Herb Allen’s Sun Valley Conference – 2013
I have arrived.
The combined age of everyone at this conference is something like 2 million.
They put me in the Batman room this year. This room is not easy to get. I think it was scheduled to be Thomas Tull’s room – but well, you know, shit happens. So now it’s mine! (I’m sure the Time Warner guys aren’t too happy about that – but Jeff Bewkes actually requested the Nicolas Sparks’ “The Notebook” room – so it’s all good.)
You see, all of the rooms at the Sun Valley Lodge have a different theme.
There’s a Disney Princess room (probably for Bob Iger and his wife Thunder Bay - I think that’s her name); a Star Wars room (there is always a fight over which tech dork gets that one); a Harry Potter room (which is under the main staircase – another favorite among Time Warner people and Brits); a Haunted Alligators swamp room (a poor effort to throw a bone to a Manka Bros. IP); a Prison room (sometimes used to help a banker CEO get ready for real prison – ha!), etc. etc.
They should add a few Facebook rooms for those who don’t want any privacy at all - ha ha!
Themed rooms are great for families and sexually adventurous couples but really awful for a media mogul trying to get stuff done. Every time I call the concierge all I get back is “Yes, Batman” – “Of course, Batman” – “Right away, Batman.” Enough already!
And it doesn’t really matter what kind of agenda Herb “crafts” – it always comes down to the same shit: How the fuck is old media going to survive after traditional TV and film die an ugly death?
The answer is simple – we either roll over and wait for Google to acquire us all and then wait for our instructions… or we band together and acquire Google and Facebook and Apple and everyone else that is threatening our very existence and shut them down without mercy.
I like the second option.
In the meantime, I have avoided the press and retreated to The Drankin’ Hole to record my thoughts for this blog and to have a few dirty martinis and the Sun Valley Lodge’s world famous chili cheese fries.
To my horror, the greatest bartender in the world – Bin Tran – is not here this week! He has a daughter that is giving birth to his twelfth grandchild (or some such shit) and he is at the hospital. His brother – Vin Tran – is taking his place for the week.
His brother sucks at making dirty martinis. He even had trouble with Brian Roberts’ club soda!
Inside this year’s bag is:
- An iWatch (though we were told not to show anyone outside of the conference or even acknowledge that it exists. Off the record, it’s really amazing and everyone will buy one);
- The key fob to a new Tesla (courtesy of Elon Musk). Only 10 will unlock the doors of new Teslas at the end of the Conference. To my chagrin, EVERYONE does not get a new car!
- A small, specially made, hand-crafted balloon dog sculpture by Jeff Koons;
- A box of See’s Candies;
- And, what I thought was really unique, a bar of gold.
OK – this place is starting to fill up.
Michael Eisner and former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair just walked in (not together – thank God) so I’m going to cut it off here and get busy drinking. I have to warn Tony Blair to not order anything from Vin Tran more difficult than a Jack & Coke.
Check back here tomorrow for an update on the always exciting Day 2.
P.S. “Like” me on Facebook - (inside joke – but you still can if you want to).