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Media Moguls Return to Sun Valley Under Darkening Financial Skies – Vanity Fair

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As fleece-clad billionaires—and newcomers like Bari Weiss—flock to Idaho this week, Sun Valley fixtures are buzzing about Netflix’s future, an Elon-led Twitter, and Disney’s power structure. But will plunging stocks and a cooling M&A market drive down the dealmaking? “There’s a cloud hanging over,” says Ken Auletta.

July 4, 2022

Image may contain Elon Musk Human Person Clothing Apparel Pants and Wood

Elon Musk speaks to the media as he arrives for the Allen & Co. Media and Technology Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, U.S., on Tuesday, July 7, 2015.  By David Paul Morris/Bloomberg/Getty Images.

This time last year, as the illustrious guests of Allen & Company’s annual mogul bonanza were pulling up to the entrance of the storied Sun Valley Resort in the mountains of central Idaho, David Zaslav stepped out of his chauffeured SUV and gave an interview about big-media’s robust appetite for M&A. Zaslav had just pulled off a deal for the history books: the creation of Warner Bros. Discovery, of which he is now CEO. “There was a line wherever he was,” Oprah Winfrey told me at the time, relaying a scene report from Gayle King.

As this year’s so-called summer camp for billionaires kicks off Tuesday, Zaslav will hardly want for company while sipping cocktails in the Duchin Lounge. But other attendant honchos will surely elicit a greater deal of scrutiny and interest. For starters, there’s Elon Musk, who is expected to attend for the first time in several years, as his rollercoaster Twitter takeover inches toward some sort of spectacular conclusion. The Tesla boss isn’t just one of the most talked about and controversial people in the business world—he’s become one of the most talked about and controversial figures in the entire world, and his likely ownership of Twitter is seen as having major implications for free speech and democracy and the ability of platforms to rein in disinformation in a highly polarized society. “I definitely think Elon will grab a lot of attention,” one Sun Valley fixture told me. “No question.”

Someone else who has attended the conference over the years alternatively posited, “Everybody will be watching for the body language between Chapek and Iger, the Game of Thrones dynamic between the current emperor and the past emperor, and how that will shake out.” This source was referring, obviously, to the two Bobs—Bob Iger, the legendary former CEO of Disney, and Bob Chapek, the embattled current Disney boss—whose well-documented falling-out has been grist for the Hollywood gossip mill. Chapek, of course, will arrive in Idaho with a new three-year contract, putting to bed speculation that, following a series of highly publicized stumbles, his Disney stewardship may not be long for this world. (As another conference-goer joked, “When everyone ran out of stuff to talk about in the media business, they started gossiping about Chapek.”)

Who else? There’ll surely be eyes on Sheryl Sandberg, who recently resigned from Meta/Facebook after 14 years with the company. Or Brian Roberts and Shari Redstone, both seen as needing to enlarge their respective corporate fiefdoms, Comcast and ViacomCBS. Conspicuously absent from this year’s guest list is Jeff Bezos, who usually doesn’t miss the thing. It could be that he’s trying to create a bit of breathing room for Amazon’s new CEO, Andrew Jassy. Or as a couple of my sources suggested, he might just be galavanting around Europe on his mega-yacht. (Wouldn’t you be?) As for the Murdochs, I was able to confirm that James, Lachlan, and Rupert will all be in attendance. And among the requisite celebrity-type journalists prowling the resort, keep an eye out for Substack star Bari Weiss. “I’m going! And I’m excited!” she texted me on Friday. “But I do not have the requisite vest. Nellie and I”—as in Nellie Bowles, her wife—“are researching high-end athleisure at this very moment.”

Then there’s the Netflix of it all. For a long time, the O.G. streaming service was king of the jungle, the pinnacle to which all others aspired as they began to recalibrate their businesses for the unbundled, multiplatform future. Now, those others are catching up, which means Netflix bosses Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos find themselves fighting to hold on to the throne. One of the biggest stories in media this past spring was the company’s stunning subscriber loss, its first in 10 years, with further bleeding projected in the second quarter. That story will be hanging in the air as attendees amble along the resort grounds in their signature fleece vests. “To see how Reed and Ted engage with people will be interesting for sure,” one source said. “It’s a big sea change for them in their business. How are they thinking about it?” Another wondered whether Netflix might begin to look like an acquisition candidate, noting the steep plunge in the company’s market capitalization and value: “They still have something most people don’t have, which is 220 million subscribers and a great technology platform.”

There were a few other themes that came across in conversations with various big shots I spoke with. One was the potential for further M&A. Merger fervor has cooled since the gold rush of the prior few years, and the biggest players have shored up their power. But further consolidation is surely in store. Also, one source noted there’s a “recognition” that the biggest media companies in the world—Netflix, Disney, and Warner Bros. Discovery—don’t have controlling shareholders who own the lion’s share of outstanding stock. Will they be able to stay that way, or is it only a matter of time? Someone else suggested a sudden popularity for companies with big balance sheets. Roberts, for instance, never attracted a lot of attention, but maybe now, with Comcast’s nearly $9 billion in cash on hand, he just might.

My conversations also veered toward the larger picture, the backdrop to all the freewheeling panel discussions and furtive confabs. Last year’s festivities came with a certain buoyant optimism. Business leaders were emerging from the monotony of remote work and Zoom meetings, ready to let loose and breathe the same indoor air, the ink on their vaccine cards still fresh, the world getting back to normal. One year later, the world is positively on fire. Aside from the never-ending COVID spiral, the sociopolitical convulsions, and the unsettling global turmoil, fortunes have reversed; the stock market’s down, inflation’s up, and recession fears loom large. As one of my sources mused, “Everybody was walking around there the last few years with their chests strutted out. Now everybody’s stock has declined and the actual models are being questioned. You could ask the question, Will humility have set in to the environs of a place heretofore attended by nothing short of unbridled self-confidence? What will be the level of reflection in the private conversations and side lunches and all that?”

