12:34 pm Jul. 10, 2012
The Lineup collects the media stories, big and small, that are on our radar each day.
If it seems like things are a little slow out there, that's because all of the top corporate media bosses are out in Idaho, barbecuing and drinking beer at Allen & Co.'s annual Sun Valley retreat, which kicked off this morning.
The notoriously exclusive mogul mixer is meant to be a once-a-year getaway where the Rupert Murdochs and Warren Buffetts of the world can spend a few days relaxing off the grid in a quiet mountain idyll. But it's also famous for being fertile ground for clandestine deal-making.
“The Sun Valley conference is like one-stop shopping,” New Yorker media writer Ken Auletta tells Bloomberg Businessweek. “On the surface, it is a relaxing week of morning on-stage panels and afternoon and evening biking and barbeques. But no executive comes to this conference without a prescheduled shopping list of appointments meant to explore deals or settle disputes.”
This year, that shopping will no doubt extend to newspapers.
Bloomberg's Edmund Lee and Cliff Edwards report:
Publishing assets have also received attention in recent weeks as investors debate whether they can build enough digital subscriptions on devices like the iPad or Amazon’s Kindle.
News Corp.’s Murdoch heads to the conference with sons Lachlan and James two weeks after deciding to spin off his publishing division, including the Wall Street Journal -- a move reflecting the low valuation investors place on the shrinking newspaper industry.
At the same time, billionaire value investor Warren Buffett, who attended last year and helped cement Disney’s purchase of Capital Cities/ABC weeks after the 1995 retreat, has been buying newspapers, betting local publications can thrive in markets where there is little competition.
“News companies are trying to work out deals that will allow them get more people to come online to their content,” LeCour said. “The New York Times (NYT) is trying to do that -- you’ll see more joint ventures on this front.”
Something else notable about this year's Sun Valley retreat: In a departure from the late Steve Jobs' ambivalent attitude toward the event, which has become more tech-oriented in recent years, new Apple C.E.O. Tim Cook will be in attendance.
More on that from Reuters' Peter Lauria in the video below:
In other news...
Buzzmedia has acquired Spin magazine. [NYT/Media Decoder]
Donald Newhouse stands firm that the New Orleans Times-Picayune is not for sale. [NOLA.com]
David Simon on why beat reporters matter. [The Gambit]
The "top echelons of New York literary circles and the media" gathered at Lincoln Center to remember Nora Ephron. [Daily News]
USA Today has a new editor-in-chief. [On Media/Politico]
The "Netflix for magazines" is finally available on the iPad. [paidContent]
More by this author:
- 'Village Voice' fires Michael Musto in yet another round of cuts
- 'New York Post' buyouts focus on 'loyal soldiers ... highest paid'