Ted Turner Says Rupert Murdoch Should Step Down, Calls Him Old

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Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images

In 1996, Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation launched Fox News and changed cable news forever, proceeding to eat CNN's flavorless lunch for years to come. So while CNN founder and fellow billionaire Ted Turner does know a thing or two about being an embattled media mogul, he might not be the most neutral source when it comes to appraising Murdoch's standing amid the ongoing phone-hacking scandal. Regardless, Turner did so today: "I'm past retirement age now. So, I'm 72," he told told Bloomberg TV. "That's a little late to be running a corporation. Murdoch's still doing it at 80, but not for much longer, I'm afraid. I think he's going to have to step down." Turner said, "not even Rupert Murdoch should be allowed to break the law," and that Murdoch "should have known" about the dirty tricks taking place under his nose at News Corp. "I took responsibility when I ran my company. You never heard me say, 'Well, I didn't know.'"

Although Turner said he's "made amends" with Murdoch after a long-running feud, he is still "very disappointed that this has occurred. A major media company should definitely be following the law, that's all." That said, the pair's rivalry is worth revisiting, courtesy of a Guardian article from 2003:

Mr. Turner's long-running feud with Mr. Murdoch goes back to 1983 when a Murdoch-sponsored yacht ran into Mr. Turner's boat during the Sydney-to-Hobart race, causing it to sink 10km from the finish line.

At the post-race dinner Mr. Turner savaged Mr. Murdoch, later challenging him to a televised fist-fight in Las Vegas.

It's not too late.

Turner: Murdoch ‘Going to Have to Step Down’ [Bloomberg]