Call Me Ted

Call Me Ted

by Ted Turner, Bill Burke


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780446582032
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 11/02/2009
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 433
Sales rank: 669,706
Product dimensions: 8.70(w) x 5.64(h) x 1.15(d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix

1 Early Years 1

2 McCallie 11

3 College and the Coast Guard 23

4 Billboards 41

5 Tragedy 53

6 Picking Up the Pieces 59

7 On My Own 67

8 Sailing Gets Serious 79

9 WTCG: "Watch This Channel Grow!" 91

1 The Braves 109

11 The SuperStation 125

12 The America's Cup 145

13 Cable News Network 159

14 Fastnet 159

15 CNN Launch 181

16 A Dagger Pointed at Our Heart 191

17 World Citizen 207

18 The Goodwill Games 215

19 CBS 223

20 MGM 237

21 The Cable Operators 249

22 Meeting Jane Fonda 259

23 "Give Me Land, Lots of Land" 269

24 The Gulf War 277

25 Movies and Cartoons 289

26 Networking 303

27 Time Warner Merger 315

28 The New Time Warner 327

29 Billion-Dollar Gift 343

30 Transitions 355

31 AOL: Phased Out and Fenced In 367

32 Stepping Away 383

33 Onward and Upward 399

Appendix 415

Acknowledgments 417

Index 419

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Call Me Ted 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 35 reviews.
Julia19 More than 1 year ago
I just read this book and was very pleased. The anecdotes were touching and entertaining, and I enjoyed the personal style in which it was written. He has had an amazing life, and is actually someone who deserves to pen his own autobiography unlike some of the other self-indulgent celebrities whose books are shallow and vain. I felt like I really got to know him, and identified with his love of nature. Overall, an incredible book.
checkmate More than 1 year ago
Here's a self-made guy that has had a complex and most successful life which fills up the contents of this book. After seeing him interviewed on tv, had to buy it. I was intrigued with his childhood, father's expectations, demons, financial bounce backs and life with Jane. Still wondering why he doesn't like to be alone.

You won't be disappointed. Over 400 pages, but a fast fascinating read.
btauthor More than 1 year ago
It's the kind of true story I love to read. How a person built a business or empire on their own. With metal sweat and some sleepless nights to get to the goals you set and then even bigger goals. Knowing when to get out is also a quality that few have. Ted's giving has also inspired me to look at my own business and share the success. Great book on CD and I will listen many times over the years.
JJBW More than 1 year ago
Ted Turner is an amazing man who seems to "hold no bars" when it comes to doing things. With "Ted" being all over the map in various endeavors (literally and figuratively), I was very curious to hear his story of his accomplishments and failures, and not some reporter's version. I was not disappointed to read his story. It is amazing and extremely well written. I was also intrigued by the various stories of other people close to Ted, who contributed short stories at the beginning of the chapters. All in all, this is an incredible biography, of an incredible-complex man, who is well known
irshrow More than 1 year ago
I recently saw Ted Turner on CNN's Lou Dobbs show, hawking his book, but more reminiscing about the old days at CNN; he then confronted Lou with some of his strident anti-illegal immigrant postures and delightfully put Lou on the defensive unlike any heavyweight that had ever appeared on the program. And he never raised his voice.

So I wanted to read his book. And it is a very good autobiography, surprisingly frank and succinct in describing his motivation, his business acumen, moreover his honesty and character as a businessman. It's well-written.

The reader gets a full-screen look at his vision, his foibles, his personal life, his triumphs and his disappointments. The comments by others that are spread throughout the book are revealing. Jeremy Levin exposes himself right in the book for what Ted Turner ultimately chided as being a less than honest "best friend" performance.

Jane says, toward the end of the book and their marriage that she was headed in another direction, having been overcome with a new sense of spirituality. At a time when taxpayers are bailing out Wall Street and corporate America, the vision, the work ethic and the straightforward integrity of Ted Turner revealed in this book is just the kind of gospel that business people should be reading. And he offers yet more vision and advice to the reader-entrepreneur regarding energy and the future of green industries in the world.

