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tv   The David Rubenstein Show Peer to Peer Conversations  Bloomberg  October 3, 2018 9:00pm-9:30pm EDT

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♪ you produce some of the most famous movies in american history. barry: first we failed. in order to figure stuff out, you are going to make a mess. i have certainly been successful. but, none of this is mine. david: how did you gravitate towards the internet? barry: it was interactive, and it intrigued me. david: is that how it happened? barry: that is what happened. then they said i was crazy. >> would you fix your tie, please? david: well, people wouldn't recognize me if my tie was fixed, but ok. just leave it this way. alright. ♪ david: i don't consider myself a journalist.
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and nobody else would consider myself a journalist. i began to take on the life of being an interviewer even though i have a day job of running a private equity firm. how do you define leadership? what is it that makes somebody tick? barry, you have had unusual career. i want to explain this. barry: i wish somebody would. david: people have built media companies and sometimes run them. a few other people have built internet companies and sometimes run them. what was it about your abilities to do both? barry: one is curiosity. i am probably more curious than those people who have been on
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one side or the other. --m it is about editorship. certainly in media businesses, which is where you are choosing from a high will do this or i won't do that, true editorship. david: you did well in television, movies. how did you gravitate towards the internet? barry: first of all, i don't really like repeating myself. i have been in the movie and television does this for 20 years, running multiple movie and television operations. when i left, first of all, my biggest issue was i did not want to work for anyone anymore. i always worked for a company. i got to a point where i was 49 where i said i really, you are or you are not, and i want to be thumb on myanyone's
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neck. i wanted to see if i could create something really my own. david: another way to say this, and maybe i have the same view myself, they can do this, why can i do that? you didn't have that view? barry: no. more insecurity than security. i probably didn't think the people, i thought a lot of the people i worked ft. worth idiots, but i certainly didn't think, in fact, i could do that. the question for me was, could i do that? david: let's go back to how your career unfolded before what you are doing today. you grew up in beverly hills and went to college initially at ucla? barry: it is a bit of a fake out. i have never absolutely clarified it. i went to ucla for three weeks. three weeks, what did
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your parents say when you dropped out? they: nothing more than said before, after, or deering. my parents were the most laissez-faire of parents and did not really have a point of view other than they assumed they would support me for the rest of my life. david: for your parents wealthy? barry: fairly, yes. david: what did you do? >> hibernated for a while. barry: my interest was pulling me into entertainment. there was obviously a lot around my best friends, and their parents were mostly in very forms of the entertainment business. allure, but i had no clue how to get there. there are no starting jobs. i called my best friend's thomas, who was a
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ilevision star, so started we morris. i didn't do what most people do in the mailroom. most people really, they want to make contacts, to network with people, meet people. through networking, if they impress people, they will usually get a job, or people in the mailroom wanted to be agents. the last thing i wanted to do was be an agent. william morris for three years, and essentially the history of the entertainment business from a-z. that was my school. david: how do you break out of the mailroom to get into a real job? barry: what happened, was aipity, was my career cross between serendipity and
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curiosity. anyway, i met a middle level executive at abc called leonard goldberg. he was in new york executive moving to los angeles to become the vice president of current programming, very middle level job, but i thought he was really have and i really didn't television,g for but i was sparky and interested. i knew i couldn't stay at william morris any longer. he asked me if i would be his assistant. i said yes. the day i left william morris and was going to start at abc, ofy fired the tsar programming and pick my guy to the head of programming. i went from this little tiny thing to moving to new york to become the assistant of the head of programming at abc, and
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within six months i was running the department. david: eventually you became president of abc television, right? barry: the entertainment part. david: and you invented something that was novel at the time called the movie of the week. >> abc presents the movie of the week. barry: we had the idea of saying rather than buying bad movies and putting on television series that tend to fail, why don't we see it we can make a movie every chose thise 90-minute form. it was very ambitious. it had not been done before. everybody thought it would fail because that was not the diet of television at the time. most times what everybody thinks is going to fail, works. it worked. david: you are doing well and in your mid-30's? barry: i was just 32. david: what you are pretending
