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[HOLLYWOOD] Willima Morris Embraces the "Power Retreats" / Muhammad Yunus

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  • madchinaman
    William Morris embraces the glitz of power retreats Talent agencies are the latest to convene industry powwows, which put a premium on attracting the
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 11 2:44 PM
      William Morris embraces the glitz of power retreats
      Talent agencies are the latest to convene industry powwows, which put
      a premium on attracting the biggest-name speakers.
      By Claire Hoffman, Times Staff Writer
      http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-morris10jan10,1,1233660.story


      -

      Perhaps next up United Talent Agency will invite one of its newest
      clients — Nobel Prize-winning Bangladeshi humanitarian Muhammad
      Yunus — to teach the Hollywood wheeler-dealers the spirit of giving.

      -


      Walt Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger is on a whistle stop tour this
      week to talk up his company's role in embracing new technology.

      On Monday, he delivered the keynote speech in Las Vegas at the
      nation's largest consumer electronics show. He sat in the audience at
      the MacWorld conference in San Francisco on Tuesday as his company's
      largest shareholder, Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs, unveiled the
      much-anticipated iPhone. Today, Iger was scheduled to touch down in
      Palm Springs to share his message with 320 talent agents.

      Talent agents?

      Jim Wiatt, chairman of William Morris, Hollywood's oldest talent
      agency, has coaxed some big moguls to his corporate retreat to
      pontificate about the future of the entertainment business. In
      addition to Iger, the program includes Starbucks Corp. Chairman
      Howard Schultz and MySpace Chief Executive Chris DeWolfe.

      These power retreats have become the new thing in Hollywood.

      Modeled after the infamous and exclusive Allen & Co. retreat for
      media and technology power brokers in Sun Valley, Idaho, where both
      Iger and Wiatt are yearly guests, these power powwows put a premium
      on drawing the biggest names possible.

      In Carmel this year, Rupert Murdoch persuaded former President
      Clinton, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, former Israeli Prime
      Minister Ariel Sharon and, of course, singer Bono to address
      executives from across News Corp.'s empire.

      Now talent agencies, which strive to be on the cutting edge, seem to
      have joined the race to be the most future looking.

      William Morris agents flew in from six cities this week and stayed at
      the La Quinta Resort outside Palm Springs to attend classes with
      titles such as "The Evolution From Local Talent to Global Brand"
      and "The William Morris Agency (An Entertainment Company)." All will
      be asked to attend a session with motivational guru Marcus
      Buckingham, who encourages acolytes to maximize their strengths —
      even calling for a "strengths revolution."

      Wiatt's sparkling speaker list could be seen as a call for his
      competitors to up the ante in making company conferences a measuring
      stick of power.

      Perhaps next up United Talent Agency will invite one of its newest
      clients — Nobel Prize-winning Bangladeshi humanitarian Muhammad
      Yunus — to teach the Hollywood wheeler-dealers the spirit of giving.

      So what's the program for these speakers? Iger and DeWolfe are
      expected to talk about the effects of technology on their respective
      companies. And, according to one agency executive, when Wiatt asked
      Schultz what he would expound upon, the coffee mogul responded: "Just
      give me a microphone."
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