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Robert Wussler & Robert Johnson - Original Air: March 1980

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Uploaded on Jul 19, 2008

Robert Wussler & Robert Johnson

Robert J. Wussler's instinct for innovation has consistently transformed television. Throughout his illustrious career, he has wrought groundbreaking advancements in commercial, cable, and satellite television. He is now president and chief executive officer of Ted Turner Documentaries and Ted Turner Pictures.

During his 21 years at CBS, Wussler quickly moved from the mailroom to become the youngest president of the network. As executive producer of CBS News - where he oversaw special projects including election coverage and man landing on the moon - Wussler gained prominence as an industry innovator and leader, from his early use of miniature cameras to his calm control room demeanor as Walter Cronkite' producer. As president of CBS Sports, he essentially invented the genre of pre-game telecasts with "NFL Today," hiring Brent Musburger, Irv Cross, Jimmy the Greek Snyder and Phyllis George.

In 1980 Wussler joined Ted Turner as a co-founder of CNN. Writing of the decade in which they transformed the news and cable business, Turner said, "I couldn't have done it without Wussler." Wussler helped enfranchise Turner Broadcasting as a major power by acquiring high-profile sports and entertainment properties including the NBA, the NFL, the Goodwill Games and exclusive movie packages. For almost 10 years he oversaw the growth of SuperStation TBS as its president and, in 1988, was instrumental in the founding of TNT.

From 1989 to 1992, Wussler was president and CEO of COMSAT Video Enterprises, supervising rapid growth in on-demand videos in hotels. While there, he also managed the acquisition of the Denver Nuggets, serving as managing general partner. Following several international entrepreneurial ventures, including Metromedia's European television distribution businesses, Wussler became president and CEO of ABC Affiliate Enterprises, the new media and marketing arm of more than 100 ABC television affiliates.

In addition to heading Ted Turner Documentaries, Wussler also serves as president and chief executive officer of Ted Turner Pictures, a newly created company that develops theatrical motion pictures and television documentaries on current and historical issues. Ted Turner Pictures released the theatrical motion picture "Gods and Generals" nationwide in late February 2003 through Warner Bros. theatrical distribution. Mr. Wussler has received six national Emmy awards, in addition to the prestigious NATAS Trustees Award, presented in the past to such recognized leaders as David Sarnoff, William S. Paley, and Ted Turner.

Robert L. Johnson is the founder, chairman and CEO of Black Entertainment Television (BET). He is also the majority owner of the the Charlotte Bobcats of the National Basketball Association. Johnson grew up in Illinois and earned a graduate degree in international affairs from Princeton University. In the early 1970s Johnson found himself in Washington, D.C. during the early expansion of cable television. After a few years as a lobbyist for the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, Johnson borrowed money to start his own cable brand, BET. Launched in 1980, it was profitable within five years. In the early '90s BET became the first African-American-controlled company to be traded publicly on the New York Stock Exchange. In 1998 Johnson bought it back and then sold it to Viacom, pocketing a reported $1.5 billion himself and retaining his position as chairman and CEO. Since then Johnson has continued to expand and diversify the BET brand, and in 2003 he became the owner of a new National Basketball Association franchise, the Charlotte Bobcats.

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