CNN honored with state historical marker
May 24, 2018
I dedicate the news channel for America – the Cable News Network.
- Ted Turner’s speech before the launch of CNN on June 1, 1980
The iconic, red CNN Center letters have long been a downtown Atlanta staple. Now, the company is leaving yet another mark on the city it has called home for nearly 40 years. On Thursday, the Georgia Historical Society unveiled a new historical marker recognizing the legacy of CNN – the world’s first 24-hour news network – and its cultural, economic, and social impact on Georgia and the U.S.
And the original maverick, our founder Ted Turner, was there to witness it all in front of a standing-room-only crowd.
“I’m thrilled that almost 40 years later, tourists continue to flock to CNN Center to learn more about this global network’s humble beginnings and witness history in the making,” said Turner. “This place will always feel like home, and it’s good to be back.”
Rick Davis, EVP, Standards & Practices for CNN, who has been working at CNN since June 1, 1980 – the day it was founded – acknowledged the courage it took for Turner to risk it all and create the world’s first 24-hour news network.
“It not only took courage to think we could take on the powerful in the U.S. but also the forces around the world, in the heat of the Cold War,” said Davis. “Courage, too, to think we could take on the big boys in New York – ABC, CBS, NBC. And most of all, it was the courage of all our colleagues – then and now – the reporters and their crews who put their lives on the line in the most dangerous places on the planet.”
Also in attendance were EVP & General Counsel for Turner Louise Sams and Board Chair of the Georgia Historical Society and former University of Georgia head football coach Vince Dooley, who each spoke of the significance of this dedication and CNN’s lasting impression in both Atlanta and as a global news organization.
“CNN Center is not just a building. It’s also a symbol of this company’s investment in Atlanta and this community,” said Sams.
Each year, the Georgia Historical Society selects iconic companies in our state to be honored through the Georgia Business History Initiative. Honorees receive a historical marker that tells the story of that company's contribution to the development of our state and nation. CNN is no exception, with its history of groundbreaking, award-winning journalism that continues to push boundaries and shape the future of the media industry.
For more information about the state’s other historical markers and the Georgia Historical Society, visit georgiahistory.com.