125 Inspirational Ted Turner Quotes [2023] Founder Of Cable News Channel (CNN)

Updated: January 20th, 2022

Ted Turner is an American entrepreneur, television producer, media proprietor, and philanthropist.

He is known as founder of the CNN, the first 24-hour cable news channel.

Ted Turner has been considered one among the entrepreneurs who transformed the cable industry and being mentioned as "Alexander the Great of broadcasting".

We've put together an incredible collection of Ted Turner quotes to read.

Here they are:

125 Inspirational Ted Turner Quotes [2023] Founder Of Cable News Channel (CNN)

List of Inspiring Ted Turner Quotes

I’m like the grass. I get tramped down one day and spring right up the next. I’ve been beat so much that one more loss doesn’t make any difference. Losing is simply learning to win. Ted Turner

I just love it when people say I can’t do something. Ted Turner

I’m a very deadly serious person in trying to accomplish things just for the satisfaction of accomplishing them. Struggling hard to achieve something is the most fun I get. All my life is a game. Ted Turner

You can’t win races without working harder than the other guy. Ted Turner

Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell, and advertise. Ted Turner

My desire to excel borders on the unhealthy. Ted Turner

I just kept working and working and working – that’s the secret of my success. Ted Turner

People have the most fun when they’re busting their ass. Ted Turner

I’ve always believed in cash flow rather than state profits, because when you state profits, you’ve got to pay 50% to the government. And if you look back at our company over the last 30 years, we’ve only paid a few million dollars in corporate income tax the entire time. We kept expanding fast enough… Ted Turner

Exposure to defeat is a very important thing. Anyone who doesn’t look to get beaten is doing a disservice to himself. Ted Turner

I may look like a clown doing back flips at a baseball game, but I’m a very deadly serious person trying to accomplish things just for the satisfaction of accomplishing them. Ted Turner

I’m no genius. I’m not at all; I just happen to look five or 10 years ahead and think things through… Ted Turner

I’ve learned that great wealth isn’t nearly as good as average sex. Ted Turner

I give [the networks] hell because they don’t serve the public interest. They look at the viewer the same way a slaughterhouse looks at pigs and cattle. They sell them by the pound to the advertiser – the same way they sell ham hocks and spareribs. Ted Turner

The worst sin, the ultimate sin for me, in anything, is to be bored. Ted Turner

When you’re little, you have to do crazy things. You just can’t copy the big guys. To succeed you have to be innovative. Ted Turner

[On the cable TV industry] We dreamed this whole industry up. Ted Turner

You know, I can do anything I want. If I wanted to walk from there across to that boat [pointing over a stretch of ocean water] I could do it. Weeeell, let’s just assume I could… Ted Turner

Sailing in rough weather is what the sport is all about. Ted Turner

You just have to keep going. Ted Turner

We need to win, because we’re just a bunch of bums. Are there any bluebloods here? Raise your hands. None. I didn’t think so. Anybody from fancy prep schools? Awright. We could have won it with the latest in computers, but that’s not our style. We like to slug it out. These other guys are going to have to slug it out with a bunch of streetfighters from the Bronx and Queens. Ted Turner

All I know is I get what I want. Maybe because I want things more than others do. I wanted my television stations on the satellite, and there it is. I wanted to win the America’s Cup and that’s getting close. I wanted to be worth $50 million and in a few years it might be double that. People love me, all over the place, they really do. I can communicate on all levels. Ted Turner

You problem is that you are too worried about losing. There is no disgrace in losing. Everybody loses from time to time. Don’t worry about it. Ted Turner

Exposure to defeat is a very important thing. Anyone who doesn’t look to get beaten is doing a disservice to himself. You have to go where the hot stuff is and get whipped. Ted Turner

[On his proven motivational skills] It’s mental attitude. You know, there are a whole lot of little slogans – be sure you’re right and then go ahead – either lead, follow, or get out of the way – get with the problem – don’t stand around beefing, pick something up and carry it away. Ted Turner

