Fresh off of upending the media landscape with their deal to combine WarnerMedia and Discovery, Discovery chief David Zaslav and AT&T head John Stankey will touch down in Sun Valley, Idaho in July for Allen & Co.’s annual media conference.
They will be joined at the annual confab of power brokers and media barons by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, fresh off his $8.5 billion deal to purchase Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and will hit the resort at a time when most insiders believe that Hollywood and Silicon Valley are in the midst of an unprecedented period of consolidation.
The guest list for Sun Valley is once again overflowing with bold faced names with the cash and egos to spur a fresh wave of M&A. There’s Apple’s Tim Cook, Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett, Walt Disney CEO Bob Chapek, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos and Reid Hastings, Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida and Comcast’s Brian Roberts. They’re joined in the dealmakers club by Liberty Global Chairman John Malone and top lieutenants Mike Fries and Greg Maffei, Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino, CAA’s Bryan Lourd, ICM’s Chris Silbermann, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, ViacomCBS’s Shari Redstone and Viking Global Investors’ Andreas Halvorsen. Also making the cut is Jason Kilar, the WarnerMedia CEO who is widely expected to be odd man out and lose his job when the company’s spinoff with Discovery is finalized. For more on this, read the full Variety report.
Apple's CEO is happy with their Apple TV+ streaming service, despite critics dumping on many of Apple's "original" shows like Cherry, Lisey's Story (02), the aimless Mosquito Coast and others. NBC also slammed Apple last week for not allowing their subscribers to binge-watch series, which I couldn't agree more with. Though in the big picture, Apple TV+ is only in the opening innings and there's a lot of new content in the pipeline as our Apple TV+ archives prove out. With COVID-19 vaccinations being adopted at a rapid pace, Apple TV+ may be able to get back on track with a steady stream of shows over the next year or two and their format could change to make fans happier.
As for the Sun Valley retreat, will Apple make a blockbuster deal to shake things up? I would emphatically say don't expect one, though that doesn't mean that Cook won't be very active at the retreat looking for opportunities to advance their streaming service in one way or another.