By Walter Bianchi and Jorge Otaola
BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Philanthropist and former media tycoon Ted Turner was rushed to hospital on Friday in Argentina's Patagonia region before flying to Buenos Aires for appendicitis surgery, local media said.
After being seen by doctors at the San Carlos clinic in the lakeside city of Bariloche, near an area where Turner owns property, the 75-year-old founder of cable TV network CNN was flown to the Argentine capital for treatment.
Workers at the San Carlos clinic said Turner was there in the early morning complaining of acute abdominal pain but was able to leave on foot. He then took a jet to Buenos Aires to be treated at the Argentine Institute for Diagnosis and Treatment in the upscale neighborhood of Barrio Norte.
"He's here," an employee at the institute told Reuters without providing details. A spokesman for the hospital declined to comment.
Turner spokesman Phillip Evans said in a statement that his boss was admitted to a hospital for observation while traveling in South America.
"Given it is our policy not to comment on his personal health, no further details will be provided," Evans said.
Turner, who turned his father's billboard business into a billion-dollar empire that included ownership of the Atlanta Braves baseball team, ditched his role as media executive years ago to focus on charity and green initiatives, including the fight against climate change.
Dubbed "Captain Outrageous" for his antics in the world of competitive yachting in the 1970s, when he once drunkenly swashbuckled through a news conference after winning the America's Cup, Turner created CNN in 1980 as the world's first 24-hour cable news channel.
(Additional reporting by guido Nejamkis in Buenos Aires and David Beasley in Atlanta; Writing by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Grant McCool)