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Ted Turner

Founder, Cable News Network

It was probably crazy. Take a local station, put it on the satellite. And there were regulations against it, but they changed the regulations, and I started lobbying. A lot of the battles that we fought in the television business were fought, to a large degree, in Washington, against the networks, the broadcasters, against the motion picture studios, and against the sports leagues that didn't want us to take our little station and take the programming and run it all over the country and basically create a national network that was based on local programming. But we were able to convince Congress that it would be good for business, because it would create competition to the three networks where there was none before.
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Ted Turner

Founder, Cable News Network

I said, "Obviously, a movie station will work 24 hours a day," and HBO was already planning to go up there, and they went up about a year before we did. The Superstation was the second channel to go on the satellites, after HBO. I said, "24-hour movies, that will clearly work." And I thought. I said, "You know, 24-hour news would work, too. That would probably be the next channel," because we only had the news for a couple hours a day then. The CBS Morning News and Today Show ran for two hours from seven to nine, and then the next network newscast wasn't until seven at night, and it was only 30 minutes long. Then there was a local newscast at 11:00. I never got home until eight o'clock or after, and I always went to bed at ten. There was no ten o'clock newscasts, because there were no independent stations hardly. Maybe there was one in New York or something, but they weren't widespread -- New York and L.A. So we didn't have a ten o'clock newscast, not even a local newscast. We had nothing. So I never saw television news, except sometimes a few minutes in the morning, and I thought, "Boy, wouldn't it be nice for all the other people, you know, that get home late at night."
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Ted Turner

Founder, Cable News Network

TBS was the first 24-hour, seven-day-a-week channel, the first channel that ever went 24/7, and the idea with that was that we had mostly old black-and-white movies and black-and-white series, and at a time when all the television programs and new programs were all in color. So we weren't exactly in a position to be the first channel you turned on. We didn't have The Tonight Show or anything like that. So I said, "One thing we could do is -- if we were on all night, seven days a week -- there are some people that have insomnia, and when they get up and click around for something to watch, we will be the only thing on, and what will happen is, if they watch a movie during the night, they will turn the TV set off, and when they turn the set back on in the morning, it will be on Channel 17, and maybe they will watch us in the morning."
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Ted Turner

Founder, Cable News Network

Ted Turner: Twenty-four-hour news? I thought it was a no-brainer. It was something you could afford to do. It really doesn't cost that much more to do 24 hours of news than it does two-and-a half hours of news. You've got to have the news gathering organization. You have to have basically the same stories, but you need more stories and more different kinds of programs if you're going to do 24-hour news, unless you're going to do something like Headline News, which is basically a half-hour rolling format that you tune in and out of, and you don't expect somebody to stay with it more than a half an hour. But if you want people to have an opportunity to watch for extended periods of time, you need programs like Larry King Live and debate programs like what used to be Crossfire. You need financial reporting. You need extended sports reporting, if you're going to do a good job. Basically, there's a number of cable news networks now, but we were the only one in the beginning. I didn't think it was hard to figure out how it should be formatted and what it should do. The main thing it was going to provide is news availability when people had a chance to watch it, rather than when the networks wanted people to watch it.
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Ted Turner

Founder, Cable News Network

We had in Atlanta four VHF stations, the commercial stations, and then this UHF station popped up somewhere, and I heard that it was about to go broke because nobody could get UHF in those days. There was no cable TV, except in small towns where they brought television to people that lived too far from a big city to get over-the-air television. At that time, I figured that television was really on the move, and growing much faster because it was new. This was in the '60s. Television was relatively new, and color television was really just starting too, and I figured a television that nobody could see, I jokingly said, "A television nobody could see would be easier to sell than billboards, because nobody could see, or hardly anybody." Then I went out and told the advertisers that our viewers are more intelligent than the network viewers, and they said, "Why?" I said, "Because you have to be a genius to figure out how to get UHF!" So the people we had had to be real smart to figure out how to get the special antenna and how to hook it up and twist it around, so they could get a signal. That's pretty much true, too.
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Desmond Tutu

Nobel Prize for Peace

And even more extraordinary -- see, I used to -- my father bought me a bicycle and I was about the only kid in the ghetto who had a bicycle and he would send me into town. And, frequently I would see black kids scavenging in the dust bins of the schools where they picked out perfectly okay apples and fruit. White kids were being provided with school feeding, government school feeding, but most of the time they didn't eat it. They preferred what their mommies gave them and so they would dump the whole fruit into the dust bin and these kids coming from a township who needed free meals didn't get them. And so they got -- it was things that registered without your being aware that they were registering and you're saying there are these extraordinary inconsistencies in our lives.
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Desmond Tutu

Nobel Prize for Peace

Archbishop Desmond Tutu: Many of us had moments when we doubted that apartheid would be defeated, certainly not in our lifetime. But, I never had that sense. I knew in a way that was unshakable, because you see, when you look at something like Good Friday, and saw God dead on the cross, nothing could have been more hopeless than Good Friday. And then, Easter happens, and whammo! Death is done to death, and Jesus breaks the shackles of death and devastation, of darkness, of evil. And, from that moment on, you see, all of us are constrained to be prisoners of hope. If God could do this with that utterly devastating thing, the desolation of a Good Friday, of the cross, well, what could stop God then from bringing good out of this great evil of apartheid? So, I never doubted that ultimately we were going to be free because ultimately, I knew there was no way in which a lie could prevail over the truth, darkness over light, death over life.
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John Updike

Two Pulitzer Prizes for Fiction

D.H. Lawrence talks about the purpose of a novel being to extend the reader's sympathy. And, it is true that upper middle class women can read happily about thugs, about coal miners, about low life, and to some extent they become better people for it because they are entering into these lives that they have never lived and wouldn't want to lead but nevertheless it is, I think, the sense of possibilities within life. The range of ways to live that in part explains a novel's value. I mean, in this day and age, so late really in the life of the genre, why do some of us keep writing them and some of us keep reading them? And I think it is, in part, because of that, that it makes you more human. It's like meeting people at a cocktail party that you had never met and wouldn't have cared to meet. You wouldn't have gone out of your way to meet, but suddenly they become real to you. You understand to some extent.
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John Updike

Two Pulitzer Prizes for Fiction

The fiction that I'm proudest of, insofar as one can discriminate, is that where I have made some leap. I'm best known and been most rewarded really, prize-wise and praise-wise, for the Rabbit books. And Rabbit is -- he and I share roughly the same age and the same -- born in the same place, but I've long left Berks County. He stayed there, and it's a kind of me that I'm not. I never was a basketball star. I wasn't handsome the way he is, and nor did I have to undergo the temptations of being an early success that way, so that for me it was a bit of a stretch. Not an immense stretch to imagine what it's like to be Rabbit, but enough of one that it was entertaining for me to write about him, and maybe some of the self-entertainment got into the book. In other words, you can kind of walk around. I can kind of walk around Rabbit in a way it's hard to walk around, say, the autobiographical hero of some of your short stories, where it's your twin, you know, and you're attached. It's the idea of breaking that attachment, I think, that matters and where the fiction really begins to take off when you can get somebody else in your sights.
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