Media moguls mix business, pleasure at summer camp

Thu Jul 10, 2008 12:47am EDT
 
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By Dan Cox

SUN VALLEY, Idaho (Hollywood Reporter) - Several hundred major media executives at Herb Allen's annual retreat in this remote Northwest niche thought they could get away from it all, including Hollywood's labor strife 900 miles. But they were at least partially wrong.

The Screen Actors Guild, engaged in drawn-out contract talks with the studios, took out a full-page ad in the local Sun Valley paper, the Idaho Mountain Express, that said simply:

"WE WANT A DEAL."

It was aimed squarely at the moguls who have gathered here so far, including Universal's Ron Meyer, DreamWorks' Jeffrey Katzenberg, Sony's Howard Stringer and Michael Lynton, Disney's Robert Iger, Paramount's Brad Grey, CBS' Leslie Moonves, Viacom's Philippe Dauman and NBC's Jeff Zucker.

"Unfortunately for SAG, we don't see that newspaper up here," said Stringer. "It's not delivered to us."

Time Warner president and CEO Jeff Bewkes was equally noncommittal about the ad. "Good for SAG," he said when handed a copy.

Bewkes clearly had other things on his mind here, including one or another possible deal in the making, with takeover target Yahoo being talked up the most.

And in fact, despite the faint echoes of the actors' woes heard up here, the incessant hum of the conference centers very much on what will happen with Yahoo -- and its on-again, off-again suitor Microsoft. A number of the parties to the discussion are said to be en route.   Continued...

 
<p>Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO of News Corp, arrives at the 26th annual Allen &amp; Co conference in Sun Valley, Idaho July 8, 2008. The deteriorating U.S. economy and slumping stock prices will frame discussions among top media and technology executives at the conference. REUTERS/Rick Wilking</p>