Ted Turner, the innovative, outspoken founder of Cable News Network, severed his relationship with Time Warner Inc. Friday, leaving him on the sidelines of a media industry he revolutionized with the launch of the first 24-hour news network in 1980.
Time Warner announced that Turner had decided not to stand for re-election to its board of directors at the annual shareholders meeting in May.
Always unpredictable, Turner leaves many wondering what he will do next. Some observers predict that -- freed of entanglement with Time Warner -- he will seek to re-enter the media business. A Turner spokesman sought to quash such speculation, saying philanthropy will occupy Turner's time.
"His reason for not seeking re-election is to refocus his energies on some of his interests outside of Time Warner and those include his big three philanthropies," said Phillip Evans, spokesman of Turner Enterprises, which manages Turner's landholdings.