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The Birth of MTV: New Media in the 1980s

The Birth of MTV: New Media in the 1980sVideo of the ninth installment of the Richard E. Snyder President's Lecture Series, delivered by MTV co-founder Tom Freston, is now available.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [10.20.08] On Oct. 16, Tom Freston, co-founder of the MTV network, was the ninth speaker in the Richard E. Snyder President's Lecture Series, delivering a lecture entitled "The Birth of MTV: New Media in the 1980s."

In his talk, Freston shared lessons learned during his long and illustrious career in the media and entertainment industry. 

Watch video: Windows Media (40:30)

Video by Tufts Educational Media Center

Currently a principal in Firefly3, a consulting and investment company in the media industry, Freston has previously served as president and chief executive officer, as well as co-chief operating officer, of Viacom Inc. He oversaw Viacom's cable network businesses (MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET and others), Paramount Pictures and Famous Music Publishing. From 1987 to 2004, Freston served as chairman and chief executive officer of MTV Networks, leading the Viacom division through a period of creative and business growth as well as expansive international activity. Freston joined MTV Networks in 1980 and was one of the founding members of the team that launched MTV: Music Television, and helped to create the classic "I Want My MTV" ad campaign. Prior to his tenure with Viacom, Freston ran a textile business in India and Afghanistan for eight years and was an advertising executive.

Freston is on boards of DreamWorks Animation, the American Museum of Natural History, the Asia Society, Emerson College and Product (RED). He is also the chairman of the ONE Campaign, a bi-partisan advocacy organization fighting extreme poverty and preventable disease.

Endowed by Richard E. Snyder, a 1955 Tufts graduate and the former chairman and CEO of Simon and Schuster, the Snyder lecture series was established in 2004 to bring to Tufts speakers who have challenged conventional wisdom in their professional work. 

Material courtesy of Tufts Office of Public Relations

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