Tim Cook flies to Sun Valley, presumably exploring deals with media moguls

Apple’s boss today made a surprise appearance at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference, an annual retreat, to attend a session called “Iran vs. Israel”, The New York Post reported. No one knew if he would put in an appearance and upon arriving he kept a low-key profile.

Apparently, Cook has lined up a bunch of powerful media executives for one-on-one meetings, looking to cut deals. After all, Apple is a media company (a powerful one, too) and it’s been long-rumored that Cupertino’s been persuading Hollywood moguls to provide premium programming for the mythical iTV…

Author Claire Atkinson couldn’t resist pressing Cook on unreleased products:

When asked if he was there in hopes of striking entertainment deals, he said, “We are talking to a lot of people here.” And might those deals be for the long-rumored Apple TV? “I can’t tell you that,” he said.

That’s an interesting response.

He could have just as easily got away with a simple ‘no’ unless, of course, Apple is working on a badass television set, as rumored.

The author wasn’t any luckier with this:

When asked what he was looking forward to at the conference, Mr. Cook smiled. “I’m looking forward to all the private discussions I’ve set up this week,” he said.

So, basically all we know is that Cook attended the conference.

We also know that Steve Jobs hadn’t traveled to the annual gathering since 2005 so Cook must have a compelling enough reason to book a flight to rustic Sun Valley, Idaho.

Tim Cook with Akamai’s CEO Paul Sagan at Allen & Co. conference. Apple used to deliver media and application downloads via Akamai servers. Image credit: Paul Sakuma/AP.

Listening to unofficial talk on the sidelines of the conference, the reported speculates Cook might have some business with media moguls.

The conference, full of media bigwigs, has also been buzzing about any blueprints Mr. Cook may be hiding in Apple’s magic hat. He has lined up several one-on-one meetings with media executives here, fueling speculation that he is busy cobbling together partnerships for a home entertainment expansion.

When asked whether he wanted to strike entertainment deals, Apple’s chief executive replied that “we are talking to a lot of people here”.

Where is Eddy Cue, though?

Tim Cook last September promoted Cue, a 22-year Apple veteran who in the past managed iTunes services, to senior vice president of Internet software and services, a position entailing a bunch of responsibilities that encompass iTunes, iAd, iCloud, as well as Apple’s media relations with Hollywood and record labels.

The 29-year-old event hosted by private investment firm Allen & Company gathers mostly media executives and had previously seen attendances by Silicon Valley’s top dogs, like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Mark Zuckerberg and others.

Perhaps I’m reading too much into this, but one thing I know. CEOs of powerful corporations of Apple’s stature don’t waste their precious time on stuff like this.

And don’t tell me it is a coincidence that Cook happened to attend a conference that conveniently gathers the world’s most powerful media and entertainment moguls.

Something’s cooking here (pun intended).