Sun Valley 2024: Paramount, AI, the NBA and Disney — and why Warren Buffett won’t be at ‘summer camp for billionaires’

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The Sun Valley resort in Idaho is set to play host this week to Allen & Co.’s annual “summer camp for billionaires” – and as usual, the biggest names in media, tech and business are jetting in.

The invite-only events on the lodge’s sprawling grounds are a closely-guarded secret to the public, but the annual conference has traditionally served as a hotbed for dealmaking among moguls like Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg and Disney’s Bob Iger.

This year’s key guests include Shari Redstone, who will likely court suitors for Paramount Global even after she agreed to sell her family’s National Amusements Inc., the Hollywood studio’s controlling shareholder, to David Ellison’s Skydance Media for $2.4 billion.

Shari Redstone may be courting other suitors for Paramount. Getty Images

The deal, which would see Redstone step aside after years of speculation, includes a 45-day “go shop” window for other bidders to make competing offers. That window conveniently opens just as Redstone is set to rub elbows with media and entertainment bigwigs in Idaho.

IAC billionaire Barry Diller, who as reportedly considering a bid for Paramount as recently as last week, could make an appearance in Sun Valley, according to a guest list obtained by Variety.

Elsewhere, OpenAI boss Sam Altman – who has exploded to the forefront of the artificial intelligence race due to the success of ChatGPT – will be in attendance as his firm looks to ink more licensing deals to power the chatbot.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who dished about the league’s work with Apple to bring games to the “Vision Pro” virtual reality headset last year, will be under scrutiny as he works to finalize what is expected to be a $76 billion media rights package with broadcast partners.

Things could get awkward with David Zaslav, the CEO of TNT parent Warner Bros. Discovery, also set to appear at the conference. TNT, a longtime NBA TV partner, is reportedly on the brink of losing broadcast rights as the NBA works on deals with the likes of ESPN, Amazon and NBC.

Iger, who made waves at last year’s confab by announcing plans to remain at Disney’s helm through 2026, is slated to return. The 73-year-old be joined by several potential successors, including Dana Walden, Josh D’Amaro, Alan Bergman and Hugh Johnston.

Shari Redstone’s National Amusements has agreed to sell itself to Skydance Media. Getty Images

Other media honchos who received invites include New York Post and NewsCorp owner Rupert Murdoch and his sons Lachlan and James, Comcast’s Bob Roberts and Netflix co-CEOs Ted Sarandos and Greg Peters.

The 2024 presidential election will loom large over business discussions. Most of the focus will be on the status of President Biden – who has faced calls to drop out of the race after a disastrous performance at last month’s debate with former President Donald Trump.

Several prominent Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro and Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, are invited.

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is looking to secure more licensing deals. Getty Images

From the tech world, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy and Salesforce boss Marc Benioff are expected to join the likes of Altman and Zuckerberg in Idaho.

Former Activision-Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, who is reportedly one of a few investors who has expressed interest in buying embattled TikTok, is also on the list, as is Uber’s Dara Khosrowshahi and Palantir’s Alex Karp.

Multiple prominent news anchors are slated to join the hobnobbing, including CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Erin Burnett, CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin and Becky Quick and CBS News’ Gayle King.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is close to finalizing the league’s next media rights deals. Getty Images
Warren Buffett is not expected to attend Sun Valley this year. Getty Images

Meanwhile, legendary 93-year-old investor Warren Buffett – a Sun Valley fixture whose wife Astrid was heard grumbling about having to pay $4 for a cup of coffee last year, as The Post exclusively reported – is not attending the conference.

Other Berkshire Hathaway executives, including Buffett’s successor Greg Abel and longtime colleagues Todd Combs and Ted Weschler, will be there.

The “Oracle of Omaha” had relied to a golf cart to travel the resort grounds last year. At the time, Astrid Buffett was heard saying that the Berkshire Hathaway chief had been struggling with poor balance.