Ted Turner to buy back the Braves? Bill Shanks

Nov 13, 2008

Could Ted Turner buy back the Atlanta Braves? Well he's evidently thinking about it.

Ted Turner told ABC's 'Good Morning America' Tuesday that he may have interest in purchasing the club from Liberty Media.

Turner was promoting his new book, 'Call Me Ted.' He told anchor Robin Roberts at the end of the interview that he was, "trying to earn enough money with my restaurants and my books to buy the Braves back."

Turner bought the Braves in 1976 and owned the team until his Turner Broadcasting merged with Time Warner and then AOL. Time Warner Chairman Gerald Levin eased Turner out of the management of the company, even with Turner owning more shares than anyone.

Time Warner sold the Braves last year to Liberty Media in a stock deal. Major League Baseball forced Liberty Media to keep the team through the 2011 season, dispelling talk it would turn right around and sell the Braves to another owner.

Liberty Media has not had any presence with the team in the year and a half of its ownership. Terry McGuirk, the Chairman and CEO, and John Schuerholz, the President, report to Liberty Media, but no onen with Liberty has an active role with the team.

Turner was very hands-on for the first fifteen years of his ownership. He even managed the Braves for one game in 1977 until Commissioner Bowie Kuhn stepped in and said an owner could not manage. Turner was involved in trades until the mid-1980s. It was not until Braves' current manager Bobby Cox came back to Atlanta as general manager that Turner stepped back and let baseball people run the Braves.

But since Turner has been out of the leadership with the team there has been a more corporate flavor that has really turned off the fans. The budget has also obviously been affected, since Turner was very generous in letting the Braves pursue top talent during his tenure as owner.

Here is the entire interview on Good Morning America. Turner's comments about the Braves are at the very end.

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Bill Shanks hosts The Braves Show Talk Show, The Atlanta Baseball Show on 680 the Fan in Atlanta, and The Bill Shanks Show on SportsRadio 105.5 the Fan in Macon. He is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team. You can email Bill at