You really like Ted when you finish this book. You're left wishing Jane Fonda would give him another chance.
dhDH More than 1 year ago
I was looking forward to reading CALL ME TED, but being busy and multitasking, I decided to by the CD version.

I listen and re-listen to Ted's story. What amazed me most about this package was that Ted recorded every page of his 500 page book while recovering in the hospital - it took him 40 to 45 hours to record.

This in itself is a world breaking record to begin with. Does he understand what being tired means? I don't think so... you can hear his voice weakening in some moments, but that was the best part of why I find it inspirational.

They keep saying that his life was difficult, or his childhood was a complex one. At that time not many kids had the brightest of childhoods, but none of them were like Ted. He was about what you want for tomorrow in your life, and how you want the day after tomorrow to unfold. That is Ted Turner to me as his reader (or in this case, listener). He is a hard working, very intelligent and creative, long vision and determined, most honest, loving, caring, and a patriot to the core. What is most important, Ted Turner, achieved all of this alone, he created ideas all alone, he managed to make it happen all alone, and he stands all alone. I read almost every biography of successful people and by far this one tops them all. I am very thankful to be able to read someone's life as great as his in a most straight to the point and yet inspiring way. Whatever happens behind closed doors in his real life, this is what we need to see and read, to feel inspired, and this book did it for me. Thank you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love biographies, especially good ones that tell the truth about a person that you would never know otherwise (as opposed to their own shiny account of who they are). Call Me Ted does not disappoint.

First of all, a book about a guy who is hugely successful and admits "I don't spend a lot of time dwelling on the past or thinking about myself," is bound to be interesting so long as it is honest. And it is. You get a detailed look at Ted's life, including insight from competitors, his ex-wife Jane Fonda, etc. You get the whole story. His life wasn't easy: from the death of his sister to his father committing suicide, he had to battle for his wealth in the early days. He dropped out of college and worked at the bottom of his dad's billboard company before he committed suicide. From there he takes you through every step of making the billboard company into a media empire. Including his own challenges with winning, intimacy in relationships, and the challenges we all end up facing in life.

