25 Industry Insiders Who Changed Television

Tom Freston

"I want my MTV."

These words still resonate today, and it's no surprise that the man who oversaw their creation was a major player in the network's success from day one. Freston was with MTV when the network launched in 1979, a time when cable programming was a fledgling enterprise. After his contribution to the success of MTV, Freston was tapped to chair MTV Networks, a position he held for seventeen years.

While he oversaw MTV Networks, he helmed the creation of several cable channels that are essential to pop culture today. The most notable launches: Comedy Central and Nickelodeon.

From there, Freston would go on to co-chair Viacom with Leslie Moonves. He stayed with Viacom until 2006, when he was beaten to the purchase of Myspace by Rupert Murdoch, and was subsequently fired for failing to acquire the social network. Looking back on it, that was a pretty good move too.

Tags: tom_freston
blog comments powered by Disqus