I smirked while watching the highlight reels of Big Media moguls like Rupert Murdoch and Sir Howard Stringer and Jeff Bewkes being interviewed at the “All Things Digital” confab (aka D6 co-hosted by the Wall Street Journal‘s Walter Mossberg and Kara Swisher) taking place right now at the Four Seasons Resort Aviara in Southern California. And not just because of the stupid stuff that gets said. (For instance that Hollywood “ex”, Barry Diller, seemed very proud today of his Tinseltown putdown which I happen to endorse – “Hollywood is a community that’s so inbred, it’s a wonder the children have any teeth” – while dissing both sides behind the WGA strike. ) No, what really amuses me is that while the people running the parent companies play at all things Internet, the guys back in Hollywood running the offspring networks and studios are tech-challenged.
Everyone already knows that Universal’s Ron Meyer won’t touch a computer. But not many are aware that Warner Bros’ Alan Horn also isn’t hands-on with a laptop or desktop. So he wastes his assistants’ time by having them print out his emails, collate them and prioritize them, and then input his replies. Horn, like Meyer, is still a phone guy, and he’ll never change the Hollywood way he does business no matter how prehistoric he looks to his Time Warner boss Bewkes. Which no doubt is why Horn insists on carrying a Blackberry even though I’m told it’s mostly just for show. C’mon, in any other arena, computer know-nothings would be asking, “Paper or plastic?”