Sun Valley: Execs join reporters in bar exile

July 13, 2009

Allen & Co might have thought they were being helpful to executives by shutting out the working press from the usual mingling with the executives at the Sun Valley Lodge bar. Its annual media and technology conference includes the reminder to its attendees that they’re not supposed to talk to the reporters who fly out, uninvited but not unwelcome, to try to get the big guys to talkMaybe it wasn’t so helpful. At least four CEOs told MediaFile and other reporters privately here that they were less than impressed with the decision. Executives who wanted to speak with individual reporters or hold court with several at a time had to do it outside the bar. And that’s just what many of them did, opting to hang with each other and various journalists in the lobby outside the bar, leaving the wonderful staff of the lodge’s bar to ferry drinks out to the crowd.Google CEO Eric Schmidt held his annual sit down with reporters on Thursday by the fireplace in the lobby of the Sun Valley Inn, and a bunch of other top movers in the media world from Hearst Magazines chief Cathleen Black to News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch and Time Warner Inc CEO Jeff Bewkes seemed to think little ill of jawing with the press during cocktail hour.The hired security at the event said Allen & Co made the decision on Tuesday after someone complained. The decision reversed years of tradition here where the press and executives mingle in the evenings to have off-the-record chats and trade gossip.On Saturday, the last day with just one (MediaFile) reporter left, the security seemed to relax a little. The head of security told this reporter, “I’m letting you get away with murder because you’re the last guy here.”Let’s see if we can apply that policy to the bar next year. Everyone can use a little social lubricant, especially executives and the reporters who make their living off covering what they do.

7 comments

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One complaint and years of tradition go down the tubes. Hooray for the politically correct/appease everyone movement!

Posted by RD | Report as abusive

Are we supposed ro care about this?

Posted by tim | Report as abusive

Yes, if you care enough to comment.

[...] reporter Yinka Adegoke picked up what apparently is the biggest scoop of conference, which is that reporters aren’t allowed into the bar. One poster on the Reuters message board had [...]

Seems like the ongoing efforts of the few ruling the many. Whether Republicans or Democrats, both politicians and corporate leaders want the same thing – control to enrich themselves. CIT is another example. A financial services firm that provides financing for small business. They were successful in providing the services that large companies cannot and will not provide – like brokers and small banks provided. However, the large banks are taking the opportunity to grab every profitable financial business activity that they can under the guise of a financial meltdown. Our government is helping the process thinking they are preventing future problems. In reality, they are assisting in the dismantling of the Amewrican dream. Small business provides the most growth, the most jobs and the most liberty to Americans. Large business has difficulty growing, destroys value by undercutting competition, and cuts jobs. Do we really need a handful of huge banks who don’t return phone calls, don’t provide reasonable loans to small business, and are too big to be successful? Ask yourself those questions once in awhile.

Posted by wakeUP | Report as abusive

As we pass through these aticles some demand a comment. This is one of those. The comment is..”Who gives a damn?” The CEO’s are overpaid and the news folks write about whatever is going on that day regardless of its worthiness!! Journalism is dying at an alarming rate.

Posted by Donald | Report as abusive

Only someone affiliated with media would think this is unfair…I dont blame Allen & Co and who ever else for not wanting the meeting turned into a chaotic circus, which is the media’s tendency these days. Univited means that they are not wanted there…if they were wanted, they would have gotten a nice shiny invite. The media has no one to blame but themselves for the discontent over them. Like Don said journalism is dying. This is evident in the way journalists are viewed and treated these days. Sadly there are no more Walter Cronkites.

Posted by tom | Report as abusive

Tom, I think you’re completely misinformed, and I mean that in a nice way. I attended as press. We are not invited, but the executives desire our presence. It’s a complicated dance, the way we work that out.And anyway, no one, including the media, wants the event turned into a chaotic circus. To that end, I specifically learned how to eat with a knife and fork and wore pants for the very first time in my life in order to attend this conference. The executives told me I ate well, but would I please stop leering at their wives. I thought that was just being polite. Next year!