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Posts Tagged ‘Bill Gates’

Fortune Magazine Vets Launch Media Venture ‘Techonomy’

Business journalist David Kirkpatrick, Peter Petre and Brent Schlender are founding partners in the media venture dubbed Techconomy. They’re debuting their concept at a forward thinking conference this August in Lake Tahoe. And yes, of course Bill Gates is speaking there.

More info here.

Former Microsoft, Evri Exec To Lead Public Media’s Corporate Sponsorship Firm

moss.jpgNational Public Media, the corporate sponsorship firm for NPR, PBS and Boston-based WGBH, named Stephen Moss its president and chief executive officer yesterday.

It’s a perfect time to announce the change, as NPR is coming off its pledge week and CEO Vivian Schiller just last week proclaimed that her organization had the tools to survive the recession that’s bogged down the media industry.

Moss, a former technology executive with a background in print media, joins NPM from the web technology company Evri, where he served as vice president of business development. Prior to that, Moss worked for Microsoft as VP of sales, and general manager of Bill Gates-owned Corbis. While there, he helped launch the MSN video service. Moss also previously worked as CEO of Internet ad network DoubleClick Media.

Moss started his career in advertising sales at McGraw-Hill‘s magazine publishing division, and he went on to lead sales divisions for Thompson Financial‘s American Banker and BusinessWeek in Asia. He also worked on the agency side at Seavex Limited, working with clients like BusinessWeek and CNN.

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FBLA Exclusive: Inside the Microsoft Campaign

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We just got word from our person on the inside that the new Microsoft commercial featuring Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates was most likely directed by Bryan Buckly. The same commercial director that did the American Express Ellen Degeneres spots. The one with the animals that won an Emmy and the other one with Beyonce and the Village People.

For people with TiVo, we sure watch a lot of commercials…

New Microsoft Ad Released

This one features Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld. As we reported earlier – there is a bunch of celebs that will be in these spots. Some names being thrown around were Sarah Silverman, Willie Nelson, motorcycle rider Travis Pastrana, Matthew McConaughey, Ralph Nadar, Rob Corddry and Stephen Colbert.

And of course they plan to feature real people. People who use computers. People that managed to let go of their bitterness about Vista to do a national spot. There must be some of those out there.

Anyway, so far not Alex Bogusky‘s best work. But maybe it’s a set up for something cool.

Icahn and Microsoft Fail to Charm Yahoo, Again

watergun2.jpgIt’s back off-again. Over the week-end Yahoo rejected Carl Icahn and Microsoft‘s “take it or leave it” proposal, which required Yahoo to sell its search business to Microsoft, throw out its board and management, and hand control of the rest of the company to Carl Icahn. Not surprisingly even the analysts and shareholders who had previously criticized Yahoo for letting takeover talks with Microsoft collapse earlier this year referred to the “stupid” offer as a stunt. But don’t despair, all is not lost! Yahoo chairman/CEO Roy Bostock says the company is more than happy to consider a sale and has “emphatically” told Ballmer that Yahoo would be “willing to sell to Microsoft at $33 a share or to negotiate a search deal after the proxy fight.”

Meanwhile over at AdAge Simon Dumenco says the whole “on-again, off-again, full-frontal, roundabout, all-or-nothing, piecemeal” relationship is bad for Microsoft’s image and that this entire deal (or non-deal) is evidence that Microsoft head Steve Ballmer is running “amok” now that Bill Gates has effectively left the building. But that doesn’t mean we want all this “pouncing and striking” and “ducking and weaving” to end! Oh no, we have to agree with Dumenco that as far as media “dramedies” go it’s too much fun. The only thing missing now is some Rupe.

Gates, Buffet Speak, and the Moguls Listen

SV200815.jpgDan Cox, on special assignment for FishbowlLA, covering the 2008 Sun Valley Media Conference.

On the closing day of the Sun Valley Media Conference, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett held court with individual speeches about — what else — money.

Gates spoke about collecting it for his Gates Foundation, while Buffett discussed how it could be spent to help the country, according to people who listened.

