CNN Founder Ted Turner Is ‘Really Unhappy’ With Turmoil at the Network, Biographer Says He’s ‘Very Disillusioned’

“When I look at CNN today, I cry for Ted Turner because he’s really unhappy,” Turner biographer Porter Bibb told Fox News Digital

Ted Turner
<> on March 30, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Ted Turner, who founded CNN in 1980 and stayed deeply involved for years, is “very unhappy” with the state of turmoil at the cable news network, according to his biographer, who lamented that the Godfather of 24-hour cable news is no longer well enough to step in and fix it.

“When I look at CNN today, I cry for Ted Turner because he’s really unhappy,” Porter Bibb told Fox News Digital in a Wednesday report that posted just a couple of hours before Warner Bros. Discovery brass announced the ouster of CEO Chris Licht. 

David Zaslav handpicked Licht last April to replace Jeff Zucker, the successful but divisive longtime CNN leader ousted after disclosing an affair with one of his direct reports. Licht was tasked with centering the network’s left-listing point of view while also addressing its ongoing ratings plunge – but the widely reviled Trump Town Hall, a staff morale crisis and a disastrous all-access story in The Atlantic ultimately led to his firing.

Porter, a former White House correspondent for Newsweek, wrote “It Ain’t As Easy As It Looks: Ted Turner’s Amazing Story” in 1993. At the time, CNN was still flying high – Fox News wasn’t even yet a full twinkle in Rupert Murdoch’s eye – and Turner’s crazy experiment was already changing the face of media, politics and culture.

But CNN has been on a downward spiral since Donald Trump left office, with plunging ratings, anchor scandals and now, another hard reset on the horizon as Licht packs up his things.

“It’s really tragic that Ted has Lewy body syndrome right now and is not 100% capable of stepping in and returning CNN to its heritage,” Bibb said. “But I know he’s really unhappy and very disillusioned.”

Turner, now 84, has struggled with the dementia diagnosis. He gave a full interview to CBS Sunday morning as recently as four years ago, but public appearances have since dwindled. 

Bibb said Turner would be particularly bothered by reports of infighting at the network he founded. High-profile CNN staffers from Oliver Darcy to Anderson Cooper have been openly critical of the network’s direction, and the Trump town hall in particular.

“That’s not what CNN needs,” Bibb said.