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you're 33, 34. you want to exaggerate how old you are because you are so young? barry: no, i love being young. now i have gone from the youngest person in the room to the oldest person. david: i know it. barry: i was 32. david: you were getting a lot of attention and somebody said would you like to run paramount pictures? barry: a person i had gotten to was oney early when i year or two years at abc, he had just bought paramount at the time. paramount had been failing come which is how he bought it. he wanted to sell these movies to television, old movies from paramount's library, all of which were terrible, and i gave him a very hard time. he like that. we began a relationship. some years later he wanted me to come to paramount and i didn't want to leave abc, but finally
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he said i'm going to make you chairman and chief executive of paramount. i said, charlie, i have no experience in the movie business. yes, we have made 75 movies for television, but you really want to make me chief executive? he said, yes. , --id david: then you decide to leave? barry: i got to the point where i was 49 and said i have certainly been successful, but none of this is mine, and i went to rupert and said i want to be a principal. ♪
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david: now when you are running paramount you produce some of the most famous movies in american history. barry: first we failed. in order to figure stuff out, you are going to make a mess. david: what did you make a mess of? barry: we made a series of awful movies. i was learning the movie business. we were in last place. ands on fumes at that time saying to charlie, maybe this hasn't worked out. weren that two years we playing good development tracks for the future. when it turned, which it did in the third year at paramount, when we went literally from sixth to first place, it was a big, dramatic turn. david: some of the ones i remember, "raiders of the lost ark." did you know that would be great from the beginning? barry: it is rare that you really know from the beginning,
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-- you remember seeing "raiders of the lost ark/" david: of course. barry: you remember the opening scene. that was about 12 pages of the script. by the way,-that 12 pages of the script saying if we can shoot , this is going to be fantastic, of course. it will cost more than any movie ever made because of whatever, it hast script rarely -- happened 10 times may be -- when you finish that script you said, this is a smash. david: you also had television production. " "happy days.",. and all of a sudden you left paramount to run 20 century fox. barry: and rupert murdoch amen. -- came in. i had already been interested in
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the idea of a fourth network, so again discern different he was passing through los angeles and i said to rupert , why don't you buy television station and start a fourth network? and rupert, the greatest player, gambler by a strong instinct with nothing to back it up, but thinking this is a good idea said, yes. cost $200aid it will million. david: he said that is ok. not more than an hour later we shook hands. are building the fourth network and people thought you were crazy. barry: the best position is for people to think you are crazy. david: then you decide to leave? barry: yes, i got to the point,
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49, and i said i have certainly been successful, but none of this is mine, and nothing is -- andurs, but it wasn't i went to rupert and said i want to be a principal. , there is only one principle in this company. it is nice you want to be, but that is reality. i went away thinking, oh my god, what a terrible thing, terrible, harsh thing to be told. now i have to actually either decide that i'm going to act on it or not, so i left. david: you had been successful with everything you touch. barry: i was unsuccessful at each step of the way. it started very unsuccessfully, but worked out. david: so you decided you would
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change her life and become a principal, but you don't know what you want to be a principal love. barry: the things people wanted me to do was run a movie company , take a chief executive job, and all of that stuff had really no interest to me. david: so you started to buy some things. barry: my wife had gone to a place called qvc. she is a designer. she went to qvc because they wanted her to sell clothing on qvc, and she said you have to see what this thing is. it is the most amazing thing. i go there, west chester, pennsylvania, and i see a 10-foot square, 100-foot square stage. the use of computers and television sets and telephones, and me, who only knew about screens being used for narrative, i so screens
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being used for something else. it was interactive. there was a computer screen that when they offered a product, the calls would be on the computer screen, seeing them rise and fall and rise and fall and rise and fall, and the whole thing was very early convergence. thing about screens was storytelling, and here was another use of a screen, and it intrigued me. havingerendipity, i'm lunch with brian roberts, who own comcast, and they wanted me to do a production company. i thought when is it going to be over and i can go home. as you do in those situations, i don't want them talking about trying to lure me into this thing. he tells me this story about how he started the so-called qvc. i said stop here it only more about qvc. i am drawing it out.
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him, what are you going to do with qvc? keys and the founder is going to retire. i said, really? i said, what is he going to do? i said could i buy his interest. ralph said yes. i walked out of the four seasons hotel knowing what i was going to do. i went to qvc and took an interest. that was three years, the primitive convergence, three years before the internet really started. it was locked and circumstance. david: at that point, people said barry diller -- barry: then they were sure i was crazy. david: low rent qvc, where is he going? ,arry: westchester pennsylvania, we will never hear about them again. david: qvc, you had a stake in it. ultimately you grew it.
