Sun Valley: Barred from the bar
Reporters who cover the annual Allen & Co media conference know that the bar at the Sun Valley Lodge is a great spot to sit with uber-execs from Rupert Murdoch to Google’s Eric Schmidt to get their deep thoughts on the state of media and technology.
That was true this year, at least on Tuesday night, when reporters like me got to sit with Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, Time Warner shareholder Vivi Nevo, former Viacom CEO Tom Freston, Sirius XM CEO Mel Karmazin and others.
Someone complained, however, and tonight, reporters are not allowed to go to the bar.
Who killed this longstanding tradition of informal and colloquial relations? The talk among the press was that it was Henry Vigil, Microsoft’s mergers and acquisitions chief, but he denied it.
It’s a pity, really. Reporters are not welcome at this luxe gathering, but many executives like talking to them anyway, and that contact can have benefits for shareholders who read our news articiles and for plain folk who digest the TV shows, movies and other media that these people are paid to develop and distribute.
One good thing for the reporters: we can still order drinks from the bar — they deliver them to us in the lobby.