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It happened in Sun Valley: Musk’s speech, Zuckerberg’s karaoke, jet jams and Warren Buffett’s shirt


If you flipped on CNBC or opened the Wall Street Journal app this week, you probably saw pictures and stories from the Sun Valley Resort in Idaho. The annual Allen & Co. conference brings together tech CEOs, big investors and media for the annual event each July.

Here’s a look at some of the headlines from this week’s event, which typically continues into Saturday.

  • Jet jams: The New York Times went outside the event itself and looked at one of the more interesting jobs: keeping all those high-end jets moving. Chris Pomeroy, the director of the airport in Hailey talked about streamlining operations — and said back in 2017, the skies above the airport looked like “an attack,” filled with jets in every direction. Now… it’s much smoother.
  • Elon’s entrance: The world’s richest person made his way to Sun Valley Thursday. Musk may — or may not — purchase Twitter, and is the CEO of Tesla and Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX). He entered the conference through a back entrance – and did so just hours after the Washington Post reported his deal to buy Twitter is in “serious jeopardy” over concerns about the number of bots on the social media platform. Bloomberg reports Musk will give a talk to attendees on Saturday.
  • Behind the hedges: Dylan Byers, media columnist for Puck News, is a regular at the conference. I chatted with him when I last covered it in person in 2019, and he always produces strong work that goes behind the hedges, giving a peek into places reporters aren’t allowed to go. He produced a new story Friday with interesting factoids, including that Mark Zuckerberg canceled his traditional karaoke party, and that some execs aren’t staying for Musk’s speech. But while the gossip nuggets are interesting, Byers landed an interview with former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers.
  • Upbeat: Speaking of Byers, he also turned in a detailed piece on the mood of the conference. Despite economic concerns, it’s an upbeat atmosphere, for several reasons.
  • Streaming live: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell appeared on CNBC Friday morning from alongside the golf course and told the business network he expected to see a deal in place to move the NFL Sunday Ticket offering, which provides every NFL game to subscribers, to a streaming service.
  • Disney’s next moves: The Walt Disney Company has had a rocky few years under Bob Chapek. The CEO just scored a contract extension, and the Hollywood Reporter says the future of the big media brand is a top topic in Sun Valley.
  • Local look: The Idaho Mountain Express is perhaps the only media outlet not to parachute in to cover the event. Staff writer Andrew Guckes gathered up some nuggets from the high-wattage but low-key event.
  • Photo fun: The Wall Street Journal, known for its measured business report, looked a bit like People Magazine with a Sun Valley style gallery of the, uh… “fashion” of some of the attendees. Nice shirt, Warren. screenshot
Don Day - BoiseDev Editor & Founder
Don Day - BoiseDev Editor & Founder
Don is the founder and publisher of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow. Contact him at [email protected].

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