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Tom Freston was one of MTV's founding executives and until recently served as CEO of Viacom. Freston is responsible for the generation-defining ad campaign "I Want My MTV." In 1987[…]

A new stage in life.

Question: What do you do?

Tom Freston: Well I’m in a new stage of my life, and I just spent 20 years in the media business – media entertainment business – at MTV Networks and Viacom. And I’ve been out of there about a year, and I’m doing a bunch of different things now. I set up my own company called Firefly 3, and I’m doing . . . It’s a very small company. It’s me and one other person at the time, but I’m doing everything from writing, to non-profit work, to investing in some small companies, to working on developments of a movie or two – some creative projects. I’m also on very boards – DreamWorks Animation, the American Museum of Natural History, Emerson College. The non-profit work that I do, I do with a group called One Data and Red funded by Gates Foundation. Work with Bono, it’s really about sort of advocacy and fundraising work for extreme poor, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. So it’s sort of a basket of things that for now are things that I’m very personally driven by and am enjoying a great deal.Well the struggle is always just keeping up. No matter what you do, and it’s true of a lot of people, your . . . your day seems to fill up. It’s really . . . A lot of the struggle is just about time management, I find. There’s an endless amount of people that you wanna talk to or wanna talk to you. And the more you’re networked, it kind of exponentially rises. So how do you best manage your time and still have some time leftover for sort of your non-personal . . . you non-professional life as it were.

Recorded On: 7/6/07