I’ve got a larger does of motivation than most people have. Some people are born fleet of foot, make great runners. When basic characteristics were doled out, I got more than my share of competitiveness. That’s probably all. In fact, it may not be all that healthy. Ted Turner

All of my life I’ve had this gnawing pain that I might not succeed. It is only in the past four or five years that I have put that ghost to rest. Ted Turner

[On having an old boat] It’s kind of like having an old wife. A devil you know is sometimes better than a devil you don’t. At least we know we’ve got a good boat. Ted Turner

[On skin cancer in 1994 before he went in to have surgery] The one piece of advice I can give you is put on sun screen and wear a hat. Ted Turner

The most fun that you ever have as a man is in doing men’s things. Men’s things are primarily getting a bunch of guys together and going out and conquering a country, fighting a war, winning a big fight, putting a baseball team together. Ted Turner

You only live once, and you ought to have all the experiences you can. I want to see what it’s like to be big before I die. Ted Turner

Losing is simply learning how to win. Ted Turner

Everything is a game – and you keep score with dollars, to a degree. Ted Turner

I got my thrift from the Scots, my work ethic from the German, and my colorfulness from the French and the British. M judgment and conservatism come from the Dutch, and the Irish – well the Irish, they’re all off their rockers, unbalanced. Ted Turner

My father has this burning desire to succeed. Success, success, success! And I went to this military school where they pounded in ‘You got to get to the top, boy, you got to get to the top.’ Well, I go to the top. Ted Turner

I was determined to be the best. Ted Turner

I was interested in one thing, and that was finding out what you could accomplish if you really tried. My interest was always in why people did the things they did, and what causes people to rise to glorious heights. Ted Turner

[On Jimmy Brown] My father worked a lot, and didn’t spend much time with me. I was really raised by this black man. Ted Turner

I would clearly say my friendship with Jimmy Brown has made me a great believer in equal rights and equality for all people. Ted Turner

To me the capitalist system is still the best way to get things done… what a great system! Ted Turner

I don’t think I’d like to go to heaven. I just can’t see myself sitting on a cloud and playing a harp day in and day out. Ted Turner

I refuse to answer any questions about things that happened 23 years ago. It’s a waste of time. I don’t think about the past, I think about the future. Ted Turner

[On selling advertising] My Daddy said, ‘If advertisers want a blow job, you get down on your knees.’ Ted Turner

[To his father on his high expectations] You’re not leaving the business to me. You’re leaving me to the business. Ted Turner

[On getting bank finance] What you do is you get a bank, and you borrow all you can borrow. You borrow so much they can’t foreclose on you. Ted Turner

[On frugally reusing postage stamps] I took the letters to our mail room and made them cut off and re-use the stamps. I figured I made a dime on every stamp. Ted Turner

I’ve been through a lot of campaigns. I’m only 54, but I’ve already got the mileage of a 150 year old man. I’m like a New York City taxicab that has three drivers driving 25 hours a day, seven days a week. I’m still pretty tough. I’m still building this company. I haven’t done everything I want to do. Ted Turner

I was cable when cable wasn’t cool. Ted Turner

I’m like the bear that went over the mountain to see what he could see. One thing opened up another, and I kept moving on. Remember, I went from a small sailboat on Lake Lanier to the America’s Cup. Ted Turner

I knew it was going to be hard to convince the New York advertising community, but I had no idea how hard. My first team of salesmen ended up like the soldiers in the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan. They were mowed down to a man. Ted Turner

[On being asked ‘What do you think you have accomplished fro the good of mankind?’] Well, I’m only 44. I think I’m just getting started. Ted Turner

I’m going after the networks. I’m going to scare the hell out of them. Ted Turner

I understand these Indians who are performing tonight are very peaceful. I mean, I don’t want them scalping any of our critics here. Ted Turner

I never could understand why owners like to sit up behind bulletproof glass sipping martinis. I sit in the front row. Ted Turner

