Six years ago, Myspace was the darling of the Internet, a fast growing company that many larger organizations were vying to make a crown jewel in their business. Rupert Murdoch and News Corporation won the race, acquiring the company in 2005 for $580 million.
A casualty of collateral damage in the deal — if you can call someone who got a reported $85 million to go away a casualty — was Viacom CEO Tom Freston, one of the co-founders of MTV and, for 17 years, MTV Networks’ president, CEO and key influencer: On his watch, the network produced “The Real World,” “The Daily Show,” “South Park,” “SpongeBob Squarepants,” “Behind the Music” and many more.
Approximately two years after promoting him to the top spot at Viacom, chairman Sumner Redstone fired him in 2006, in large part for failing to win the bidding over Myspace.
The day that Myspace was sold to advertising network Specific Media for a reported $35 million – a fraction of what News Corp paid for it — the New York Times caught up with Freston in Iceland. He declined to comment, but reportedly “said he was smiling at the news of an impending MySpace sale.”
Earlier this year, he told CNBC that “I’m still waiting for a thank-you note” from Redstone.