"Up All Night" A Provocative, Tale of Ted Turner and CNN'S Historic Birth
Book Review of Lisa Napoli's New Book" Up All Night: Ted Turner, CNN and The Birth of 24- Hour News''
August 20, 2020
by Rachel Ganz
Following a zoom conversation last week with author Lisa Napoli about her new book "Up All Night: Ted Turner, CNN and The Birth of 24-Hour News'' I immediately ordered my copy on Amazon.
It is a well written and compelling history and launch of 24 –hour news CNN in 1980 by the genius and quirky Ted Turner.
Lisa Napoli started her career in the summer of 1981 as an unpaid teenage intern at CNN'S New York Bureau. She is an accomplished journalist having worked at the New York Times, Market Place, MSNBC, and KCRW.
This her third published book and I am certain, many more will follow. Lisa genuinely captures the braveness and presence of working for Turner Broadcasting at its starting point.
Ted Turner was born November 19, 1938 in Cincinnati Ohio, the son of a billboard tycoon.
One of the few facts that were not disclosed in this book was that both Ted Turner and his father Robert Edward Turner, junior were diagnosed with 'Bipolar disorder ' and unfortunately his father committed suicide in 1963 when Ted was only 24 years old, leaving him in charge of a floundering billboard company.
Eccentric, brash, and unpredictable Ted Turner (" The Mouth of the South") was expelled from Brown University for having a woman in his dorm room, excelled in sailing winning the America's Cup in 1977, bought the Atlanta Braves in in 1977 and the Atlanta Hawks in 1982 , knowing little about baseball.
In 1968 he starts buying radio stations and begins airing radio stations 24 hours 6 days a week and gets infatuated with an all-news 24-hour cable network
In 1976 TBS becomes the nation's first "superstation "using satellite technology to carry its signal nationwide
. Ted Turner's staff was hired with a scanty budget, comprised of recent college graduates or drop outs, rouge reporters and anyone who shared his dream of connecting the world with his 24 hours all-news cable network
June 1, 1980 the Turner Communication Group launches CNN, the first 24-hour all-news cable network. Ted Turner, the broad casting pioneer expanded and bought MGM/ UA Entertainment Company, including its library of over 4,000 films in 1986.
In 1996 Ted sells Turner Broadcasting System to Time Warner Inc. for $7.34 billion becoming its vice chairman
Being a great Philanthropist, Ted founded the Turner foundation in 1990 with the aspiration of preserving the environment and endangered species throughout the world
2001-2006 Ted Turner is a member of the AOL Time Warner Board of Directors
After this time Ted Turner becomes involved and recognized as one of 40 billionaires who pledge more than half their fortunes to charity through 'The Giving Pledge' and donates over $1 billion dollars to the United Nations.
Unfortunately in 2018, Ted Turner announces that he has "Lewy body dementia 'and retreated to the largest of his 15 ranches 'Vermejo Park Ranch in New Mexico which is over 920 square miles
Ted Turner," Captain Outrageous, " has been married 3 times, has 5 children, 13 grandchildren, still has 4 girlfriends , has hunted ducks and drank whiskey with Fidel Castro, is enamored with Alexander the Great, is the biggest landowner in the United States, is worth over 2.2 billion dollars and is truly a man of vision, depth , compassion and guts!
"Up All Night" is a very provocative, and exhilarating story of the legendary Ted Turner and CNN'S historical birth, monumental obstacles and challenges that fed the desire for 24-hour news worldwide.