GatesBuffet_7.13.jpg“Bill said amazing things,” said James Robinson III, former chairman of American Express. “He had all sorts of things to say about raising money for such things as medicine and diseases. He was very engaging and interesting, as he is every year.”

About 200 of those left at the conference attended the speeches, which had a ridiculously inordinate amount of security, with every entrance and exit to the speakers’ hall watched by four guards. Mediabistro, which was kept out by at least three different guards at entrances, thinks that’s what billionaire-type money brings.

But a few who stuck around to listen to billionaire mentality included William Morris Agency’s Jim Wiatt, Yahoo!’s Sue Decker, ICM’s Chris Silbermann, Page1Media’s Isaac Lee, Google’s Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Starr & Co.’s Ken Starr, News Corp.’s Rupert Murdoch, Time Warner’s Richard Parsons, media chef Rachael Ray, Scripps Co.’s Ken Lowe, former Disney chair Michael Eisner, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman and CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

Though almost half the invitees departed on Friday night, some stuck around to celebrate host Herb Allen with a special dinner last night. And, as every year, a special outdoors ice show (in the middle of summer!!!) took place behind the Sun Valley Lodge.

Friday night, Murdoch and Parsons were secluded at a table in the Sun Valley Lodge bar, discussing either some pending deal or the mixed drinks they wanted to order.

Parsons, who stepped down as Time Warner chair a few months ago, earlier told a reporter he was happy to be an observer at the conference this year rather than a corporate participant.

The King Speaks and Jerry Yang Shows Up

SV200814.jpgDan Cox, on special assignment for FishbowlLA, covering the 2008 Sun Valley Media Conference.

As Herb Allen‘s Sun Valley retreat started to wind down Friday afternoon, some key executives were already boarding their Lear Jets and scooting home, missing out on speeches from the two RICHEST men in the world. They will all miss former Microsoft chair Bill Gates and Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett tomorrow. Mediabistro will stick around in Sun Valley in beautiful weather (82 degrees and sunny) to gather up whatever crumbs can be taken from the rich men talks.

A presentation by Jordan’s King Abdullah II was well received by a few hundred conference-goers, but nobody wanted to talk about what the Jordanian said. Maybe they were concerned about their oil stocks. Security wasn’t especially heavy for the King, but the feeling on Herb Allen campus was that if any disruptions were started, the crack NYPD-filled security staff would take them down.

Yang_7.11.jpgYahoo! CEO Jerry Yang showed up in Sun Valley just in time to get an earful of complaining in the media about the earthworm status of the Yahoo!/Microsoft merger talks. He did meet quietly with the Google boys, co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page as well as CEO Eric Schmidt, but that was presumably made to discuss the display advertising deal that the two companies cut a few weeks back.

Meanwhile, Yahoo! President Sue Decker practically threw her arms up and gave in to media queries about what’s going to happen.

“Forget tomorrow, but in six months where will you be and where will Yahoo! be?” asked one intrepid journo.

“I have no idea,” Decker moaned.

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.”

iPhone iNsanity

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The wait is almost over: The iPhone arrives at 6PM tomorrow. The reviews are already rolling in. Across the board, experts complain about AT&T’s service, but enjoy the phone and agree it’s a huge advance. Whether the iPhone is part of Steve Jobs‘ diabolical scheme to light Bill Gates on fire is still up for debate.

Our favorites:

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  • FBNY Poll: Are You Planning To Buy An iPhone?
  • Video: Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Together

    Last night at the All Things Digital Conference in Carlsbad, California, an impossibly historic meeting for tech nerds took place: Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Apple’s Steve Jobs, together on one stage. (It was sorta like a meeting between Luke Skywalker and Captain Kirk, for you nerds of another galaxy).

    The event, of course, was sold out, but you can watch all of it here.

    Said Gates: “We’ve kept our marriage secret for over a decade now.”

    (Funny, that’s exactly the type of titillating discussion Star Wars and Star Trek nerds partake in.)

    Those hoping for fireworks, though, were disappointed. Gates: “I don’t think either of us has anything to complain about. … I miss some people who’ve left the industry. It’s nice to have someone like Steve around.”

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