You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Sun Valley: Barry Diller Goes Biking, Murdoch Makes It a Family Affair

Summer camp for billionaires is back in session as media and technology barons were out in force at the Allen & Co. conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, on Wednesday.

UTA chairman Jim Berkus and IAC/InterActiveCorp chairman Barry Diller biked through the resort’s mall area despite signs asking guests to stick to walking, not wheels.

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt and Resolution founder Jeff Berg chatted amiably while leaving one of the morning sessions.

Wences Casares, CEO of Bitcoin startup Xapo, searched for a bar or restaurant in which to watch the World Cup match between his native Argentina and the Netherlands.

Twenty-first Century Fox chairman Rupert Murdoch made it a family affair, walking into the conference flanked by sons Lachlan and James.

And Discovery CEO David Zaslav and his wife, Pam, walked hand in hand past the media cadre, while former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg made a sort of swatting gesture at the assembled press.

Other guests glimpsed in and around the exclusive confab were Walt Disney Co. chairman Bob Iger, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, ESPN president John Skipper, the Weinstein Co. co-chairman Harvey Weinstein, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Not seen: drones, despite a Bloomberg report that the event’s security team were looking to the skies in the off-chance any unmanned crafts appeared to photograph or imperil guests.

The outfits screamed vacation. Venture capitalist Peter Thiel sported a crisp white polo shirt, Imagine Entertainment co-founder Brian Grazer showcased camouflage shorts and NBCUniversal vice chairman Ron Meyer expressed his institutional pride with a black “Fast 5” T-shirt, in what appeared to be Portuguese.

It can take work to appear so casual. Alice + Olivia CEO and creative director Stacey Bendet Eisner, resplendent in a silver dress, confessed she changed into three outfits a day, crediting her husband, Eric Eisner, a film producer and son of former Disney chief Eisner, with carrying all her luggage.

Guests listened to presentations by basketball great Phil Jackson and Google’s Larry Page, but the main event will take place on Friday when Secretary of State John Kerry is slated to take the stage.

Part of the appeal of the conference is that it unfolds behind closed doors or, in this case, massive hedges, away from the prying eyes of the press. Reporters, with the exception of the New Yorker’s Ken Auletta and Charlie Rose, are prevented from attending the discussions or crossing hastily assembled barriers. That gives the moguls’ entrances and exits into the conference events the feeling of an informal red carpet, one that features shorts and T-shirts instead of haute couture.

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Hopper Reserve

    Dennis Hopper's Dying Wish: His Own Strain of Marijuana

    Even as celebrity brands are starting to flood the emerging Cannabis market, Hopper Reserve stands out. The brand was launched by Marin Hopper, Dennis Hopper’s daughter from his marriage to Brooke Hayward. Hopper Reserve is a gram of California indoor-grown flower, two packs of rolling papers, a pair of matches and a trading card either [...]

  • Snoop Dogg Weed

    In the Cannabis Business, Not All Star Strains Are Created Equal

    With the cannabis green rush in full swing, many celebrities are jumping into the fray with their own brands, including such well-known stoners as Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg and Tommy Chong. But as it turns out, not all star strains are created equal, so we assembled a trio of crack experts to put the product [...]

  • Richard Branson Jason Felts

    Kaaboo Festival Acquired by Virgin Fest Owner Jason Felts

    Kaaboo, which says it has “shifted the music festival paradigm by offering a highly amenitized festival experience for adults,” is now under new ownership. Virgin Fest founder and CEO Jason Felts (pictured above with Virgin founder Richard Branson) has fully acquired all of the festival brand assets through an affiliate of Virgin Fest, the music [...]

  • Live Nation Chief Michael Rapino Talks

    Live Nation-Ticketmaster Chief Michael Rapino Talks Dept. of Justice Inquiries

    Back in August, Senators Richard Blumenthal of New Jersey and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota made the most recent of several requests for an Department of Justice antitrust investigation into competition in the ticketing industry, and it soon became clear that the target of the probe was Live Nation and its 2010 merger with Ticketmaster, which [...]

  • Lowell Smokes Cafe Marijuana

    With Cannabis Lounges, On-Site Consumption, Marijuana-Infused Meals Go Legit

    Can this century’s Roaring ’20s repeat history but with pre-rolled joints instead of whiskey flasks and soccer moms as the new flappers? This month, West Hollywood will see the opening of the nation’s first at least quasi-legal cannabis consumption lounge, officially dubbed Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Café, located at 1211 N. La Brea between Fountain [...]

  • 2020 TV Season Preview

    How 2020's Fall TV Season Is Already Shaping Up

    Aiming to stand out in a crowded field, broadcasters this season have leaned on the stability of their schedules and the return of established hits. But for many of the same reasons, they’ve also begun to seed the ground for next year’s crop of shows, considering that top performers like “How to Get Away With [...]

  • Taylor Swift Talks Scott Borchetta’s ‘Sneaky’

    Taylor Swift Talks Scott Borchetta's 'Betrayal,' 'Sneaky' Deal With Scooter Braun

    While Taylor Swift’s sprawling Rolling Stone cover interview is largely about her music and herself, there’s also plenty about the personal and business dramas of the last three years. And not surprisingly, Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta — who this summer inked a reported $300 million deal for the Big Machine Records catalog and with [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content