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Turner may buy area plantation

ALBANY -- A well-known quail hunting plantation will soon belong to former media mogul Ted Turner, reports say.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle reported Friday that Turner was in talks with owner Tom Cousins to purchase the 8,800-acre plantation in Dougherty County. If the deal goes through, it would be Turner's single largest land purchase in Georgia.

Officials with Turner Enterprises Inc. and Nonami Enterprises did not return phone calls to The Albany Herald despite repeated efforts to reach officials with the two organizations throughout the week.

Turner is reported to be the largest single landowner in the United States with more than 2 million acres throughout the country.

Officials with the Dougherty County Clerk of Court's office said that several people had called about the property during the past several weeks, but that nothing suggesting the property had been sold had been filed with their office. Depending upon the state of negotiations, it could be months before the deeds for the property are actually changed with the office, officials say.

Deed records do show that late last year the property changed hands from Nonami Inc. to Nonami Enterprises in what is believed to have been preparation for a purchase.

The Business Chronicle reported that Turner and Cousins have a lengthy professional and personal history. In Turner's early days, he bought the Atlanta Hawks and the Atlanta Braves from Cousins in a move that would eventually help make Atlanta's TBS Superstation one viewed across the country. Turner went on to found CNN, Headline News Network, Turner Network Television and Turner Classic Movies before selling to Time-Warner.

According to Turner's Web site, the media mogul considers himself a conservationist and uses most of land he owns for that purpose. He is the founder and developer of Ted's Montana Grill, which features bison raised on his ranches out West.

While he's often considered one of the state's most famous residents, he owns relatively little land in the state compared to his other holdings.