July 10, 1999 - Media titans gather in Sun Valley

From The Seattle Times - http://www.seattletimes.com
Posted at 09:17 p.m. PDT; Saturday, July 10, 1999
by Mark Warbis The Associated Press

SUN VALLEY, Idaho - High rollers from Hollywood to Wall Street to Silicon Valley have converged in this resort town for the 17th annual media and technology conference organized by investment banker Herbert Allen Jr.

While stars like Oprah Winfrey and Candice Bergen are on hand, the real spotlight this year is on top executives of companies like Amazon.com, America Online, and Yahoo! because the Internet is changing the media and entertainment landscape.
Missing from this year's gathering are Time Warner Chairman Gerald Levin, Seagram Chief Executive Edgar Bronfman Jr. and Walt Disney Chairman Michael Eisner.

Four years ago, Eisner and Thomas Murphy, head of Capital Cities Communications, got together at the conference and hatched a plan to combine their companies in a $19 billion deal.

Since then, interest and speculation around the event has soared. This year, however, traditional media companies are more likely to be on the prowl for hot Internet properties.

The conference, which ends tomorrow, has had a series of discussions and seminars aimed at blending new technology with old. One meeting Thursday featured Steve Jobs and his Pixar animation company, which gained fame in the movie industry for its role in the making of "Antz" and "Toy Story."

Yesterday, the schedule included "The Internet And Our Lives," with participants including NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw, Dell Computer Chairman Michael Dell, Amazon.com founder Jeffrey Bezos, and Yahoo! co-founder Jerry Yang.
Today, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates is scheduled to participate in "A Discussion With Warren Buffett."

Steve Case, chairman and CEO of America Online, teamed up with Barry Diller, chairman and CEO of USA Networks, and his one-time adversary Sumner Redstone, chairman and CEO of Viacom, to discuss "Unparalleled Prosperity And A Troubled Society."

The conference and its meetings are off limits to the public and reporters, and the privacy is enforced by security guards instructed to discourage loitering outside the Sun Valley Inn and other venues.

While members of the media stood nearby, eager to buttonhole passing VIPs, residents in this exclusive resort town seemed unfazed by the gathering of powerbrokers.

"I don't think the people who live here care very much. We have the biggest concentration of millionaires in the country anyway," said Ed Youmans of neighboring Ketchum. "It just takes up space at the airport."

From The Seattle Times - http://www.seattletimes.com/news/business/html98/sun_19990710.html

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