Ted Turner Predicts the Imminent Demise of Newspapers — Again

By: E&P Staff

CNN founder Ted Turner said Monday that it was “all over” for newspapers, and predicted that they would soon be a thing of the past, according to a Cox News Service report.

“When I die, they are going to die with me,” Turner is quoted as saying about print newspapers during a speech at the National Press Club in Washington.

This isn’t the first time that Turner has predicted that newspapers would shortly be dead. In 1981, he was quoted as saying that print newspapers would be gone in 10 years.

A 1992 E&P story recalled Turner’s prediction and described how the publisher of the Yakima (Wash.) Herald-Republic made a special note of the remark and inserted the comment into his paper’s “upfile.”

“We want to be sure to record your prediction and will publish it on Dec. 3, 1991 so that our readers can have a good laugh,” Barnhill wrote then in a letter to Turner.

“Be sure to send me what you are able to print in 1991! Happy Holidays,” Turner replied.

On Dec. 3, 1991, Barnhill wrote his second letter to Turner, describing how his business was booming in Yakima, and reported growth in circulation and advertising.

Turner, ever the good sport, reportedly wrote back to Barnhill: “Congratulations on the success of your paper. … Continued success to you.” He did, however, toss in the remark, “Unfortunately, all is not well with some others in the newspaper business.”

The Cox News Service article also quotes Turner’s responses to a variety of questions about Jane Fonda, the Atlanta Braves, and CNN’s coverage of the Iraq war. He also spoke out against nuclear proliferation, and said that he let himself be fired by Time Warner because he “didn’t want to get into an ugly fight.”

Asked whether he would consider starting a new media venture, Turner is quoted as saying “That part of my life has come to an end.”

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Related E&P Story: Ted Turner: Media Should Pay More Attention to Global Problems

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