It’s been hard for NewsCorp. chairman Rupert Murdoch to relax this week at investment banker Herb Allen’s 29th annual Sun Valley mogul retreat, which launched July 5 and lasts for five days. Murdoch is under too much fire with the News of the World bugging scandal threatening to derail his long-planned BSkyB takeover bid–even after he opted to kill the tabloid.
Children Elizabeth and James Murdoch were supposed to attend the confab, along with Fox Filmed Entertainment chairman Jim Gianopulos and chief digital officer Jon Miller (who finally unloaded albatross MySpace for $35 million last month), but it was Lachlan who showed, reports The Wrap.
Deals are always hatching in Sun Valley, where the world’s media titans can confab about sales of Hulu and AMC Networks in relative peace and quiet, with wives and family in tow. Also under stress is DreamWorks Animation’s Jeff Katzenberg, who is seeking a better deal for his company as Paramount starts up its own animation division. His old cohort Barry Diller of IAC, who is watching over Tina Brown’s NewsBeast venture, is another loyal attendee.
But this year, reports THR, Comcast’s Brian Roberts and Viacom’s 88-year-old chairman Sumner Redstone were no-shows. Instead, NBC/Universal’s Steve Burke, Universal’s Ron Meyer and CBS’s Leslie Moonves were there, along with Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman and CEO Michael Lynton, and Walt Disney Co. president and CEO Bob Iger.
As tech IPOs are increasing, the talk of the conference was Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, who just made a key deal with Skype (to be acquired by Microsoft) and faces a challenge from Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin as the new Google + expands, exponentially. Also in Sun Valley were Netflix’s content chief Ted Sarandos, Andrew Mason of Groupon, Dick Costolo of Twitter, Mark Pincus of Zynga, LACMA board member Terry Semel, Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz and co-founder and chief Jerry Yang.