A funny thing happened on the way to Sun Valley this year. Despite predictions that turnout for the annual Allen & Co. conference would be lighter after last year’s COVID-forced cancellation, attendance at the three morning sessions on the first full day of the gathering was strong and included the mega-mogul of the moment, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
Discovery Inc. CEO David Zaslav, fresh from his announced acquisition of AT&T Inc.’s film and TV businesses, said media consolidation will only accelerate and he intends to be a catalyst. “The talk of the week is going to be that the industry is going to start consolidating a little bit more,” the 61-year-old CEO said on his arrival Tuesday at the annual Allen & Co. conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. “We’re not done yet.”
Allen & Co’s. famous yet secretive gathering in Sun Valley, Idaho, begins early next month and perhaps the most notable media executives who won’t be attending are Joe Ianniello and Bob Bakish, the CEOs of CBS and Viacom, respectively. Merger negotiations are allegedly already underway as Shari Redstone and her ailing father, Sumner, control them both and are eager to combine them to compete more seriously with Walt Disney Co.
Media moguls, tech barons, entrepreneurs and others are gathering Tuesday at Idaho’s Sun Valley Lodge for the annual conference and retreat hosted by investment bank Allen & Co. The movers and shakers come together at a time of disruption and transformation in the industry and turmoil and division in the culture at large. The fates of the largest media companies are up in the air amid the battle for control of 21st Century Fox between Disney and Comcast, the dynastic drama surrounding CBS Corp. and Viacom, and AT&T closing the deal at long last for Warner Bros., HBO, and Turner.
Mario Gabelli, the second-largest shareholder in Viacom behind Sumner Redstone, said he believes billionaire John Malone is cooking up a deal for the company. Malone weighed in on the battle for control of the New York media conglomerate Thursday at Allen & Co.’s exclusive business confab in Sun Valley, saying the company’s assets are undervalued because of all the drama around it.
It’s that time of year when media barons break out the bike shorts and descend en masse on Sun Valley, Idaho, for investment firm Allen & Co.’s exclusive conference. The gathering of the 1% has developed a reputation over the years for being a hotbed of dealmaking.
Topics at the annual Allen & Co. gathering today through Sunday are likely to include Univision’s plans for an IPO, ongoing concerns over cord-cutting and Apple’s foray into subscription music.
Pure-play cable company Scripps Networks Interactive is shopping for a partner, according to well-placed sources. Ken Lowe, CEO of Scripps, which owns HGTV, Food Network and Cooking Channel, has been holding conversations about such a deal at the Sun Valley mogulfest, these sources say.
In a colorful rant aimed at the media executives gathering in Sun Valley this week for Allen & Co.’s annual mogulfest, media analyst Rich Greenfield of BTIG blasted the current state of TV Everywhere — the five-year-old concept introduced by Time Warner that was supposed to save the media ecosystem as we know it.
As billionaires and dealmakers descend upon Sun Valley, Idaho, for the Allen & Co. media conference this week, security personnel are on the lookout for a new kind of threat: drones. Event staff are watching the skies for unmanned aerial vehicles that could photograph, harass or harm attendees at the annual gathering of business executives, according to two people familiar with the plans who asked not to be named.
With media moguls gathering this week at Allen & Co.’s annual media conference in Idaho’s Sun Valley, all eyes will be on 21st Century Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch, who reportedly is looking to purchase a big content company. One of the companies at the center of this speculation? Time Warner.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the Comcast-Time Warner Cable and AT&T-DIRECTV mega-mergers, and the potential for more deals among entertainment’s biggest companies, are likely to fuel the conversation among the media moguls meeting this week at invest ment bank Allen & Co.’s annual conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. WSJ subscribers can read the full story here.
The auction for the Web video hub is starting to rankle bidders, with suitors wondering what program rights are included in the hefty billion-dollar price tag and whether the owners are truly committed to a sale, sources say. “There’s a lot of frustration on all sides,” one source says. “This industry just can’t work together.”
Sun Valley, the annual mogul get-together hosted by Allen & Company which kicks off Tuesday evening, will have golf, creek-side cocktails and the King of Jordan. But what about the deals? Anything can happen between rounds of golf and closed-door panels — but it’ll probably be consolidation.
Media moguls gathered at the annual Allen & Co. conference have spent recent years contemplating how to cope with technology drawing audiences away from TV and movies. This time, film and TV executives know just where their businesses are headed. Once threatened by internet players such as Netflix, traditional entertainment companies now view online outlets as a rich new vein.
Looks like the media and tech moguls attending investment bank Allen & Co.’s conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, this week will be spending much of their time learning about foreign affairs. The closely guarded agenda for the annual gathering features several panels aimed at bringing the captains of industry up to speed on current events around the globe.