Ted Turner, the former vice chairman of Time Warner Inc. and philanthropist, speaks during a television interview in New York. (Photographer: Stephen Hilger/Bloomberg News)

Cable Pioneer Ted Turner Reveals He Suffers From Brain Disease

(Bloomberg) -- Ted Turner, the media mogul and philanthropist who shook up the cable-TV industry in the ’80s and ’90s, said he’s suffering from Lewy body dementia, a disease that leaves him tired and forgetful.

“It’s a mild case of what people have as Alzheimer’s,” Turner told Ted Koppel in an interview due to air on CBS. “It’s similar to that. But not nearly as bad. Alzheimer’s is fatal.”

Turner, 79, launched the era of 24-hour TV news with the creation of Cable News Network. It’s now part of AT&T Inc. and one of many round-the-clock video outlets where consumers go for coverage of sports, politics, business and the economy.

Turner, who was interviewed on his 113,000-acre ranch near Bozeman, Montana, told Koppel that symptoms previously blamed on manic depression were in fact caused by Lewy body dementia. The late comic Robin Williams also is believed to have suffered from the disease.

The media mogul said he doesn’t watch much news anymore, though he still looks in on CNN.

“I think they’re stickin’ with politics a little too much,” CBS quotes Turner as saying. “They’d do better to have -- a more balanced -- agenda. But that’s, you know, just one person’s opinion.”

The network released excerpts from the interview on Friday. The segment is scheduled to air on “CBS Sunday Morning” at 9 a.m. New York time.

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