includes the Wall Street Journal), Turner lost control of Turner Broadcasting System and CNN after the acquisition by Time-Warner and merger with AOL.

At today’s lunch, Turner was asked what he would do differently if he was still running CNN.

“I would make Lou Dobbs shut up,” Turner quickly responded. After he thought about it some more, Turner said: “They don’t run as much international news as I’d like.” He also said the news is “lighter” and more “frivolous.”

Turner did say he misses the sports scores on the ticker of Headline News. And then he acknowledged: “I’m an old fuddy duddy now.”

As has become customary in his talks, Turner mentioned his estrangement with Time Warner. He got quite a laugh when he said: “A Time Man of the Year (Turner) got let go by Time.”

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