Sun Valley: Schmoozing and Socializing at Top of the Agenda

Execs at the Allen & Co. conference seemed more interested in schmoozing than dealmaking on Wednesday, even though one major pact had completed by day two of the annual mogulfest.

Legendary announced it would leave Warner Bros. for a new partnership with Universal on Wednesday morning. The pact came after months of courtship between Legendary and studios including Sony, 20th Century Fox and Uni. By Wednesday evening, Legendary’s Thomas Tull warmly greeted Jeffrey Katzenberg, whose DreamWorks Animation has a deal at Fox, and Time Warner’s Jeff Bewkes had already wished Tull well. Sony’s Michael Lynton commented that he would have loved to have Tull at his studio but said he was happy for both of the new partners. And Comcast’s Brian Robert’s called the deal a “win-win” for both sides.

But Legendary wasn’t the only buzzed-about deal at the Sun Valley Lodge, which hosts the conference. News Corp., Disney and Comcast seemed to be down a bidder for Hulu, as Guggenheim had dropped out of the running by Wednesday morning. Peter Chernin and DirectTV are among the suitors competing in a second round of bidding, but that doesn’t mean they know when a final buyer will be chosen.

“You should ask them and then tell me,” Chernin quipped Tuesday night.

The sale timeline was probably on the minds of Disney’s Bob Iger and News Corp.’s Chase Carey. On his way to dinner, Iger quietly asked Carey if he wanted to “talk for a minute,” but he could just as easily have been eager to discuss the evening’s menu.

Execs including Katzenberg, Uni’s Ron Meyer, Vanity Fair’s Graydon Carter, Resolution’s Jeff Berg, CBS’ Leslie Moonves and Tull all made their way to the outdoor patio for dinner around 6:30. Liberty Media’s John Malone, one of the week’s most anticipated guests, finally emerged in the crowd of hungry execs making their way outside. Malone’s interest in Time Warner Cable has been a hot topic of discussion, and there were rumblings of meetings between him and cable execs at this week’s conference.

Popular on Variety

More News

  • Angel Has Fallen

    Box Office: 'Angel Has Fallen' Flies to $1.5 Million on Thursday Night

    Action movie “Angel Has Fallen” has soared to $1.5 million at 2,600 North American locations in Thursday night previews. Christian drama “Overcomer” took in $775,000 during Thursday night previews at 1,563 locations. “Angel Has Fallen” has been tracking for a debut in the $12 million to $16 million range and will expand to 3,286 sites on [...]

  • Jimmy Lee

    Album Review: Raphael Saadiq's 'Jimmy Lee'

    In an oddly quiet way, Raphael Saadiq has been a towering figure in the R&B of the last 30 years. As a teenager in the mid-1980s, the Oakland native became the bassist in Sheila E.’s backing band and often found himself performing with Prince in the superstar’s frequent small-club jams. He then formed and fronted [...]

  • Tim Connolly - Quibi

    Quibi Head of Partnerships and Advertising Tim Connolly Departs

    Tim Connolly, the former Hulu exec who joined Quibi last year as head of partnerships and advertising, is leaving the mobile TV subscription startup founded by Jeffrey Katzenberg. Connolly’s exit comes eight months ahead of Quibi’s planned April 2020 debut. A Quibi rep declined to comment on his departure, which was first reported by Business [...]

  • Warner Music Group Partners With Audiomack

    Warner Music Group Partners With Audiomack

    Warner Music Group announced it has entered a partnership with the music streaming and discovery service Audiomack, marking the platform’s first licensing deal with a major label. According to the announcement, the two companies will work together on content concepts and explore ways to break emerging artists, connecting music fans with rising talent before they [...]

  • Our Mothers Review

    Oscars: Belgium Sends Cannes Prizewinner 'Our Mothers' to International Feature Film Race

    Belgian-Guatemalan director Cesar Diaz’s feature debut, “Our Mothers,” will represent Belgium in the International Feature Film category at the Oscars. Represented in international markets by Pyramide, “Our Mothers” world premiered at Cannes’ Critics Week and won the Golden Camera for best first film. “Our Mothers” is set in today’s Guatemala, a country riveted by the [...]

  • BritBox Is 'Not a Rival to

    BritBox 'Not a Rival to Netflix and Amazon' but Something Different, ITV Exec Says

    BritBox, ITV and the BBC’s joint “best of British” streaming service, is not being positioned as a rival to Netflix and Amazon but offers something those two streaming giants don’t, ITV director of television Kevin Lygo said. Speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival on Friday, Lygo said BritBox would be a “different thing” that allowed [...]

  • Scooter Braun Congratulates Taylor Swift on

    Scooter Braun Congratulates Taylor Swift on ‘Brilliant’ Album and Campaign

    Two days after Taylor Swift fired off the latest salvo in her battle with Scooter Braun, the manager congratulated the singer on the campaign around her “brilliant” new album, “Lover,” which arrived last night. The message came after Swift said she will be re-recording songs from her first six albums, which are now owned by [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content