Sun Valley: Reuters returns to Idaho

July 7, 2009

Nearly every powerful media and technology executive you can think of will be camping out in the idyllic and affluent ski resort town of Sun Valley this week. They have aimed their Gulfstreams squarely at Idaho so they can show up at the 27th edition of Allen & Co’s media and technology conference, which investment banker Herb Allen holds every summer here.

That means nearly every media reporter you can think of will be hovering among the hedgerows and parking lots (and in the bar, naturally), waiting to get a few precious seconds with super-wattage movie executives from DreamWorks’s Jeffrey Katzenberg to Paramount’s Brad Grey, technology heavyweights such as Michael Dell and Bill Gates, media kingpins Philippe Dauman and Rupert Murdoch and fresh-faced startup darlings like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter’s Evan Williams and Ning’s Gina Bianchini.

Reuters, of course, will be among the press crew at the scene. Reporters Yinka Adegoke and Alexei Oreskovic will show up, as will I, and photographer Rick Wilking will be shooting the pictures that at Sun Valley often tell a more eloquent story than any text dispatch can.

We and a bunch of other journalists will be working around the clock (literally) to get these powerful, and often reclusive bigs to tell you what the next stunning media and technology deals will be. We’ll also be asking them how they are keeping their companies in business amid big changes in the ways people inhale their news and entertainment, as well as how they are dealing with the fallout of an economic crisis last year that nearly capsized the financial system.

Also, keep an eye out for the glamorous or the unusual. Sun Valley guests typically show up with their families, and the whole affair is supposed to be casual. That means there’s always the possibility that Murdoch could lose more than his wedding ring. And celebrities, such as investor Vivi Nevo’s wife, actress Zhang Ziyi, are often part of the program.

Check back with us at MediaFile, and remember to read Reuters’s dispatches from Sun Valley. Allen & Co might keep the press outside, but we’ll be working hard to bring you the inside story.

(Photo: Designer Diane von Furstenberg and her husband, IAC/InterActiveCorp CEO Barry Diller at last year’s conference. They are the kind of media star-power that cruises around Sun Valley, Idaho, for a few days every summer. Reuters/Rick Wilking)

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