Talking With TED TURNER
Ted Turner is the kind of man who has only one speed--flat out.
Not only that, he has juggled more than one professional career throughout his working life. While breaking ground as a media mogul, he ran a professional baseball team. He also made time to win one of sailings most prestigious events, the Americas Cup. And hes been a philanthropist.
So how does such a high-octane person find time to record his autobiography, CALL ME TED?
Easy. He underwent surgery.
It was great because Id just had back surgery, and I couldnt do anything anyway, he says in his characteristic Southern accent, which is not a drawl really, more of a twang softened by years in Atlanta and the business world.
I had just gotten out the hospital, and I couldnt walk very well. So I sat there in a studio in Atlanta and did the audiobook. The average person cant dedicate that much time to sit in there reading, but I enjoyed it.
He describes the recording experience as a bit like delivering a prepared speech, except that it had to be exactly right. But unlike a speech you can go back and do it over again. If the producer doesnt like a line, you go back and do it over again until theyre happy with it. It happened quite a bit. I didnt find it to be bothersome. I really enjoyed the experience. But I was glad to get to the end of it after 26 hours.
Turner adds, Not having recorded an audiobook before, it was a unique experience for me. It seems like I always enjoy doing something new as long as its not dangerous. Ive gotten to the point in my life where I dont want to put myself in harms way when its not necessary, like driving too fast or flying in small planes if I dont need to.
New experiences are something Turner always has craved. He has had multiple business careers. But hes no dilettante. What he does, he does seriously and in depth. Youd have to look pretty hard to find someone whos had so many different kinds of in-depth experiences because Ive been with the Braves for 25 years, and Ive been in television for close to 30 years. And we catch that, at least I think we do, in the book. Youll have to judge that for yourself when it comes out.
Turner listens to audiobooks occasionally while driving long distances. But his daily driving around Atlanta is done with a driver. At those times, he says, Im on the phone all the time to utilize that time, rather than have it be dead time.
The last line in Turners memoir is I have nothing more to say. But he hints that there may be more to come. Im actually working on another book that goes into greater depth in the environmental area and some other areas because it was impossible to cover all aspects of my life in 320 pages in any kind of meaningful depth.--Richard C. Gotshall
© AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine