Drippy Manhattan evenings aren’t usually a draw for an outdoor cocktail party but the FoundersClub NYC Internet Week soiree had something that overcomes a little rain: power. Barry Diller, the chairman and CEO of IAC (NSDQ: IACI), was hosting two of the hottest not-so-new guys in town — AOL’s Tim Armstrong and News Corp.’s Jon Miller — in the Rooftop Garden at Rockefeller Center and the draw was irresistible for Rupert Murdoch and wife Wendy, Jeff Zucker, Sir Martin Sorrell and more from media, advertising and tech. We were, Diller noted, in the heart of Manhattan, in an area that used to be THE center of media power back in the days before the internet exploded the idea that any one group could control it all.
The next morning, when he sat down for an interview with paidContent, Diller was back in his own space — the Frank Gehry-designed white-and-glass landmark in an expansive conference room not too far from the office he describes as Gehry’s “kind of Ayn Rand concept.” Literally, he was more than 30 blocks away that area; figuratively, he was even further from the Carnegie Tower that housed his East Coast office back when he ran USA and other cable networks alongside his nascent interactive business. Ask Diller now about networks, and he might ask you, what kind? What follows in this and a second installment are edited excerpts from that conversation.
Staci D. Kramer: Last night, you talked about how at one point in the world’s recent history all of media was consolidated in one very small space in Manhattan.
Barry Diller: The definition of evolution