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Jeff Zucker’s NBCU Deal Denial and A Surprise Visit From Bill Gates

SV20089.jpgDan Cox, on special assignment for FishbowlLA, covering the 2008 Sun Valley Media Conference.

Universal Studios CEO Ron Meyer was standing with NBCU head Jeff Zucker, waiting for Zucker’s kids coming out of the Chocolate Foundry. Both were upbeat about the Sun Valley conference.

Meyer gave kudos to colleague Jeff Katzenberg, the DreamWorks partner who had a presentation on 3-D this morning.

“It was good,” Meyer said, “a great display of the technolgy.” Katzenberg gave a presentation about the uses of 3-D in film and TV and reportedly showed an “incredible” visual display of the possibilities.

Nike chairman Philip Knight was also exuberant about the display. “It’s where we’re headed. It’s the future,” he said.

Zucker_7.10.jpgZucker, meanwhile, denied a newspaper report of NBC possibly unloading assets at the Sun Valley conference.

“No, there’s nothing like that,” Zucker said. “I’m just here watching.”

Former American Express chairman James Robinson III said he was only here out of a long-standing friendship with host Herb Allen.

But Robinson said that Katzenberg’s speech, like other technology-driven segments, was fascinating and will be of great use to companies like Amex and others. Robinson now runs RRE Ventsures, which deals in applied technology and its utilization.

Former Microsoft chair and founder Bill Gates unexpectedly showed up last night was hovering around the morning presentations. Asked if he had any comment on the pending Microsoft/Yahoo! discussions, he said: “No thank you. No.”

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