R&R, panels on agenda at Sun Valley confab

Moguls give little info on potential deals as gathering kicks off

SUN VALLEY, Idaho -- The annual Allen & Co. media and tech mogul gathering got down to business -- and the outdoors -- on Wednesday.

The event had its formal kickoff with a 6:30 a.m. breakfast, followed by a panel on entertainment in the digital age and a debate about health care and its costs. Late-morning and afternoon activities offered to attendees and their families included white-water rafting, fly fishing, yoga, tennis and trap & skeet.

The day brought first sightings of News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch and wife Wendi, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, Michael Eisner, Michael Ovitz, Barry Diller, investor Gordon Crawford and Warren Buffett.

Before the morning sessions, The Hollywood Reporter asked Disney president and CEO Robert Iger if he has made a decision on a potential sale of ABC. His response: "I'm not here to make any deals."

In other mogul soundbites, CBS Corp. president and CEO Leslie Moonves, whizzing by the media pack, said the advertising market still looks "fabulous."

Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei also spoke of a recent "ad renaissance" but said his firm remains committed to subscription businesses. Asked if Liberty could sell the Starz channels, he said he doesn't expect any such move "any time soon." Asked about the future of Overture Films, he said the company is still exploring various options.
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