The TCM Classic Film Festival will pay tribute to Turner Classic Movies founder Ted Turner during a special presentation on April 11, the opening night of the four-day festival now in its 10th year in Los Angeles.
Turner was an architect of the modern media landscape with his pioneering efforts as a cable TV programmer with CNN, TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network and the 1994 launch of TCM. In the mid-1980s he made a huge bet on the value of timeless content with his acquisition of the pre-1948 MGM movie library, among other vaults. Turner sold Turner Broadcasting System to Time Warner for $7.5 billion in 1996.
“Turner Classic Movies was a passion project of mine, born of my love for classic films,” Turner. “I’m very proud to have played a role in honoring these great works through the years, and hope they continue to provide just as much joy and entertainment to TCM viewers as they have to me.”
The salute to Turner is part of a series of events to mark the 25th anniversary of TCM’s on-air debut on April 14, 1994. Turner will be feted at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood just before the festival’s 30th anniversary screening of “When Harry Met Sally.”
“Without Ted Turner there simply would be no Turner Classic Movies. Ted’s maverick spirit saw the potential in utilizing Hollywood’s great film libraries on a TV network that could serve as a home for these iconic classics,” said Jennifer Dorian, executive VP and general manager of TCM. “There is no greater place to honor his work and his legacy than at the TCM Classic Film Festival while the brand celebrates its 25th anniversary — a milestone we couldn’t have reached without Ted’s incredible vision.”