John Malone, chairman of Liberty Media, the corporate owner of the Braves, made news when he overtook another media mogul-turned baseball team owner-turned land baron, Ted Turner, as the biggest private land holder in the U.S.
In an article in Fortune, the two old pals swap a little mutual respect.
Said Malone: “Ted and I have been buddies for many, many years, and in many ways the idea of investing in land ownership and stewardship came to me from Ted. He was the one who gave me the concept that you could do well and do good in land ownership.”
Replied Turner: “John feels a deep reverence for the land and is very aware of the responsibilities that come with being a land owner. I also feel that way. We both see land ownership as a personal investment, but also as an opportunity to contribute to the well-being of our planet and its inhabitants.”
Malone, 71, now owns 2.2 million acres of cropland, ranch land and woodland, an area about three times the size of Rhode Island, the magazine said. He pushed past Ted, who had an estimated 2.1 million acres, with his purchase last year of 1.2 million acres of woodlands in Maine.
Malone’s admiration for Turner extends to baseball, even if his reign as club owner hasn’t been quite as successful as Ted’s.
Speaking of the Braves, Malone said, “I will always think of them as Ted’s team.”