The trouble with me is I say what I think. Ted Turner

I keep moving. I never seem to have time to stop and to reflect on past accomplishments. I’m looking more into the future… Ted Turner

A visionary is supposed to have a vision of the future. I think I was right most of the time. Ted Turner

Decisions have to be made as close to the action as possible. Ted Turner

Where I come from, every man is a king. Ted Turner

In the world of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. Ted Turner

I take vitamins. I try not to eat starches, don’t eat desserts, try to stay away from sweets and between meal snacks, and I brush with Crest twice a day… Ted Turner

If you had as much to say as I do, you’d get into trouble too. Ted Turner

I bet you’re all wondering what it feels like to be a billionaire. It’s disappointing really… I’ve learned that great wealth isn’t nearly as good as average sex. Ted Turner

I wanted it to be harder for my sons than other kids. Ted Turner

You can’t pave the whole world over with asphalt and still live on it. Ted Turner

I got an island and I know that the ocean is rising, because I watched my beach get washed away. Ted Turner

[On seeing his name for the first time in 1982 on the Forbes richest list] Hmm, I can do a little better. Ted Turner

I’ve probably got more debt than anyone in the world. That’s something, isn’t it? Ted Turner

Values and achievements are much more important than possessions. Ted Turner

Being a billionaire or being a millionaire or being broke – and I’ve been all three at one time or another – it doesn’t make that much difference. If you’ve been bitten by the capitalism bug, or the achievement bug, you want to be the best in whatever you do. Ted Turner

[On becoming a billionaire] On the day they hit, I was so excited. I wanted to tell someone. But who? I couldn’t tell my employees. They’d say, ‘Great. No pay me more money.’ I couldn’t tell my friends. They weren’t nearly as wealthy as I was. So I that evening told my wife as the kids were running around. She said, ‘That’s great, but I have to deal with the kids right now.’ Ted Turner

I consider myself the luckiest man in the world. I’ve achieved everything I’ve set out to achieve… Ted Turner

I don’t want to upset the apple cart or make anybody mad. I just want to be a banana, one of the bunch. Ted Turner

I don’t always flush. Sometimes I just go out on the front porch and take a whiz on the grass. Ted Turner

People who are in love never want to hurt anybody, you know that? It’s only horny people who shoot people. Ted Turner

It’s good for my humility. As my father used to say, ‘A few fleas on a dog help remind him of what he is.’ Ted Turner

Why do you think my own racing yacht is name Tenacious…? Because I never quit. I’ve got a bunch of flags on my boat, but there ain’t no white flags. I don’t surrender. That’s the story of my life. Ted Turner

A few years ago, people were asking me how it felt to lose 100 games in a season. Now ask me how it feels to be a champion. It feels great. It’s wonderful. Ted Turner

There are very few 22 year old players that call the owner a jerk after he just gave them a million dollar contract. Ted Turner

Nobody in the history of the world has lost as much money in sports as I have. It’s reached the point where I judge my success by how big a loss I can absorb. Ted Turner

We can best achieve peace by letting the peoples of the world get to know each other better. Ted Turner

We’re trying to keep up with the Joneses – and the Murdochs and the Redstones and the Buffetts. Ted Turner

I want to be able to stand at the first-class table, I don’t want people pushing me around anymore. Ted Turner

The game I’m in is building assets. Ted Turner

Goddam it! I’ve never done anything like this before. It’s like sailboat racing in a hurricane. It’s like being in an airplane in a storm. You buckle your seat belt. Ted Turner

You have to be willing to accept risks in business. Ted Turner

When you’re got partners, you have to spend some time listening. You can’t be talking all the time. Ted Turner

I may make a mistake someday, but buying MGM wasn’t one of them. Ted Turner

I showed everyone it made a lot of sense to buy MGM, I showed ‘em. Ted Turner

You don’t look back, you gotta look ahead. Ted Turner

Nuclear war would really set back cable TV. Ted Turner

[The founder of CNN recalling his latrine and menial duties during a brief stint in the US Coast Guard] I, who would one day affect the destiny of the nation, was cleaning crap. Ted Turner

