By Edmund Lee
Billionaires Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg lead the roster of executives invited to Allen & Co.’s annual media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, next week, according to a guest list obtained by Bloomberg News. Google Inc.
(GOOG) Chairman Eric Schmidt, Amazon.com Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos and Apple Inc. (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook are also invited, according to the document, as is News Corp. (NWSA) Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch.
The exclusive gathering, sponsored by investment bank Allen & Co. since 1983, provides an intimate setting for media executives to discuss deals and reflect on the industry while enjoying family bike rides or fly fishing. Some of media’s largest buyouts were hatched or moved forward at Sun Valley, including Comcast Corp. (CMCSA)’s 2011 purchase of NBC Universal.
The retreat also attracts elected officials. Last year, Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker met Zuckerberg, the founder, chairman and CEO of social-networking website Facebook Inc. (FB) Zuckerberg later donated $100 million to Newark schools.
Both men are on the list this year, as well as New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the founder of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.
Buffett, who attended last year, has been acquiring newspapers, betting that community-focused publications can thrive in markets where there is little competition.
Murdoch, who recently announced a plan to spin off his company’s publishing division, is expected to attend, along with sons Lachlan and James. Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey and Joel Klein, the former Justice Department lawyer who now heads up the company’s education division, are also invited.