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Barry Charles Diller (born February 2, 1942) is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of IAC/InterActiveCorp and the media executive responsible for the creation of Fox Broadcasting Company and USA Broadcasting.

Life and career

Early life

Diller was born and raised in San Franciscomarker, Californiamarker, the son of Reva (née Addison) and Michael Diller. He began his career through a family connection in the mailroom of the William Morris Agency after dropping out of UCLAmarker after one semester. He was hired by ABC in 1964 and was soon placed in charge of negotiating broadcast rights to feature films. He was promoted to Vice President of Development in 1965. In this position, Diller created the ABC Movie of the Week, pioneering the concept of the made-for-television movie through a regular series of 90-minute films produced exclusively for television.

Career at Paramount

Diller served for ten years as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Paramount Pictures Corporation starting in 1974. With Diller at the helm, the studio produced hit television programs such as Laverne & Shirley (1976), Taxi (1978), and Cheers (1982) and films ranging from Saturday Night Fever (1977), and Grease (1978) to Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and its sequel Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) to Terms of Endearment (1983) and Beverly Hills Cop (1984).

Career at Fox

From October 1984 to April 1992, he held the positions of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fox, Inc, parent company of Fox Broadcasting Company and 20th Century Fox, where he greenlighted hits like The Simpsons. Diller quit 20th Century-Fox in 1992 and purchased a $25 million stake in QVC teleshopping network. Diller resigned from QVC in 1995.

USA Broadcasting

In 1997, Diller acquired the assets of Silver King Broadcasting, the collective group of over-the-air TV stations owned by then Bud Paxson's Home Shopping Network as well as the Home Shopping Network itself. Along with this acquisition, Diller also purchased the rights to the USA Network from the Bronfman family. Due to Home Shopping getting more notoriety on the cable networks from his former dealings with the QVC Network, Diller sought to repurpose the broadcast stations into independent, locally-run stations as part of a station group dubbed USA Broadcasting of which the flagship station was WAMI-TVmarker in Miami Beach, FLmarker. The purpose of the network was to have the flagship, WAMI, produce sports and news programming while testing general interest programming for the other stations in the group, of which the general interest programming would be locally produced by the other stations in the group. Due to the high costs involved with producing and acquiring talent for shows outside the typical areas of New York, NYmarker and Los Angeles, CAmarker, plus the significantly low ratings such shows received in Miami Beach, the remaining shows were moved to Los Angeles to regain traction, but never did. Diller eventually sold the TV assets to Univision after rejecting a bid from The Walt Disney Company. The USA Network and its assets were later sold off to Vivendi. Diller retained the assets of the Home Shopping Network and the subsequent Internet assets he acquired later to bolster the HSN Online stable that later became IAC/InterActiveCorp.


Diller is currently the Chairman of Expedia and the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of IAC/InterActiveCorp, an interactive commerce conglomerate and the parent of companies including ServiceMagic, Home Shopping Network, Ticketmaster,, Citysearch, LendingTree and Connected Ventures, home of Vimeo and CollegeHumor. In 2005, IAC/InterActiveCorp acquired, marking a strategic move into the Internet search category. Diller has been on the board of The Coca-Cola Company since 2002. The new headquarters of IAC/InterActiveCorp was designed by Frank Gehry and opened in 2007 at 18th Street and the West Side Highway in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood. The western half of the block is dedicated to the building which stands several stories taller than the massive Chelsea Piersmarker Sporting complex just across the West Side Highway. The extra floors guarantee a panoramic Hudson River view from Diller's sixth-floor office.
In 2001, Diller married fashion designer and longtime friend Diane von Fürstenberg, although media reports by Maer Roshan and other reputable journalists have repeatedly stated he is gay.

In 2003, on the PBS TV program NOW with Bill Moyers, Diller vocalized a strong warning against media consolidation. In the interview he referred to media ownership by a few big corporations as an oligarchy, saying the concentration strangles new ideas.

Barry Diller was "the highest-paid executive [of 2005 fiscal year]" according to a report by The New York Times on Thursday, October 26, 2006 with a total compensation package in excess of $295 million. In an opinion article in the New York Times of Nov 7, 2006, Nicholas D. Kristof awarded him his annual Michael Eisner Award, consisting of a $5 shower curtain, for corporate rapacity and laziness.

"The Killer Dillers"

Diller is responsible for what the media dubs "The Killer Dillers" – people whom Diller mentored and who later became big-time media executives in their own right. Examples include Michael Eisner (who was President & COO of Paramount Pictures while Diller was Chairman & CEO of Paramount Pictures, who went on to become Chairman & CEO of The Walt Disney Company), Dawn Steel (future head of Columbia Pictures and the first woman to run a movie studio, who worked under Diller at Paramount), Jeffrey Katzenberg (head of PDI/DreamWorks Animation, principal of DreamWorks SKGmarker, former head of Walt Disney Studios, and a head of production of Paramount under Diller), Garth Ancier, President of BBC America, and Don Simpson, who was President of Production at Paramount under Diller and Eisner, was also included – he later went on to run a production company based on the Disney lot with Jerry Bruckheimer. Diller also had a well known heated working relationship with the controversial TV executive, Stephen Chao, whom he worked with at Fox Television and later hired as President of Programming and Marketing at USA Network.

Personal life

In 2001, he married fashion designer Diane von Fürstenberg. He is stepfather to Alexander von Furstenberg and Tatiana von Furstenberg. He is a life-long Democrat and supporter of progressive causes.
Barry Diller at the Web 2.0 Conference 2005.

Further reading

  • "Diller, Barry". The Museum of Broadcast Communications. Retrieved 14 July, 2006.
  • "Why Did Barry Diller Marry? by Nick Denton". Retrieved 12 May, 2009.
  • "'Inside Out: The closet has finally outlived its usefulness. So why do gay celebrities insist on staying in? And why do journalists guard the door?' by Maer Roshan" New York Magazine. Retrieved 12 May, 2009.


  3. Reported on the American CBS network's 60 Minutes, re-broadcast June 10, 2007
  4. Moyers on America . The Net @ Risk . Big and Bigger Media | PBS
  5. [1], Marketwire.Com Accessed on Oct 28, 2006
  6. Nicholas D. Kristof, America’s Laziest Man?, New York Times, November 7, 2006

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