Ted Turner's Memoir Expected To Sell For $7 Million

The New York Post reports that Ted Turner is shopping his memoirs and hopes to snag $7 million for his story.
Media mogul Ted Turner is kicking off the auction for his life story today, and some publishing sources say they expect the Mouth of the South to snag an advance of $7 million - or higher. Turner is the co-founder of CNN, the ex-spouse of actress Jane Fonda and the largest single landholder in the U.S. He's famous for shooting from the hip, for long-running feuds with other media titans, for pledging to donate $1 billion to the United Nations and for pioneering the 24/7 news format in 1980.

Turner at the time of the AOL-Time Warner merger was the single-largest shareholder in the company, thanks to the mid-1990s gobbling up of his Turner Broadcasting System. He OK'd the disastrous Time Warner-AOL deal, but later said it probably cost him $8 billion in personal wealth as the stock price plunged.

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There have been several books written about Turner, but his hyperkinetic lifestyle has not lent itself to him writing his own life story. "He's a guy with a tremendous memory - you just have to be able to hit the right buttons to call it up," said Ken Auletta, who turned his New Yorker profile on Turner into a book in 2004. Nearly two decades ago, Turner made a deal to write his life story with Joe Klein - now at Time magazine - as the collaborator and Simon & Schuster as the publisher. But the book was never written.
The celebrity/business/political leader memoir business has never been hotter. But our question is this: we know people buy lots of memoirs, but do they actually read them? Because we're still not convinced that everyone who bought a hardcover copy of John Adams by David McCullough read it all the way through.

Posted on June 6, 2006

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