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Sun Valley 2017 Invite List Includes Ted Sarandos, Oprah Winfrey, Rupert Murdoch (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety logo Variety 6/9/2017 Dave McNary
© Provided by Variety

Oprah Winfrey, Netflix Chief Creative Officer Ted Sarandos, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson and 21st Century Fox Chairman Rupert Murdoch have been invited to Sun Valley for Allen & Co.’s annual summer retreat in July, according to a list of guests obtained by Variety.

In the Hollywood realm, potential guests include ICM’s Chris Silbermann, CAA’s Bryan Lourd, Time Warner head Jeff Bewkes, CBS chief Les Moonves, Sony Corp. CEO Kaz Hirai, cable mogul John Malone, indie film impresario Harvey Weinstein and Casey Wasserman, who is currently overseeing the Los Angeles bid to host the Summer Olympics in 2024.

The annual gathering of moguls and one-percenters is highly secretive. It consists of morning sessions on geopolitical and business trends that take place behind closed doors. The big interest, however, are the mergers that are inevitably hatched when these power brokers meet in the posh mountain retreat. Comcast’s acquisition of NBCUniversal, Jeff Bezos’ purchase of the Washington Post, Disney’s successful play for Capital Cities/ABC, and Time Warner’s disastrous marriage to AOL were just a few of the pacts cooked up at the ski resort.

Other business icons who have scored invites include Facebook guru Mark Zuckerberg, AirBnB founder Brian Chesky, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Viacom CEO Bob Bakish, investor Warren Buffett, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, Microsoft’s Bill Gates, venture capitalist and Gawker foe Peter Thiel, Snapchat Chief Strategy Officer Imran Khan, and auto maker Elon Musk. However, being invited does not necessarily mean that a business chief will actually put the private jet on course for Idaho.

Representatives from the upper echelons of sports who may be hitting Sun Valley include New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft; Jerry Reinsdorf, owner of the Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox; Denver Nuggets President Josh Kroenke; MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred; NBA Commissioner Adam Silver; and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

In the political realm, potential guests include Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass; Martin Indyk, VP of the Brookings Institution; and U.S. Air Force General Lori Robinson.

Silicon Valley movers and shakers on the list include Nexdoor CEO Nirav Tolia, Paypal CEO Daniel Schulman and SurveyMonkey CEO Zander Lurie.

Journalists who cover the event are mostly consigned to a few cordoned-off areas at the hotel and resort. However, a few members of the fourth estate do get to go behind the velvet rope. This year that group includes Tom Brokaw, Charlie Rose, Squawk Box host Andrew Ross Sorkin, Tom Friedman of the New York Times, and David Ignatius of the Washington Post.

Philippe Dauman, the former Viacom chief, was a frequent Sun Valley presence, but he didn’t make the list this year. Shari Redstone, the driving force behind Dauman’s ouster from his perch at Viacom, has been invited. She attended last year’s gathering.

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