Ellen Sappington papers
Scope and Contents of the Collection
The Ellen Sappington papers contain materials related to Sappington’s career as a news writer and producer at Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. channels and networks: CNN, TNT, TBS, and Cartoon Network from 1983 to 1993. The collection includes project files for promotions and TV specials. It also consists of rundowns for CNN news broadcasts from during President Ronald Reagan’s time as President of the United States in the 1980s. Additionally, it contains audiovisual materials of promos and TV specials recordings, masters, and reels created by Sappington. It includes topics such as the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, conflicts in Israel, Peru, and Nicaragua, the Atlanta Braves, the Atlanta Hawks, celebrity birthday celebrations and more. The collection dates from 1983 to 1995 with the majority of materials from 1985 to 1993.
- Creation: 1983-1995
- Creation: Majority of material found within 1985-1993
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Georgia State University is the owner of the physical collection and makes reproductions available for research, subject to the copyright law of the United States and item condition. Georgia State University may or may not own the rights to materials in the collection. It is the researcher's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and obtain permission from the copyright holder before publication, reproduction, or display of the materials beyond what is reasonable under copyright law. Researchers may quote selections from the collection under the fair use provision of copyright law.
Biography of Ellen Sappington
Ellen Barnes Sappington has over 40 years of experience in the TV and film industry. From 1982 to 1993, Sappington worked as a writer, producer, and director at Turner Broadcasting System, Inc in Atlanta, GA. There, she started as a news writer and news producer and worked her way to News Promotions and Marketing producer; Sales Promotion producer; and senior writing, producing and directing on all levels; including new channel development (TNT and Cartoon Network). In the early years of CNN (Cable News Network), Sappington worked as a News and Feature writer for all CNN News shows. She worked as a weekend show producer; package producer, reporter, and part-time promotions announcer.
Her on-air promotion projects included TNT Creative Services, TBS On-Air Promotions, Atlanta Hawks, TNT Latin America, Turner Program Services, TBSI, Local Cable Sales, Turner Sports, TNT and Cartoon Network – including the launches, Turner International, Public Affairs Programming and PSA's. Sappington’s special projects and client specific material include 30 second and 60 second commercials and contest promotions with outside commercial clients, long and short form presentations, live events, animation, develop and execute promotional campaigns for Turner Properties, including: the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Hawks, Goodwill Games, Turner Sports, TBSI, Turner International, Turner Properties, H.M.S. Bounty, Omni Hotel and Sports Complex. And her CNN New promotions include serving as manager for CNN Program Reports. She was responsible for creating ideas and developing new ways to increase self-promotion of all CNN News and Feature programs – specifically “Anchor Tags” pitching upcoming shows; CNN promotional spots; special projects and events pertaining to all CNN news and sports programming and events. For her work at Turner, Sappington won the 1989 CETAM Award for “CNN Program Guide” and the 1988 American Women in Radio and Television: Tara Award/On-Air News Promotion Development.
After leaving Turner in 1993, Sappington continued working in the TV and film industry as a managing director for Encore Media Corp. and freelancing as an assistant director and unit production manager.
Turner Broadcasting System Historical Note
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. was an American television and media conglomerate founded by Ted Turner in 1965. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, it merged with Time Warner (later WarnerMedia) on October 10, 1996. The headquarters of Turner's properties are largely located at the CNN Center in Downtown Atlanta, and the Turner Broadcasting campus off Techwood Drive in Midtown Atlanta, which also houses Turner Studios.
Turner is known for several pioneering innovations in U.S. multichannel television, including its satellite uplink of local Atlanta independent station WTCG channel 17 as TBS, one of the first national "superstations," and its establishment of CNN, the first 24-hour news channel. It later launched a sister cable network, TNT, professional wrestling promotion World Championship Wrestling (WCW), the children's channel Cartoon Network, and the movie channel Turner Classic Movies (TCM). Turner South—a network devoted to regional sports and southern lifestyle programming—was launched by Turner in 1999.
7.5 Linear Feet
Language of Materials
The Ellen Sappington papers primarily contain materials related to Sappington’s career as a news writer and producer at Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. channels and networks. The papers include project files, rundowns for CNN news broadcasts, and audiovisual materials of promos and TV specials recordings, masters, and reels created by Sappington. The collection dates from 1983 to 1995 with the majority of materials from 1985 to 1993.
Arranged in 3 series based on the types of materials: I. Project Files, II. Rundowns, and III. Audiovisual Materials. Series I and II are arranged chronologically based on the dates of the materials. And Series III is arranged alphabetically based on titles of the recordings.
The collection was donated by Ellen Sappington, March 2023.
Processed by Brittany Newberry, 2023.
- Ellen Sappington
- A Guide to the Collection at Georgia State University
- Brittany Newberry
- May 2023
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- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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