Atlanta-based Turner Broadcasting System Inc. has been given numerous awards, including 10 Emmys last year alone, but the company was presented its first sword during a lunch May 12 at the Capital City Club.
The British American Business Group gives the Oglethorpe sword, named for James Oglethorpe, British founder of Georgia, to a U.K. or U.S.-based company for its contributions to trans-Atlantic trade each year.
Philip Kent, Turner’s chairman and CEO, accepted the award on behalf of the company, the umbrella organization for Cartoon Network, CNN, Turner Network Television and several other channels.
Mr. Kent said that the company’s London office is the largest outside the U.S. and the headquarters for broadcasting in Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
“We’ve been in a relationship with the U.K. for so long I don’t think of it as a trans-Atlantic partnership,” he said. “That’s where we started to pioneer international news and from there we launched our international expansion in the early 1990s.”
Today, the company employs about 9,000 people around the world and is a subsidiary of New York-based communications conglomerate Time Warner Inc.
Martin Rickerd, consul general for the U.K. in Atlanta, said that the London office employs about 700 people and the consulate is working with Turner to establish programs with universities in the U.K.
Recipients of the five-feet-long Oglethorpe sword have their name engraved on the blade and keep it until the award lunch the next year.
Last year’s recipient was Ray Anderson, chair of Atlanta-based carpet manufacturer Interface Inc., which has its European headquarters in West Yorkshire, England, for his work at minimizing the company’s carbon footprint.
Mr. Kent said that the sword might be kept for the next year beside the 1995 World Series trophy, which the Atlanta Braves won while Turner owned the team. A space was left open next to the trophy in expectation of another championship, but Time Warner sold the team to Meridian, Colo.-based Liberty Media Corp. last year.