This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.

It's a sad day for garrulous southerners everywhere: Ted Turner has announced that his time at Time Warner has come to an end. While Turner's involvement hasn't been quite so great over the past few years, he's still remained somewhat of a company icon. He gave no reason for his decision to end his involvement at the end of the term, but it seems no small coincidence that this has come just after shareholder Carl Icahn threw a burning bag of dog shit around the Time Warner offices.

"It is after much deliberation that I have decided not to stand for reelection at the annual meeting," said Turner, who for a time was the company's largest individual shareholder after he sold Turner Broadcasting to Time Warner in 1996. "I have enjoyed working with Dick Parsons as well as the other board members and the management team."

Time Warner Chief Executive Parsons, who just finished the very public battle with Icahn, described Turner as a "visionary leader" in a brief statement.

Parsons said Turner had "made an extraordinary contribution to this company and, indeed, to the world at large."

The world at large, most certainly: In addition to his significant charity involvement in charities, Turner gave us CNN (and, in a way, Anderson Cooper), his Montana Grill, and a cable network willing to show Nascar at all times. Let's all honor his exit from the company, then, by refusing to pay our cable bills.

Ted Turner to leave Time Warner board [Reuters]