Malone and Turner: Don’t fence them in

By Laurie Bennett

February 1, 2011 at 10:25am

Some billionaires compete with one another for the longest yacht.

Others are land barons.

Media mogul Ted Turner has for years ranked as America’s top landowner, according to an annual listing compiled by The Land Report.

Today he is being displaced by a friend and fellow media mogul, John Malone, who is scheduled to complete a purchase of 900,000 acres of forestland in Maine and New Hampshire. The deal, reports The New York Times, will put his total holdings at about 2.1 million acres nationwide.

While massive land acquisition used to be about empire building, today’s biggest landlords tend toward conservation. (Biggest here is defined by acreage rather than price. Old-style capitalism still reigns in urban real estate markets.)

Turner is well known for his support of land preservation and environmental causes.

Malone told the Associated Press that his primary concern with the New England land deal was conservation, but he would continue past forestry practices.

Malone and Turner share more than interest in land and media. Malone’s company, Liberty Media, owns the Atlanta Braves, formerly owned by Turner. Other Liberty Media holdings include QVC, Sirius XM Radio and Expedia.

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