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Herb Allen's Sun Valley Conference - 2009 - Khan Manka, Jr. - The Chairman's Blog

Herb Allen's Sun Valley Conference - 2009

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OK.  I survived the first night.  Not everyone did - but I won't name names.  They'll just have to be considered "missing" until an announcement is made or a solution figured out. 

herb_allen.jpgHerb Allen told everyone upon entering that he would prefer that we don't blog or talk about what transpires during our time together - but nobody tells me what to do.  I tell others what to do.

This year's conference has a much darker tone than in year's past.  Maybe it's because we're all a little less rich and are struggling to keep our businesses alive.  I don't know - but there's a definite chill in the air. 

Last year, opening night was all about comedy sketches and karaoke.  This year, it was a boxing tournament.  Not a friendly, gentlemanly bunch of matches to see who can 'out-point' the other - these were brutal, cannibalistic ultimate fighting matches that made the fight sequences in Fight Club look like Kitten Playing With Yarn.

mogul_boxing_ring.jpgA full-size boxing ring was set up in the Great Hall of the Moguls (a slang term we use for the main conference room).  The pairings were chosen at random (though some like Mark Zuckerberg vs. Owen Van Natta had a certain level of symmetry to it.  I can still hear Zuckerberg's high-pitched screams in my head as he kept running for the ropes like a little baby).

As the drinks flowed and the wagering increased with each new match, we all became animals - desperate for blood.

Jeff Bewkes pounding Barry Diller into submission gave me a thrill on one level and the need to throw up on another.

rupert_murdoch_small.jpgeric_schmidt.jpgWatching Rupert (Murdoch) dance on top of Google CEO Eric Schmidt as he begged for mercy is an image that will live with me for a long time. 

Seeing the unrecognizable bloody visage of newly-minted LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner as he was dragged out of the ring screaming "IS THAT ALL YOU'VE GOT, REDSTONE?!" - is just sad on all levels.

Such violence.  Such anger.  How did it get to this?  We have become what we were born to exploit.

For the most part, my fellow media moguls and I chose this business so we could inform and entertain the world (and, sure, to make a beautiful dollar along the way) and this is how we're acting toward each other? 

Is it just Old Media's total frustration with New Media that makes some of the old coot moguls want to kick the living piss out of their younger, richer colleagues?

robert_iger_small_2.jpgjeff_zucker_small.jpgMy friend Bob Iger has it right when he says 'People will pay for content (online).  We're not concerned about that.'  Too bad he didn't have that same bravado in the ring after I lost $100 when he was destroyed by Jeff Zucker.  (I immediately protested the match.  Zucker should have been disqualified for biting.)

As for my own match... let's just say Jeff Bezos won't be making any speeches anytime soon.  I gave him an old time Bulgarian beat down!  Maybe he should download a book onto his Kindle about how to defend his face from an uppercut / roundhouse combination.

So, Herb Allen did it again.  It was another insane opening night to the Sun Valley Conference.   Always the showman, I don't know how ol' Herbie is gonna top this next year.  But he'll find a way - that son of a bitch.

Today, hopefully, the blood and vomit have been cleaned up and we can have a few productive PowerPoint presentations.

khan_jr1_small.jpgKhan Manka, Jr. - Chairman & CEO - Manka Bros. Studios - The World's Largest Media Company

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Hollywood Producer said:

You guys are out of control. The private planes that flew up there will no doubt destroy the Idaho environment.

Molly Glover said:

I've been wanting to kick Jeff Bezos ass for years now. Thanks Khan!

Speechless said:

I'm stunned, Khan. That was quite descriptive.

Sharon Wayman said:

I didn't Jeff Weiner was going to be there. I thought he was in the Seychelles.

David Chang said:

Does Herb Allen pay for everything up there are am I to expect an expense report? I know the plane isn't covered. Let me know.

David Chang - CFO - Manka Bros. Studios

Scott Seifert said:

Maybe the pairings should have been a little more fair. Bewkes is 20 years younger than Barry Diller. And Diller looks a little soft.

Fred thomas said:

Funny stuff, Khan. "We have become what we were born to exploit."

John Perry said:

I think it's great to get out all that aggression in a controlled environment. The Old Media vs. New Media feud has been going on too long and must come to a peaceful end. Well done, sir.

John Perry - MBS Comedy Development

Ashley C. said:

Sounds like just a bunch of old white guys being idiots. It's all just sooo stupid!

Randy Dick said:

I believe the conference has "jumped the shark". Maybe you should try going some place else and call it something else.

a said:

Geez. I'm speechless. If only it were true.

Amber Tasmin said:

It's really a fascinating experience up there. I got a chance to go a couple of years ago when my ex-boss at Sun Microsystems went and I had to help with the presentation. Nobody looks at you and you feel like dirt for being there if you don't get one of those little red badges that say you're 'important'. Total bullshit. But fascinating.

Fred T said:

They must just pound drinks all week. With no press around and in total seclusion - they must just pound drinks.

SR said:

That's all we do. Pound pound pound. And god help us all.

ba said:

what an incredible liar you are. you were not there and have probably not ever even been to idaho. as an attendee, i am forwarding this to Allen's legal counsel.

Khan Manka, Jr. said:

Ba doth protest too much, methinks. If anyone hasn't been to Idaho, it's you, Ba! And work on your grammar. I wouldn't want Allen's legal counsel to think you're uneducated.

Khan Manka, Jr. - Chairman & CEO - Manka Bros. Studios - The World's Largest Media Company

About Khan Manka, Jr.

Khan Manka, Jr. - Chairman & CEO - Manka Bros. StudiosKhan Manka, Jr. assumed the title of Chairman of the Board of Manka Bros. Studios - The World's Largest Media Company - following his father Harry Manka's death in 1976. Before that he was the member of several Southern California rock bands.

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