Barry Diller: The Recession's Daddy Warbucks

IAC boss Barry Diller could not give a fluff about this "recession" you speak of! While pessimists like our own boss here are laying people off in anticipation of economic doom for media companies in the coming year, Diller is prescribing just the opposite strategy. Yesterday he slammed profitable companies for making layoffs and throwing workers out into an unforgiving environment, and said now is a great time to buy companies. He also railed against "indiscriminate spending." So does Diller measure up to his own expectations? Ehhh...

Just this week IAC decided to "dissolve" its programming group:

[The] group has been responsible for IAC’s efforts to develop, acquire and distribute “content-based” sites including CollegeHumor.com; Very Short List (VSL); 236.com; RushmoreDrive.com and Tina Brown’s recently launched Daily Beast. The results have been uneven and some of the sites are among those likely to be sold.

That is the opposite of buying stuff! And is he keeping his costs tightly in check, like everybody else?

“It’s not like Christmas should be canceled altogether by economic events,” Mr. Diller told the Transom via email. “We’re going to have our holiday party, in our own space, for our employees and their families, and we’re going to thank everyone for their work during the year and wish them a safe and happy holiday and a productive new year.” ...

“Diller seems in denial of the current market condition so putting on a big show might be über important to him,” said the former staffer.

Well that bit about not laying people off was a nice thought, at least. Good luck in '09, Barry. [NYO]