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‘You’re Toast’: Ted Turner’s Son Gets Axed in Merger

October 9, 1996

NEW YORK (AP) _ As father-son moments go, this one probably isn’t destined for any parenting guidebook.

Teddy Turner, the 33-year-old son of media magnate Ted Turner, cautiously asked his dad recently if the son’s job at Turner Broadcasting System Inc. was safe under the company’s pending merger with Time Warner Inc.

The elder Turner’s reply: ``You’re toast.″

Teddy Turner told The Wall Street Journal that his siblings, who were gathered for a family dinner when the subject came up, thought dad was kidding.

``I realized he wouldn’t joke about something like that,″ Teddy Turner said.

Teddy Turner, reached at his TBS office in Atlanta Wednesday, declined to discuss the matter. A TBS spokesman also declined comment.

The younger Turner, a promotions manager at Turner’s home entertainment division, is one of an estimated 1,000 employees expected to lose their jobs as Turner and Time Warner, whose shareholders are scheduled to vote on the $6.8 billion merger Thursday, begin to mesh the large media companies.

Teddy Turner’ sister and wife, who also work at Atlanta-based Turner, are expected to hold onto their jobs, the newspaper said.

Ted Turner tried to soften the blow with a philosophical speech similar to what other laid off workers might hear.

``It’s good for the company and it’s good for you. In the short run it’s always a little painful,″ Teddy Turner said he was told.

And later in the dinner, Ted Turner said remorsefully, ``I fired my own son.″

The younger Turner was offered a chance to interview for another job within the company but declined. He is planning to start his own television technology company.

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