Freston left Connecticut at 17, and never looked back.
Question: Who are you?
Tom Freston: I grew up in Connecticut – suburban Connecticut in a very homogenous, small, typical suburban town. My father was a commuter, and I guess it shaped me in the sense that it was such a homogeneous place. So when I was 17, I sort of went off to college and never really came back, and just sort of kept going. And it was sort of an idyllic childhood in many ways – a nice place to grow up, but somewhat limiting in its diversity. Had access to New York City, which was nice. But I would say that I found the place a bit stifling overall. Maybe one of the biggest influences was always my peers. You know I learned a lot from my peers. And I kind of grew up in the early days of television and was quite influenced by the media as well. You know picking up signals from wherever I could get them.
My hope is that I would be in some type of creative profession, although it really took me a while to figure out what that could be. I grew up in a place where most . . . most people, most males who worked – it was a sort of a traditional neighborhood – you know were businessmen. So I always imagined myself as some kind of businessman, but creative businessman. Not necessarily a doctor or a lawyer in some kind of professional craft.