The special will look at the top thirty-five events over CNN’s history and go in depth on six of them. Those stories include the Baby Jessica, Gulf War, and 9/11. For those three events, Ted Turner was still at CNN. Books about the early years of CNN indicate that Turner was very active with programming decisions.
During the Gulf War, CNN was asked to remove their reporters, but Turner refused. In an interview with Piers Morgan, Turner said, “Well, we get freedom of the press. I just reminded everybody we had freedom of the press and that we had volunteers, Peter Arnett, who had volunteered to stay. And we didn’t make anybody stay. And I just said we’re going to stay.”
When 9/11 occurred, Ted Turner was the executive who made the decision that the Headline News, now known as HLN, would simulcast CNN’s coverage. He said in the interview with Morgan that it was “The last thing I did at CNN.”
Most of the personalities interviewed for the special are anchors or corespondents, but former CNN executive Bob Furnad was interviewed about the Baby Jessica rescue.
TKNN reached out to a spokesman for Ted Turner for comment, but has not heard back. We will update if we hear a comment.