On the first day of the mogul fest, the parade of arrivals on the steps of the Sun Valley lodge did not disappoint. Disney CEO Bob Iger smiled for the cameras while later, Warren Buffett stayed in his car while someone checked in for him.
Some of the braver execs who approached the media were Discovery CEO David Zaslav who, for the second year in a row talked up Oprah Winfrey’s struggling OWN network and said Oprah herself would be landing in Idaho soon to attend the event organized by investment bank Allen & Co.
“It’s ridiculous, it’s just absolutely ridiculous,” said Burns at the Reuters Global Media and Technology Summit in New York on Thursday.
If the low ratings at Oprah Winfrey’s OWN weren’t evidence enough of viewer disinterest in programming that inspires, then perhaps the massive ratings growth at Investigation Discovery, a network whose shows are almost exclusively populated by murderers and stalkers, can provide convincing.
Investigation Discovery, the crime-themed cable channel that launched in January 2008, is not just getting better ratings than OWN, it is also doing better than the Discovery Channel itself. Over the last two weeks, ID averaged 275,000 total viewers, or 8,000 more than the 267,000 viewers that Discovery averaged, according to Nielsen. OWN, which launched in January 2011, only averaged 180,000 total daily viewers during the fourth quarter.
Sony, in a bout of bad timing, is hosting an event on March 7 in San Francisco for tech reporters at the same time as Apple’s reported iPad 3 unveiling and the Japanese conglomerate wants to make sure it won’t get ditched.
Sony, which some people consider to be the “Apple of the ’80s”, sent out a helpful e-mail on Tuesday informing invited members of the press of the scheduling conflict without mentioning the world’s most valuable tech company.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KX5jNnDMfxA[/youtube] Some executives quote philosophers like Plato or legendary coaches such as Vince Lombardi. But not Charlie Ergen; that’s far too high-brow for him. The Dish Network chairman seems to get his theories on management from television and movie comedies.
Just a few quarters after he described Dish’s wireless situation as a “Seinfeld Strategy” (it may not seem clear now but it’ll make sense in the end), the Dish chairman gave a shout out to the Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels 1994 classic comedy “Dumb and Dumber” on Thursday. When asked by an analyst whether Dish would receive government approval to use its wireless assets, Ergen said:
Curt Schilling, the former pitcher and two-time World Series champ is more nervous about his new video game than he ever was about baseball.
He told a New York crowd at an event put on by Electronic Arts on Tuesday that he slept like a baby before World Series games in 2007 — but didn’t catch a wink on Monday night ahead of the release of his company’s first video game.
Mark Pincus, the CEO of Zynga, isn’t pleased with reports that Zynga is ripping off games from small developers so he is doing something about it–wielding his pen to write passionate manifestos to employees invoking Silicon Valley greats like Apple.
After a game developer accused Zynga of copying a game called “Tiny Tower”, Pincus sent a 60-line memo to employees to make sure his flock knows Zynga has done nothing wrong, (the memo was leaked to the blog VentureBeat and later obtained by Reuters).
Helen Gurley Brown, the 89-year-old former editor of Cosmopolitan magazine and author of “Sex and the Single Girl” is donating $30 million to Columbia University and Stanford to fund a media and technology institute.
Columbia will pocket $18 million while Stanford’s Engineering School will net $12 million. Columbia will use $6 million to build a “highly visible signature space” at the journalism school’s building in New York. This marks a record donation for the journalism school.
Investors were salivating on Friday at the prospect of Zynga breaking into online gambling. The company said it is in “active conversations with potential partners” to try and figure out the market, which sent its shares up 7 percent.
Last month, the U.S. Justice Department declared that only online betting on sports is unlawful, setting the stage for some U.S. states to legalize online gambling.
Dish Network went kangaroo-crazy at this year’s CES. Not only did a mascot in a kangaroo suit greet attendees at its press conference, but CEO Joe Clayton took to the stage cradling a wallaby, which resembles a small kangaroo.
Whilst Clayton cuddled the marsupial, someone whispered in the audience: “Does PETA know about this?”