This year's confab is low key
With showbiz deals at a trickle, moguls hunkered down at Allen & Co.’s annual Sun Valley confab July 5-10 for lessons in … current events and world history.Including Turkey. “Noticeably, no one left the hall” during Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan‘s July 7 address to the media, tech and Wall Street glitterati at the Rocky Mountain retreat, according to the Turkish paper Zaman. “Townhouses dot the mountains like the meticulous brushwork of a painter. Why are we incapable of establishing such facilities?” the paper asked wistfully. Sen. Bill Bradley introduced Erdogan with a history of the Ottoman Empire through Ataturk. The next day, Tom Brokaw, George Tenet and Thomas Friedman discussed the London bombings and terrorism. “The conference is simply quieter than past years because there is not a lot of M&A in the media business. There are more political and sociopolitical presentations,” one attendee said. Ironically, the low-key confab was accompanied by rumors that the boutique investment bank hosting the event has been tapped to find a buyer for talent agency ICM. The corner-office constellation was as brilliant as ever: Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Richard Parsons, Michael Eisner, Howard Stringer — and outgoing Sony chairman Noboyuki Idei — Ron Meyer, Michael Dell, and so on. Distinctly missing was Harvey Weinstein, who was apparently not invited, possibly for declining to steer business Allen’s way as he and brother Bob Weinstein form their post-Miramax gig. Other presentations included Intel, Nike, Google and a go-round with the big-four pro sports commissioners (baseball, basketball, football, hockey). Aussie paper The Age adopted a family focus, observing Rupert Murdoch with 3-year-old daughter Grace in tow thusly: “Just another pretty-in-pink American heiress hand in hand with her septuagenarian billionaire dad.”
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