Ted Turner to step down from Time Warner

MUMBAI: US media conglomerate Time Warner has announced that Ted Turner has decided not to stand for re-election to its board of directors. Carla A. Hills, a former US Trade Representative, will step down in accordance with the Board's retirement policy.

Both will continue to serve as directors of Time Warner until the company's annual meeting of stockholders.

Turner became a director of Time Warner in 1996 when the media conglomerate bought his company Turner Broadcasting Systems. He long held a prominent role in guiding Time Warner's affairs, but in recent years was sidelined especially after the ill fated merger between AOL and Time Warner. That merger cost him billions of dollars in stock value.

Turner turned television news on its head in 1980 when he founded CNN. Pessimists had at the time dubbed it the Chicken Noodle Network. After CNN came into its own during the Gulf War in the early 1990's, Time magazine named him "Man of the Year."

He once compared his arch nemesis News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch to Adolf Hitler, accusing him of using his media outlets such as Fox News to further his conservative political agenda.

Time Warner chairman and CEO Dick Parsons said, "Ted Turner's legendary record as a media pioneer and executive at Turner Broadcasting and Time Warner speaks for itself. He is a visionary leader who has made an extraordinary contribution to this company and, indeed, to the world at large.

Carla Hills has served on Time Warner's board with true distinction. She has brought to this company her invaluable judgment and breadth of experience. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I want to thank Ted and Carla for their exceptional service to this company. We will miss them."

Turner said, "It is after much deliberation that I have decided not to stand for re-election at the annual meeting. I have enjoyed working with Dick Parsons as well as the other board members and the management team. I wish Dick and the company every success."

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