Mood swings have always been a part of the billionaire tycoon's life, so I'm not sure what to make of a profile by the THR's Stephen Galloway that portrays Turner as more sedate and less cantankerous than he was in the old days. From the Reporter:
Turner goes to bed right after dinner most nights, switching off the light around 9, following an hour of reading. This onetime social gadfly, who hobnobbed with President Carter and Soviet chief Mikhail Gorbachev (whom he still cites as his hero), has a relatively quiet social life. "I have several good friends but not one [in particular]," he says. "I never think about who are my best friends; they're all my best friends. I confide on certain things with my family, my close girlfriends, Phil [Phillip Evans, vp and chief communications officer of Turner Enterprises]. I have good relationships with a lot of people. In fact, I don't have very many enemies, [though] I've lost a lot of good friends who passed away." Turner doesn't pay attention to TV anymore, other than CNN. "I don't watch entertainment," he says.
His depleted energy troubles some of the 300 former staffers and executives who remain intensely loyal and who reunited with him for a cocktail reception at Atlanta's Hilton in November. Several acknowledge the man they found was quite different from the human tornado of the past. "I don't know if it's because of what happened at Time Warner or if it's just getting older," says one. "But he's definitely changed."
His energy may be flagging, but some drive keeps propelling him forward, in an unending race to achieve more -- or outrun his inner demons. The 2001 departure of Jane Fonda from his life, after a 10-year marriage, may have fueled this. He admits it shook him profoundly and perhaps contributed to the sense one has of his being emotionally adrift, no matter how vast his accomplishments. Often, during our conversations, he tunnels down a track of his own -- spending 15 minutes on his Voluntary Initiatives, for instance -- as if his mind is full of his own thoughts and private obsessions. He has replaced Fonda with a new arrangement, alternating among four girlfriends, each of whom gets approximately a week per month of his time. "Pretty much, that's the general rule," he says.