Rivals turn out for Ted Turner’s ‘Call’

Mogul's memoir takes unconventional route

“Call Me Ted” is every bit as unconventional as the man whose life it chronicles.

Part memoir and part oral history, the book intersperses Ted Turner‘s own narrative with stories about him, occasionally offering multiple versions of the same event.

Bill Burke, Turner’s collaborator, suggested the unusual gambit as a way of preserving his former boss’s distinctive voice and amplifying the narrative in ways the Mouth From the South could not on his own.

Having worked for Turner, Burke already had a file of “Ted stories” that he’d compiled for a possible book project. With Turner’s blessing, he sought out friends, family and co-workers to get their take on Turner’s life, then used the interviews to prod his former boss on the main narrative.

The anecdotes, labeled “A Ted Story,” pop up throughout the book. Dick Parsons, for instance, relates the time Turner told him, “You were born black”; his aunt recalls how abusive Turner’s father could be.

On both occasions, “it would be pretty hard for Ted to tell the story,” Burke says.

Burke says nearly everyone approached agreed to be interviewed for the book, with the exceptions of former AOL topper Steve Case and the ailing Fidel Castro. Turner ex Jane Fonda, Gerald Levin, Bill Gates, Jimmy Carter and John Malone all supplied their two cents for the book.

Burke says Turner didn’t worry about the fact that these stories occasionally contradicted his own version. There are multiple conflicting accounts of Time Warner’s AOL merger, for example.

“We presented the way it happened to all of them, and leave it to the reader to decide,” Burke says.

In hindsight, he adds, “no one wants to say they supported that deal.”

More News

  • Unfinished 'Doctor Who' Episode Is Finally

    Unfinished 'Doctor Who' Episode Is Finally Completed - 38 Years Later

    “Call Me Ted” is every bit as unconventional as the man whose life it chronicles. Part memoir and part oral history, the book intersperses Ted Turner‘s own narrative with stories about him, occasionally offering multiple versions of the same event. Bill Burke, Turner’s collaborator, suggested the unusual gambit as a way of preserving his former […]

  • Media Luna Picks 'The Unseen,' 'Angela'

    Ventana Sur: Media Luna Picks Up Puenzo's 'The Unseen,' Quintero's ‘Angela’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Call Me Ted” is every bit as unconventional as the man whose life it chronicles. Part memoir and part oral history, the book intersperses Ted Turner‘s own narrative with stories about him, occasionally offering multiple versions of the same event. Bill Burke, Turner’s collaborator, suggested the unusual gambit as a way of preserving his former […]

  • Dish Network

    CBS, Dish Resolve Carriage Dispute

    “Call Me Ted” is every bit as unconventional as the man whose life it chronicles. Part memoir and part oral history, the book intersperses Ted Turner‘s own narrative with stories about him, occasionally offering multiple versions of the same event. Bill Burke, Turner’s collaborator, suggested the unusual gambit as a way of preserving his former […]

  • 'Mystery Science Theater 3000' starring Jonah

    'Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return' Renewed for Season 2 At Netflix

    “Call Me Ted” is every bit as unconventional as the man whose life it chronicles. Part memoir and part oral history, the book intersperses Ted Turner‘s own narrative with stories about him, occasionally offering multiple versions of the same event. Bill Burke, Turner’s collaborator, suggested the unusual gambit as a way of preserving his former […]

  • Tommy Keene, Singer-Songwriter, Dies at 59

    Tommy Keene, Power-Pop Singer-Songwriter, Dies at 59

    “Call Me Ted” is every bit as unconventional as the man whose life it chronicles. Part memoir and part oral history, the book intersperses Ted Turner‘s own narrative with stories about him, occasionally offering multiple versions of the same event. Bill Burke, Turner’s collaborator, suggested the unusual gambit as a way of preserving his former […]

  • Virtual Reality Conference Promises to Ignite

    Virtual Reality Conference Promises to Ignite Singapore Media Festival

    “Call Me Ted” is every bit as unconventional as the man whose life it chronicles. Part memoir and part oral history, the book intersperses Ted Turner‘s own narrative with stories about him, occasionally offering multiple versions of the same event. Bill Burke, Turner’s collaborator, suggested the unusual gambit as a way of preserving his former […]

  • SGIFF: Anup Singh Readies Third Film

    Singapore: ‘Scorpions’ Director Readies Third Film With Irrfan Khan (EXCLUSIVE) 

    “Call Me Ted” is every bit as unconventional as the man whose life it chronicles. Part memoir and part oral history, the book intersperses Ted Turner‘s own narrative with stories about him, occasionally offering multiple versions of the same event. Bill Burke, Turner’s collaborator, suggested the unusual gambit as a way of preserving his former […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content