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Call Me Ted Paperback – November 2, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
I don't spend a lot of time dwelling on the past or thinking about myself, Turner claims, but the media tycoon turns out to have a pretty good memory—except for certain events, like the death of his younger sister, which he admits he's suppressed completely. After dropping out of college, Turner worked his way up from the bottom of his father's billboard company, which he inherited when his father committed suicide, and then slowly turned it into an international media empire—an uphill battle he records in entertaining detail (I don't think of myself as losing, he says of the occasional setbacks, drawing on his experiences as a champion sailor. I'm simply learning how to win). Turner's version of events is frequently interrupted by supplementary Ted Stories from those closest to him, including his children and business colleagues—even competitors. These commentaries are not always complimentary; in two passages, ex-wife Jane Fonda candidly discusses the psychological blocks she believes keep him from achieving full emotional and spiritual intimacy. There's little to challenge Turner's provocative reputation, but his reflections reveal the depth of calculation behind his career as a so-called loose cannon. (Nov. 11)Correction: The correct publisher of The Empathy Gap, reviewed Oct. 27, is Viking.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
"Turner's straightforward yet surprisingly charming delivery makes this a must hear."―Publishers Weekly --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
I have read many of the big business biographies, and some are more substantive and rewarding than others. This one is worth reading. If you are interested in the history of the media business from the 1960's on, particularly in the creation of cable, you will be interested. If you are interested in entrepreneurial stories in general, I think this will be rewarding. And I think along the way you will get interested in Turner as a person as well.
I zipped through it in two nights (not because it was short but because I was interested).
If I could change the book at all I might have had him pause more and explain at greater length some of his transitions from conservative to liberal and from Christian to agnostic. That would have been interesting but I think he wanted to focus on the business stuff, which I suppose is smart.
As with the case of most "outliers", Ted was in the right place at the right time doing the right things for "most" of his career. Undoubtedly this book proves once again "timing is everything"... Just the same, Ted seized these opportunities and made it happen. The guy even courted Jane Fonda and was successful.... definitely a person I would like to meet some day. Well played Ted, Well played..
Turner is one of the few man standing, that actually stands for something beyond himself. A true visionary, somebody that puts the interest of many before his. An eye opening for what really goes into lousy corporate mergers like AOL time Warner.
A valuable lesson for the uprising trend of mediocre CEO's out there (like Bob Nardelli)which lead companies with no passion, vision, or direction whatsoever. Their real job is to satisfy their never ending greed. And yes, they all want to be bailed out of their sad mediocrity.
Rupert Murdoch should have this book in his night-stand table. To remind himself, of how pitiful his success has been in the media industry, compared to a true legend like Ted Turner. Is not about the $$$ Murdoch, is about the integrity of the news content.
Felipe Pardo. Atlanta, GA