I’m watching Michael Eisner, former Disney CEO, interview Barry Diller. This is one of those things you stumble on with digital cable. It’s on a channel high enough (106) that oxygen masks should pop out of the overhead.
When I originally posted this I went on without explaining who Diller is. I have second thoughts about his notoriety outside ‘the business.’
: Barry Diller was raised in Beverly Hills and began his career in the mailroom of the William Morris Agency. He was hired by ABC in 1966 and was soon placed in charge of negotiating broadcast rights to feature films. He was promoted to vice president in charge of feature films and program development in 1969. In this position, Diller created the ABC Movie of the Week, pioneering the concept of the made-for-television movie through a regular series of 90-minute films produced exclusively for television.
Diller served for ten years as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Paramount Pictures Corporation starting in 1972. With Diller at the helm, the studio produced hit television programs such as Laverne & Shirley (1976), Taxi (1978), and Cheers (1982) and films ranging from Saturday Night Fever (1977), and Grease (1978) to Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and its sequel Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) to Terms of Endearment (1983) and Beverly Hills Cop (1984).
From October 1984 to April 1992, he held the positions of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fox, Inc, parent company of Fox Broadcasting Company and 20th Century Fox. Diller quit 20th Century-Fox in 1992 and purchased a $25 million stake in QVC teleshopping network. Diller resigned from QVC in 1995.
Diller is currently the Chairman of Expedia and the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of IAC/InterActiveCorp, an interactive commerce conglomerate and the parent of companies including Home Shopping Network, Ticketmaster, Match.com and Citysearch. In 2005, IAC/InterActiveCorp acquired Ask Jeeves, marking a strategic move into the Internet search category.
In 2001, Diller married fashion designer and longtime friend Diane von Furstenberg
Eisner is subbing for Charley Rose. This rerun of a rerun is on Connecticut Public Television’s tertiary channel!
Diller is a guy I had only heard about (and, years ago when we bought stock in QVC) invested in. He’s not just a genius, he’s an amazing genius… though from what I’d always heard, maybe ‘evil genius’ is a better characterization.
Look at him and you see the physical polish that comes with money. His suit, tie and watch are impeccably stylish and reek of money. When you listen to him, you hear words from a man much younger than he.
It is obvious, when it comes to technology and where the mass dissemination of programming is going, Diller gets it. He is about 63. The promise of technology’s future has moved beyond all but a few 63 year olds.
It is a shame for Eisner, who is undoubtedly bright, that he’s sharing a stage with Diller. Anyone would seem dimmer in comparison.
If you see this interview coming in yet another rerun of a rerun of a rerun, make sure you catch it, if only to further scope out Barry Diller. This is another of those moments when, after the fact, I realize how little I know and how much more I have to learn.