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L E’s Stories – “I Was Cable Before Cable Was Cool” – A Story And Salute To Ted Turner

It was the summer of 1978….when Bone Daddy walked into the hall of the National CATV Convention in downtown Los Angeles….as he was heard to say…..”They are all here with, every “future media mega giant” being present on the showroom floor….as all were glowing and showing all about their current content….while highlighting the possibilities of what the future was to bring to television viewers right in their own living rooms….as the Satellite Television Era was about to begin.”

Sailing – 2013 – Lone Sailor Awards Special – Ted Turner’s Biographical Video As Awards Winner

 

There they were….Tats and BD….arriving at the Los Angeles Convention Center in downtown LA for the 1978 National CATV Convention…..a place where if they were willing to stand in line….they could talk face to face with some of the original mavericks who would become the “media moguls of the future”….in an industry that was just learning to crawl….which would ultimately develop a significant number of the men on the floor of this convention….into mega media giants by the turn of the 21st century…. and look at what they have evolved into by 2013. 

Sailing – 1977 – Interview With Ted Turner’s 1st Mate Regarding The Stanford Vineyard Race

There were the Ralph Roberts, Daniel Aaron and Julian A. Brodsky of Comcast…. James A. Middleton Cox of Cox Communications….Sumner Redstone and Dan Freston of Viacom….Rupert Murdoch of News Ltd (soon to be News Corp)….and Ted Turner of Turner Broadcast Systems.  They or their top people all were right there on the convention floor that day….when Tats and Bone Daddy crossed the threshold to the inner chamber….as they all were enthusiastically pushing and peddling their new cable services….their future content….and soon to be….their satellite services.  Yep….as BD puts it….”They were all there….showing and glowing about their current content….and the possibilities of what the future was to bring”.  

Sailing – 1977 – ESPN 30 for 30 Special – Ted Turner & Courageous Win The America’s Cup

 

BD has always said that he thought this Convention floor was an expression of the second phase of the cable industry’s development in the US….as the growth phase of the cable industry was just about to shift into high gear….and that’s why all the major players had come together on the convention floor….providing access to any Joe Public cable operator or friend….who wanted to learn about their products….especially sports programming. 

Special – 2010 – Ted Turner’s Top 10 Rules For Success

 

The Los Angeles Cable Convention was probably the only time in the history of the cable industry where all the future power brokers were present and accounted for under one roof….and accessible to anyone who was willing to stand in line to wait their turn to talk to each provider.  The man that Bone Daddy had targeted as the “definitive answer” to his questions the he had about his potential use of satellite technology at MSG in 1978 was Ted Turner….”the man who was cable before cable was even cool”…. cuz Ted was already filling many of the time slots in the programming for The Superstation WTBS with live sports television.  He was already providing a viewing schedule consisting of 50+ live MLB games a year of the Atlanta Braves and 25+ live NBA games a year of the Atlanta Hawks….as both professional franchises were owned by Ted.  None of the other cable providers had even considered utilizing live sports in their content at this point in time.  At this point and time….Ted was the forward thinker in the cable industry from a live sports standpoint….and he was BD’s prime target.

Special – 1976 – Mike Douglas Show – With Guest Ted Turner Talking Success Strategies

 

Due to Ted Turner’s already lofty public opinion and presence in the cable industry….there was always a long line of folks who wanted the opportunity to speak to Ted personally and shake his hand….throw into the equation that BD has never been a guy to stand in ANY line….which in most cases….would present itself as a big problem to most people….but not BD….as he has always been….and still is today….a very confident and opportunistic individual….so being a HUMAN who didn’t necessarily always wait for an invitation to insert itself into the equation of getting inside of where you were going….to achieve any specifically self desired position.  To put it simple….BD would as we say in West Texas….”pick his opportunity and make a dash for the door”.  

Special – 1991 – Home Video Of Wedding Of Ted Turner Marrying Jane Fonda

 While standing within close proximity of Ted….always making eye contact when “Capt. America” would look up….BD was not actually a part of the long serpentine line consisting of potential cable operators, press and interested folks with a friend who was a cable operator….from all over the US and many countries in Europe….to include columnists from newspapers from all over the world….and there too were potential consumer type HUMANS….who were forward thinking regarding cable television for their time. 

News – 2019 – CNN Special – Ted Turner: “Captain Planet”

 

When BD overheard two fellows speaking French move into the next position to talk to Ted….he started inching closer and closer…..cuz BD had seen his opening to circumvent the line….and he just needed to pick to right moment to make “his dash”.  Since my Bone Daddy is a bit of a bold HUMAN….as the French folks continued their conversation of what they were talking about….he stepped right in front of the them…. never looking back…..for he was about to have audience with “The Cable King”……as he stuck out his hand while grabbing Ted’s and said….“I’m not particularly fond of Frogs…served with them in Berlin”….and the rest is history.

Special – 2015 – Lifetime Achievement Award – Ted Turner

 

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