Barry Diller

Executive, Producer
From the mid-1960s, Barry Diller's influence on both American entertainment and business was singular and substantial. The son of a California real estate developer, Diller grew up understanding business. He dropped out ... Read more »
Born: 02/01/1942 in San Francisco, California, USA

Filmography

Actor (10)

Inventing David Geffen 2012 - 2013 (TV Show)

Actor

Sketches of Frank Gehry 2006 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Who's Afraid of Rupert Murdoch? 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

The 12 Most Fascinating People of 1993 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Naked Hollywood 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

The Television Academy Hall of Fame 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

From the mid-1960s, Barry Diller's influence on both American entertainment and business was singular and substantial. The son of a California real estate developer, Diller grew up understanding business. He dropped out of UCLA after a single semester to work his way up from the mailroom of the William Morris agency. In 1964, Diller jumped to the ABC network, and quickly rose to vice president of programming. In that capacity, he pioneered the made-for-television film format with ABC's "Movie of the Week" series (1969-1976). After injecting vitality into the struggling network, Diller went on to rescue the struggling Paramount Pictures, overseeing an era that produced such hits as "Saturday Night Fever" (1977), "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981), and "Cheers" (NBC, 1982-1993). He repeated this success with the faltering studio Twentieth Century-Fox, for whom he launched the Fox Broadcasting network with Rupert Murdoch. As legendary as his success was his management style, which was described as hostile and even abusive. Despite this, Diller accrued a dedicated following of executives that he mentored who emulated his style, including Dawn Steel, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Michael Eisner - a group informally referred to as "the Killer Dillers." Diller left Fox to build his own conglomerate of television and on-line assets including QVC, USA Network, Expedia.com, and the Lycos Internet portal, while also serving as Director of Coca-Cola and the Washington Post Company. Barry Diller embodied the ideal of the American executive: aggressive, innovative and ultimately successful.

Relationships

Reva Addison Diller

Mother

Alexander Von Furstenberg

Step-Son

Tatiana Von Furstenberg

Step-Daughter

Michael Diller

Father

Donald Diller

Brother
older, shot to death in an apparent robbery in 1975

Diane Furstenburg

Wife
met in 1975 married on February 2, 2001 in NYC

EDUCATION

University of California at Los Angeles

Los Angeles , California
dropped out after 4 months at age 19

Milestones

2002

USA Networks sold its television and film assets to Vivendi Universal. The remaining divisions were reorganized as USA interactive.

2001

Withdrew from bidding on assets of Rainbow Media (including cable channels American Movie Classics and Bravo)

2001

USA acquired controlling interest in Expedia

2000

Reorganized USA Networks, Inc in to three units: information and services (including Ticketmaster, CitySearch and other online ventures); entertainment (USA Network, Studios USA); and electronic retailing (Home Shopping Network)

1999

Announced plans to acquire Internet company Lycos (February); dropped plans in May

1999

Purchased October Films and Gramercy Pictures from Universal, folded them into new entity USA Films

1998

Completed merger of the Home Shopping Network, Universal Television and USA Networks to form USA Networks Inc. (February)

1997

Acquired control of ticketmaster

1997

Purchased television assets from Universal for $4 billion

1996

Formed HSN, Inc by merging Silver King Communications, Home Shopping Network and Savoy Pictures (December)

1995

Acquired Silver King, whose holdings included 12 UHF TV stations; planned to create another TV network (SKTV)

1995

Purchased Savoy Pictures Entertainment

1995

Elected chairman of the Board of Directors of Home Shopping Network in November

1994

Inducted into the TV Hall of Fame by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences

1994

Struck agreement to merge QVC and CBS in June, with plans for Diller to succeed Laurence Tisch as head of the network; deal derailed by Comcast owner Ralph Roberts and his son Brian offered $44 a share for the remaining QVC stock, acquiring control of the

1993

Announced plans to merge QVC with its rival Home Shopping Network in July; deal later shelved; later in July, reveals plans to launch Q2, geared to a younger, more affluent audience

1993

In January, named as chief executive of QVC; over the next sixth months remakes the image of the network

1993

Attempted to acquire Paramount Communications beginning in September; by February had been outbid by Viacom's chief Sumner Redstone

1992

In December, invested $25 million in QVC, a home-shopping network then best known for selling cubic zirconia

1992

Resigned as chair of Fox Inc. on February 24; reportedly spent several months "soul searching" by driving cross-country

1987

Named to board of directors of News Corp, Ltd.

1986

Helped launch the "fourth" television network, the Fox Broadacast Company, airing shows like "Beverly Hills, 90210" and "21 Jump Street" as well as "The Simpsons" and "Married... With Children"

1985

Named chairman and CEO of Fox, Inc. (including 20th Century-Fox Film Corp., Fox TV Stations, and Fox Broadcasting Co.)

1984

Resigned from Paramount and Gulf + Western to join 20th Century-Fox as board chairman and chief executive officer; given small ownership stake in the studio (September)

1983

Named president of Gulf + Western Entertainment and Communications Group (in addition to Paramount duties)

1974

Appointed chairman and CEO of Paramount in September; served for ten years (until 1984) during which the studio released such hits as "Saturday Night Fever" (1977), "Grease" (1978) and "Flashdance" (1983) and such worthy projects as the award-winning "Ord

1973

Promoted to vice president in charge of primetime entertainment at ABC

1972

Introduced the miniseries concept to American TV; gained the rights to Leon Uris' novel "QB VII" and Alex Haley's book to "Roots" for ABC

1970

Rose to vice president of feature films and Circle Entertainment (a unit of ABC entertainment); became proponent of the made-for-television movie

1968

Became vice president of feature films and program development, east coast, ABC

1968

Moved up to executive assistant to the vice president in charge of programming and director of feature films, ABC

1966

Joined ABC as assistant to the vice president in charge of programming in March

1964

Became an agent at William Morris

1961

Worked briefly in the mailroom at William Morris Agency

Grew up in Beverly Hills, California

Bonus Trivia

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Named "Adman of the Year" by Advertising Age (1979).

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Diller was named vice chairman for the Association of Motion Picture and TV Producers (AMPTP) (1975).

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