A full moon blanks out all the stars around it. Ted Turner

My life is a war between the forces of good and evil. Ted Turner

Just as the AM radio stations were first, that doesn’t guarantee you in today’s world. You constantly have to stay ahead. Ted Turner

I’ve got the ability to inspire people. Ted Turner

I can make 11 guys work harder and longer than anybody else. And baseball players are the same way. They just want someone who really cares. Ted Turner

I went into debating in my sophomore year in high school and ended up winning the state championship my senior year. I’ve got a virtually limitless supply of bullsht. Ted Turner

I fantasize about everything; being a fireman, an Indian chief, climbing mountains. Anything is possible. Ted Turner

What is trouble? Trouble is what makes life interesting… Ted Turner

We tried to build values and build real values rather than make it look like you’re making a lot of money by paying taxes. Ted Turner

One of the human traits is to make too much of it when someone is doing a good job and make too much of it when people are having a bad streak of luck. Ted Turner

My father always said to never set goals you can reach in your lifetime. After you accomplish them, there’s nothing left. Ted Turner

Physical pain, I can stand. Ted Turner

How much you give is how you keep score. Ted Turner

If the men want to take off their jackets, feel free to. And, if the girls want to take off their blouses, it’s all right with me. Ted Turner

If only I had a little humility, I’d be perfect. Ted Turner

[In 1997] Time. I need more of it. Actually, I am the biggest shareholder of Time. I own Time. And now I’m running out of it. Ted Turner

What you’ve got to have in baseball is pitching, speed and money. Ted Turner

[On Baseball Agents] When they smile, blood drips off their teeth. Ted Turner

[On negotiations with free agent Andy Messersmith] I offered him a no-cut contract, except in case of death. Ted Turner

[On the price of food at Fulton Country Stadium] Outrageous, really outrageous. I’m not sure I won’t eat before I come to the game. Ted Turner

[On what he insists that he wants written on his tombstone] You can’t interview me here. Ted Turner

I’m not interested in selling the Braves… but I don’t know why. Ted Turner

I bought the Braves for two reasons – to get an autographed baseball without pleading for it and to get good seats. Ted Turner

[On being asking who in all of history he would most like to be] That’s easy. Ted Turner. I’m in history and I like myself. I wouldn’t want to be anyone else. Ted Turner

If there’s a big guy and a little guy in an argument, if the big guy will argue with him, the big guy doesn’t come down to his level. The little guy rises up to his level… Think of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was just an itinerant little preacher until the Roman Empire decided it was gonna attack him… And look where he ended up. Ted Turner

Business is tough right now, but listen: For me, business has always been tough. I grew up in a touch neighborhood. We pioneered everything we started… We’ve had to fight and scrap every inch of the way against entrenched powerful competitors. We’ve survived and none of our competitors have. Ted Turner

We may have another French Revolution and there’ll be another Madame Defarge knitting and watching them come in little oxcarts down to the town square and BOOM! Off with their heads! Ted Turner

[When RCA would not provide a slot on it’s satellite for CNN] I may be a small company, and you guys may put me out of business. But for every drop of blood I shed, you will shed a barrel. Ted Turner

If you wanted an easy job, you could be a grave digger or run a graveyard. All you do is plant the people once and then leave them there, right? Or sell the cemetery lots, if you want something that moves slowly. But everybody in broadcasting likes action. Ted Turner

It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts. Ted Turner

I drive a Ford. I deliberately keep my life simple. Why? Because I enjoy that. I never really liked ostentatious wealth. Ted Turner

I just love it when people say I can’t do something. There’s nothing that makes me feel better, because all my life people have said I wasn’t going to make it. Ted Turner

I have learned – the more good that I did, the more money comes in. Ted Turner

meet the author
Pat Walls

I'm Pat Walls and I created Starter Story - a website dedicated to helping people start businesses. We interview entrepreneurs from around the world about how they started and grew their businesses.