Hollywood moguls are arriving at the annual Allen & Co investment conference in Sun Valley starting today — but I don’t know why. It’ll be another non-showbiz snorefest. Because there’s not a single entertainment panel on the official schedule. Instead my sources describe sessions with names like “The New Breed” and “The State Of Innovation” and “Into The Cloud” which features Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. Internet tycoons Barry Diller and Marc Andreessen pair up for a confab. Oprah Winfrey interviews investor Warren Buffet. The New York Times Columnist Tom Friedman moderates an energy panel, while ABC’s George Stephanopoulos moderates a politics session. There’s a “China In Transition” confab (moderated by Tom Brokaw) as well as an “Iran & Israel” session. Former CIA director George Tenet interviews current CIA Director, General David Petraeus. Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti gets his own speaker’s slot. Brokaw also moderates a panel titled “Listen Up, Mom And Dad”. I recall when this exclusive gathering used to be fun for the entertainment bigwigs. Gone are the Friday night dildos. Or the sandwich boards for out-of-work moguls. Or the big deals hatched on the golf course or at the picnic tables. Gawd, Camp Allen isn’t worth covering anymore.
One new guest attending this year is Legendary Entertainment’s Thomas Tull. Otherwise the invited moguls are mostly usual suspects: News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch (and also his sons as well as News Corp top execs Chase Carey and Joel Klein), CBS’ Les Moonves, Time Warner’s Jeff Bewkes, Viacom’s Philippe Dauman. Also DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, CAA’s Bryan Lourd, ICM’s Jeff Berg and Chris Silbermann, Universal’s Ron Meyer, and Paramount’s Brad Grey. Plus AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt. Sony Corp CEO Kazuo Hirai plus Chairman Howard Stringer, Samsung Electronics COO Jae-Yong Lee, Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, and Apple CEO Tim Cook, Activision Blizzard’s Bobby Kotick.
Among the topics informally discussed are sure to News Corp just split its publishing and entertainment businesses; Apple mulling a smaller, cheaper version of its iPad in an attempt to throttle rivals Google and Amazon; world’s biggest gamemaker Activision Blizzard on the block after parent company Vivendi jettisoned CEO Jean-Bernard Levy last week; and Facebook’s botched IPO launch.