For some additional perspective, I called Ken Auletta, who’s been to Sun Valley a number of times since the mid-’90s, including in 1999, when he became the first—and as far as he knows still only—reporter to be granted full on-the-record access to the über-exclusive and highly secretive affair. (He has otherwise attended as a guest alongside fellow star-studded journalists—the Gayle Kings and Andrew Ross Sorkins and Anderson Coopers of the world.) “There are all these questions,” Auletta told me, “where you see Democrats and Republicans in greater agreement on reining in big companies. You’ve got questions about privacy. About Apple, and whether its insistence that [publishers] pay them 30% to be on their platform is a fair amount of money, or blackmail. Questions about whether you break up parts of Alphabet, meaning Google, or parts of Meta, meaning Facebook. Then you’ve got questions about free speech, where you’ve got conservatives, sometimes joined by liberals, arguing that Facebook and Twitter have killed freedom of speech, and then on the other hand, those on the left claiming that allowing people with false information to get on Twitter and Facebook is basically warping democracy. So if you think about the power of some of these issues out there, that would be something I think would resonate with the people who go to Sun Valley.” The upshot? “I think there’s a cloud hanging over the heads of all the people attending.”

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Media Advisory: Premier Furey to Announce Additional Measure to Address Recruitment and Retention of Physicians – News Releases – Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

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The Honourable Andrew Furey, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, will announce an additional measure to address recruitment and retention of physicians today (Tuesday, August 16) at 2:15 p.m.

He will be joined by the Honourable Tom Osborne, Minister of Health and Community Services, Dr. Sohaib Al-Asaaed, Post Graduate Medical Education Associate Dean, and Dr. Mikaela Murphy, a second-year family medicine resident.

The availability will take place in Room M5M101, Faculty of Medicine, St. John’s Campus, Memorial University.

The availability will be streamed live on Facebook.

– 30 –

Media contacts
Meghan McCabe
Office of the Premier
709-729-3960
meghanmccabe@gov.nl.ca

Laura Thomas
Health and Community Services
709-729-6986, 727-0341
laurathomas@gov.nl.ca

2022 08 16
9:10 am

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Media Release – August 16, 2022 – Guelph Police – Guelph Police Service

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Male arrested in theft of watches

A Guelph male has been charged in connection with the theft of more than a dozen watches during a break and enter last month.

Police were called July 6 to a business in the area of Silvercreek Parkway North and Woodlawn Road West. An employee had arrived to work to find a rear window smashed. Approximately 12 to 15 watches each valued at $150 were stolen.

A suspect was identified through surveillance video and arrested Sunday morning. A 66-year-old Guelph male is charged with break and enter. He will appear in a Guelph court September 23, 2022.

Arrest made following assault

A Guelph male faces assault and weapons charges after another male was attacked in the parking lot of a south-end business.

On July 9 two males known to each other were involved in a verbal altercation in a parking lot on Stone Road West. During the altercation one of the males was struck twice in the head with an object believed to be a flashlight. This caused a laceration which required stitches.

A suspect was identified and on Monday turned himself in to the Guelph Police Service. A 26-year-old Guelph male is charged with assault with a weapon, possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose and failing to comply with probation. He will appear in bail court Wednesday.

Gassing up stolen car leads to charges

A Cambridge male who pumped gas into a stolen car in Guelph has been arrested.

On June 2, a male attended a gas station on Speedvale Avenue West driving a stolen Kia SUV. He pumped more than $49 in gas and attempted to pay using several prepaid credit cards, but was only able to cover $7.28 of the cost. The male said he would get another credit card from the vehicle but instead sped away without paying the remaining amount.

The male was identified via surveillance video and arrested Monday.

A 37-year-old Cambridge male is charged with possessing stolen property over $5,000, theft under $5,000, occupying a stolen motor vehicle and driving while suspended. He will appear in bail court Tuesday.

Total calls for service in the last 24 hours – 206

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Media are invited to attend the Mentor-Apprentice Program workshop in Yellowknife on August 17 – Government of Northwest Territories

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The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is hosting a training workshop for Mentor-Apprentice Program (MAP) participants in Yellowknife. Media are invited to attend the last workshop taking place in the Yellowknife area, where they can experience the language program firsthand and talk to MAP participants and organizers with the Indigenous Languages and Education Secretariat.

The session will take place:

Yellowknife – Dene Kedǝ, Dëne Sųłıné, Dene Zhatıé and Tłı̨chǫ languages

Location: Aurora Tours.net /Aurora Teepee Lodge (Ingraham Trail – KM 12.4)

Date: August 17, 2022

Time: 10:15 -11:45 am

To attend one of the sessions, please RSVP to ecepublicaffairs@gov.nt.ca. High-resolution photos will be provided upon request for media use.

MAP is a way of learning a language where a fluent speaker of the language (a Mentor) teaches a language learner (an Apprentice) through immersion. The goal of the program is to have Apprentices improve their ability to understand and speak their language and help with the revitalization of Indigenous languages in the Northwest Territories.

For media requests, please contact:

ecepublicaffairs@gov.nt.ca

Public Affairs and Communications

Department of Education, Culture and Employment

Government of the Northwest Territories

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