Can This Man Save Paramount?

Tom Freston, fresh from kid-savvy MTV, has a plan for this geriatric studio

Is it news if a man stands up to applaud at the end of a movie? It shouldn't be, not when virtually all the other audience members have already leaped to their feet. Yet Tom Freston's leg-stretch after last month's Sundance Film Festival screening of Hustle & Flow was hot dish to an avid press corps. You would have thought he was Brad and Jen, together again.

He got the headlines as much for who he was as for who he is. Freston, the new co-president of media giant Viacom, had been chairman and CEO of MTV Networks, whose MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central channels make it the lifeline to the...

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