I did a lot of reading this week and have another book I have to recommend. It's called The Emotional Intelligence Quick Book and it's a fascinating exploration of the other kind of intelligence we all possess but few put to use.
sagustocox on LibraryThing 4 months ago
Call Me Ted by Ted Turner and Bill Burke on audio is an adventurous ride through Ted Turner's life from his childhood to his "retirement." This audio, which is 13 disks long, is read by the man himself. His southern accent and his passionate reading of this autobiography will make readers feel at home by his hearth as he recounts the biggest and smallest events in his life.Not only is the audio read by Ted, but there are a number of side stories told by family members, an ex-wife, business colleagues, and others. From an early age Ted was shipped away from the family and his "abusive" father to military boarding schools where he learned self-reliance, discipline, and dedication.In college, which he did not finish, he was known as two-beer Turner. He spent a great deal of time away from his own family and sailed in a variety of competitions. Turner is an exceptional, passionate, and accomplished man who is far from finished.Some of the best stories in the book center on his creation of CNN--a 24-hour news channel on cable--which the broadcast stations, like CBS, NBC, and ABC, considered "chicken noodle news." Creating the Turner company, transforming it from a billboard selling firm to a cable giant, he spent more than two decades on the couch in his office.Some of his proudest moments, however, have been in philanthropy and diplomacy during the Cold War and since. From the Goodwill Games, which never earned much revenue, to his work with the United Nations, Turner continued to inspire others to be better than themselves to make the world a better place. He continues this work today.The best surprise of this audiobook is the final question-and-answer session with Turner, where he says CNN should remain dedicated to impartial news broadcasting and end its emphasis on opinion--like that of the Lou Dobbs show. Turner also notes that alternative energy is needed today, not tomorrow; population growth must be stabilized; land must be conserved; and nuclear weapons must be eliminated around the globe. Turner says he is eager to write a sequel and have Tom Hanks play him in a movie about his life.If readers love autobiographies, Call Me Ted is one that will knock their cowboy boots off. Turner is witty, strong-willed, opinionated, and a no-nonsense kind of guy with a lot to offer entrepreneurs and others in the business world, as well as those simply in need of a boost.
ferventreader on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I finished this book feeling very sorry for Ted's various wives and children. He is obviously brilliant in business and magnanimous in his support of charities, but clearly selfish and egotistical. His personal relationships are substantially down the list in his priorities. I had the feeling that some days in the midst of a "deal", he may have had trouble remembering a child's name. Left me a little cold, I'm afraid.
DelasColinasNegras on LibraryThing 5 months ago
If I could have rated this book with a half star, I would have. Four hundred fourteen pages of nauseating I-am-soooooo-great drivel; 6 pages from the end, I just had to clench my teeth and tell myself I could do it. Sorry, Ted, but from all you told me about yourself, I doubt if anyone else would use the word "great" to describe you.
briantomlin on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This is exactly what you want from a good memoir: the book gives you insights into Turner¿s life, his perceptions of what happened at various points in his career, and the writing is as unique, direct and as colorful as Turner¿s public image. He discusses his own upbringing, such as being sent to a boarding school at age four, with a casual acceptance that says a lot about how he has been able to achieve what he has, as well as the personal costs. It is then no surprise that military culture, military schools, and strict discipline from his father jump out as the main influences. The path of Turner¿s business success, from billboards to yachting to local television to baseball to cable to CNN and beyond, is an entertaining story of a driven man that is told with Turner acknowledging the balance of hard word, good luck and risk taking that got him there. The book addresses Turner¿s slow shift from military strong conservative to liberal environmentalist, and while it would have been nice to have more of the story, it is telling that Ted credits meeting people from around the world as recognizing a shared humanity that spurred the change in him. These same experiences led to Turner¿s work in preserving the environment, reclaiming lands in the American west, and his interest in saving the bison.The book has personal anecdotes. It discusses Ted¿s concern while raising his children that they not become like so many other children of wealthy parents. Ted also discusses his marriages, and takes responsibility, but it is not a confessional or demonstrative tell-all. All in all I have more respect for Ted Turner and his accomplishments than before I read the book; his public persona and current political associations caused me to make judgments that the book put into better perspective.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very generous, and honest willing to share his path to wealth. Enjoyed it very much. Went a bit overboard with the sailing but it is his passion so he was honest in sharing even that. Definitely recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ted Turner is a well accomplished man and very inspiring to read as he has turned from the business focus to helping humanity. Truly an inspiration.
Dr_Wilson_Trivino More than 1 year ago
One individual who has changed the way in which we view the world is Ted Turner. This man who brought us 24 hours news now shares his story in his autobiography Call Me Ted. This book does not hold back as Turner speaks to his successes and failures. At 24, his father shot himself, Ted was thrown into the family sign business and so began his rise in the world of business. Time and time again, he would bet everything on an opportunity to do things on a grand scale. This story covers the origins of the Turner Broadcast System, to the purchase of the Braves, and the eventual start of CNN. Turner also shares his failed relationships, especially with Jane Fonda, to how merging with Time Warner was an absolute disaster. As always Turner, has rebounded and has started the bison serving Ted¿s Montana Grill and his continual fight for the environment the end of nuclear threat by dismantling the weapon arsenal around the world. A fast paced book, Call Me Ted captures the essence of this man who still is on the move.
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Tomeperuser More than 1 year ago
This book had me reading during the night and during the day until it was completed, like a John Grisham novel. Well written, answered all the questions I had from prior newspaper reports that were incomplete in my memory, and it was good to become acquainted with Ted, whom I came to like and whose achievements I appreciate very much, especially his sailing career, his gifting of a billion dollars to the UN and his becoming the largest landowner in the US, which I had not heard about before. I gave the book to a highly respected friend to read just as soon as I finished it. Five stars in all categories. A truly great read, highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have admired Ted Turner for years. So to read his book was an absolute joy. It is a great read and I recommend it to everyone.
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