Allen & Co., a New York-based investment bank, is hosting its annual conference of the top national entertainment and technology leaders in Sun Valley, Idaho this week. The brainstorming and socializing event, often described as “summer camp” for the media world, is closed to the press though some are attending as guests and others remain camped out at the resort.
Among the more than 250 attendees are IAC’s Barry Diller and wife Diane Von Furstenburg, Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and investment guru Warren Buffett, News Corp Chief Rupert Murdoch, Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin, Sony Chief Executive Howard Stringer, Bill Gates, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and Google’s Larry Page. Basketball superstar LeBron James is even in the mix.
Since the opening economic panel, word is that the conference has a lingering sense of pessimism, which is more pronounced in some executives than others.
Twitter is among the hot topics. The Los Angeles Times reports that while “old-time media moguls think their content is worth something, they’re not so sure about Twitter…Everyone seems to love it, but no one is sure about how to make money off of it.” Twitter co-founder and Chief Executive Evan Williams was in the audience for a panel that reiterated this point, but remained quite.
Murdoch spoke briefly to reporters, saying he wasn’t interested in buying Twitter or the Los Angeles Times, and answered “Hell no,” when asked about putting MySpace on the block.