At Sun Valley, Media Moguls Will Obsess on Paid Content

By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2009 8:23 AM CDT
Herbert Allen in Sun Valley, Idaho. The conference revolves around the technology trailblazers tormenting newspapers, broadcasters, music labels and movie studios.    (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac, file)
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(Newser) – From Rupert Murdoch to Twitter founder Evan Williams, moguls old and young descend on Sun Valley, Idaho, this week for an annual summit on media and technology. This year, reports the Financial Times, the dominant question concerns paid content—a debate that has spread from the troubled newspaper industry to all sectors of media. With advertising dropping by a worse-than-expected 8.5% this year, the power brokers have little choice but to find new models.

While the conference will feature panels on everything from globalization to Barack Obama, the real focus of Sun Valley is dealmaking and networking. Newspapers and music companies took the first blows from the spread of free content; now even television networks are nervous about their chances of long-term survival. "People in the traditional media world are terrified," New Yorker writer Ken Auletta tells Reuters.