Media Leaders: We’re iPod Crazy Too

December 4, 2006

The movers and shakers of the media industry love their music, movies and video games just as much as anybody. But how exactly do they spend their spare time?At the Reuters Media Summit in New York last week, reporters asked each of them: “As someone in a position of power in the media business, what form of media do you consume? Are you a YouTube junkie? A serial MP3 downloader?”Oddly enough, some executive don’t partake of their own media as much you might think. And only two people mentioned the granddaddy of old-school media — books.Here is a sample of their responses.Richard ParsonsRICHARD PARSONS, CEO AND CHAIRMAN, TIME WARNER INC. (TWX.N: Quote, Profile, Research)”I like music. I have iPods everywhere. I had the whole bunch of (the Warner music collection) files put on before we sold it. And I listen to (online service) AOL Music all the time.That’s my form of relaxation. Jazz.”MEL KARMAZIN, CEO, SIRIUS SATELLITE RADIO INC. (SIRI.O: Quote, Profile, Research)”Music has never been that important to me. What Sirius channel I listen to the most in my top 10 would not be a music channel. I would tell you there’s business channels, so I do an awful lot of stuff business wise. I haven’t been to a movie theater since, what, ‘The Sound of Music.’ I can’t remember the last time I have gone out on a night and went to a movie theater. I love TiVo and have for a long time. I have on my TiVo all the ‘Law & Order’ (episodes), all of the Jerry Bruckheimer (shows, like ‘CSI’).”JEAN-MARIE DRU, CEO, TBWA/CHIAT/DAY WORLDWIDE”We are old hippies. I read a lot of music magazines. I have five kids, so we are 7 at home and we have more than 15 or 16 iPods in the family.”Doug MorrisDOUG MORRIS, CEO, UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP”My own taste is I still listen to CDs. I like to read about the artists, to know who produced the record. I like to know who wrote the song. I like the movies. I don’t like all the reality shows.(However) I got to like ‘Dancing With The Stars’ enormously. I liked the winner — but I thought the other guy was a better dancer.”Reggie Fils-Aime REGGIE FILS-AIME, PRESIDENT, NINTENDO OF AMERICA (7974.OS: Quote, Profile, Research)”I’ve joked ironically that I’m playing less video games today than when I joined the company, for lack of free time. I consume a lot of media … both network and cable television. I consume radio, music on my iPod.I guess I’m one of the last few individuals who buy CDs. But I love my iPod, I use it relentlessly when I travel.”LARRY PROBST, CEO, ELECTRONICS ARTS INC. (ERTS.O: Quote, Profile, Research)”Movies, cable television and reading. I read a lot of magazines — Time and in the last couple of weeks Business Week, Sports Illustrated, Vanity Fair. I’ve paged through my wife’s Town and Country.”Charles CourtierCHARLES COURTIER, GLOBAL CEO, MEDIAEDGE:CIA”I buy music on iTunes. I watch almost no live television at all, it’s all on TiVo. I watch less television now than I ever have done in my whole life. I only watch what I made a positive decision to watch … sport would be the exception to that. I watch movies, video on demand and Netflix. I go to the cinema probably more than I ever did before.”DICK COOK, CHAIRMAN, WALT DISNEY STUDIOS (DIS.N: Quote, Profile, Research)”I still consume newspapers, the physical paper. A lot more and more on the Internet as … things become or are being driven to sites. For fun, I have a little iTunes and that kind of stuff. The only time I get to read books is when I listen to it so I have a lot of books on iTunes.”ANNE SWEENEY, CO-CHAIR, DISNEY/ABC NETWORKS (DIS.N: Quote, Profile, Research)”For me it is predominantly music. It’s iPod. I had a brief addiction to satellite radio. You live in LA, you live half of your life in your car and satellite radio was the great gift of all time. But my travel schedule interrupted my enjoyment of satellite radio.”Susan LyneSUSAN LYNE, MARTHA STEWART LIVING OMNIMEDIA CEO (MSO.N: Quote, Profile, Research)”I’m still a TV viewer. I’m back watching ‘Desperate Housewives,’ although not religiously. I watch (ABC’s) ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ ‘House,’ ‘Lost’ and I am now hooked on (NBC’s) ‘Studio 60.’ I think there is a lot about that show that is just brilliant. It’s really uneven, but it is really fun to watch.EDGAR BRONFMAN, CEO, WARNER MUSIC GROUP CORP. (WMG.N: Quote, Profile, Research)”I’m embarrassed to tell you that I read books. I don’t watch a lot of television. I’m a huge fan of the (‘NewsHour’) Lehrer report. I do work out a bit, so I love to have my digital music player … I won’t identify which kind.JESSICA REIF COHEN, ANALYST, MERRILL LYNCH”Most of my stuff is kiddie stuff, Nickelodeon, kiddy movies, Nickelodeon Web site.”


[…] Now Reuters’ MediaFile blog details the iPod obsessions of the media moguls who attended last week’s Reuters Media Summit. […]


I knew Jessica at BU in the ’70s when she listened to Bowie. Parenthood does have an impact on media consumption patterns. Jim Bruni

Posted by JamesBruni | Report as abusive

(Ed: sarcasm) Subpoenas are being sent out to blogger/witness Franklin Paul and Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons, the latter of whom apparently *STOLE* the entire Time Warner music collection for his personal use before said collection was sold. He’s probably one of the few people in America who can afford the $750 per song claim, and with the potential that he stole several million songs, we’re going to make an example out of him. (end: sarcasm)


[…] Music executives’ tongues are getting looser and looser as the year goes on.  First Doug Morris calls iPod owners theives, then Edgar Bronfman admits his children steal music with no legal repercussions, and now Richard Parsons, CEO and Chair of Time Warner has stated that,I like music. I have iPods everywhere. I had the whole bunch of (the Warner music collection) files put on before we sold it.” He is more or less admitting to pirating music. […]


[…] Reuters asked a number of music executives about their listening habits this week, with some admitting to owning more than two iPods per person in their households, some admitting to owning none, and some admitting that they don’t really listen to music.  What made us smile, though, were these comments from Richard Parsons, current CEO of Time Warner, who admitted to stealing his company’s entire digital catalogue before selling off the farm: I like music. I have iPods everywhere. I had the whole bunch of (the Warner music collection) files put on before we sold it. And I listen to (online service) AOL Music all the time.” [Brooklyn Vegan] […]


If Richard Parsons didn’t steal the music from Time Warner, and didn’t pay for it, then presumably that’s $750 of personal income for him per song which he should have told the IRS and the SEC about when Time Warner “gave” the music to him. How many songs exactly were in the Time Warner catalog before they sold it?

Posted by Craig Hughes | Report as abusive

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