Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Media Mammoth `Does Well by Doing Good'

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Media Mammoth `Does Well by Doing Good'

Article excerpt

ATLANTA -- Ted Turner can't give away a billion dollars fast enough.

In September, the media entrepreneur donated $1 billion to United Nations causes after realizing that his net worth had increased by that amount. Now, six months later, Turner has made almost all of it back thanks to the improving fortunes of Time Warner.

Turner's 11 percent stake in the world's largest media company, which acquired his own cable television enterprise in 1995, is worth $3.95 billion, up about $870 million from September. That allowed him to painlessly sell $107 million in shares last month to fund the U.N. foundation he organized. The quick payback for Turner underscores the great amount of wealth being created -- at least on paper -- in the current stock market boom. It also, according to Turner aides, shows the benefits of philanthropy. "It's a fact: You do well by doing good," said S. Taylor Glover, Turner's personal financial adviser, who works for Merrill Lynch. "If you don't believe it, here's the proof." Time Warner's stock, which closed at 70 7/8, is up more than 70 percent since Turner joined the company, outpacing the 49 percent rise in the Dow Jones industrial average. As vice chairman, Turner has pushed Time Warner's effort to reign in costs and focus on shareholder returns. A strong economy, meantime, and growth from cable systems and Turner's TNT, TBS and Cable News Network channels, last year propelled the company to its first profitable year since 1992. And it's on track for an even better year in 1998. Turner, whose 55.65 million shares makes him the New York-based company's biggest shareholder, declined to comment. Flush with success, Turner astonished the world, including his wife, actress and social activist Jane Fonda, when he pledged $1 billion to United Nations causes over the next 10 years. It was one of the largest individual charitable donations ever. …

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