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you started buying internet-related companies, things that's all things over the internet, ticketmaster or things like that, and put them into a company called iac. did you know each of these would work question mark barry: of course i didn't. by the way, many of them didn't. david: the most successful is expedia? barry: expedia is the biggest. they range from life nation, ticketmaster, david: so you own this company and has become a big of a company, roughly $250 million company, andby the today that's worth $57 billion. barry: more or less. david: that is pretty good. your stock is up 80% this year. how are you going to top that in the business world? you can't do much better than you have done. barry: i will find something else to fail at first. david: if you said, well if i did this, maybe i can do something else. barry: they said they were going
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to tear down the concert was falling apart. would i be interested in er.lding a new here -- piuer i could be ambitious about it. if you are up for it, i am up for it. ♪
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♪ internet is, the still very much a part of our lives. what about television and motion pictures. do you think they will continue to be important parts of our lives? barry: i think the movie business is over as a cultural institution of any great value.
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the movie business is now about primarily making sequels and that are mega-movies more marketing things than anything else. i think movies have receded. television is having a great because of the incredible optionality and television. and, the craft. four: are you worried that or five technology companies could control her culture and lives, or you are not worried? i am worried. i always thought too much concentration is bad, and that goes against consolidating principles, which are forcing consolidation everywhere and will continue to. i think that is not a good thing, but -- david: you expect the movie companies and television companies bought by these technology companies -- barry: i think they will supersede them. the thing is that the two
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companies that are really dominating right now are netflix , grown outside the entertainment business, and amazon. whose business model is antithetical to what the business model of entertainment has been, which is you put on a show and people like it and the audience comes in they pay you. their business model is to sell substitutions to prime, and as a subsidiary they give you good stuff on the side. david: it worked out well. barry: yeah. david: you are committed to the giving pledge that warren buffett and bill gates developed, and one of the original signers of it. one of your philanthropies is called high line. barry: what the high line was was an elevated railroad track
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that had not been used for probably 50 years. so what we did this take 10 years and created this elevated park. we thought the first year we 350,000 3 million came the first year. last year, 7 million. very: it has been successful. it prompted you to say if i did this, maybe i can do something else. barry: even stupider. they came and said they were going to tear down a pier because it was falling apart, and would i be interested in building a new pier. i said not if it is a pier. what you are planning to do is boring, but if i could be ambitious about building an island in the park that is not a pier, if you are up for that, i am up for it. of course we started with, you rrowerkind of a na
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vision. david: people can go there and -- barry: yes, the idea is, i love public art, the idea of making a public space is great. it is a park for people. it is also a performance center. , you almost like walking get to it by two bridges, and you leave this city of concrete, mostly concrete, and all this stuff and go to oz. david: what is it going to be called? barry: pier 55. david: if you were starting your career over again, what area would you go to? barry: i don't know. i have never really had a goal. i've never said i want to be , it was what ever i was curious about. david: one of the things i'd
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like to ask people about his leadership. what are you the skills you had as a leader? barry: often blind willfulness. will, and from energy to propel it, but the stronger the will, i , that at least allows people to follow. david: if you were to say today what you are most proud of what you have achieved with your life, what would you say? marriage.bably my david: ok. barry: you got married in 2001 to a very famous fashion designer. that she give you fashion advice and dressing you, or not really? barry: take a look. david: i don't know. do you give her device on internet-related things? barry: no. fashion,ncts transcend and so anything that comes up, her instincts are pretty good,
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and so i listen, and she occasionally listens to me. david: ok. so you have a very happy life. barry: i'm so lucky. thank you. that is what i do all the time. david: congratulations for what you achieved and thank you for your time. barry: a pleasure. ♪
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francine: "leaders with lacqua." is thee: carlos ghosn ultimate executive car guy. he started his career at nissan, then went on to climb the ranks. he holds one of the most powerful positions in the car industry, serving as chief ofcutive renault-nissan-mitsubishi alliance. during his rise to the top, earned nicknames after returning the company to profitability and rescuing


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