Will the former Viacom topper attend?
What if you held a party for a bigtime CEO — and everybody came? Even if the honoree had just been fired and wasn’t sure he would attend.The Center for Communication is on tenterhooks as the calendar inches toward its annual award luncheon on Oct. 25 honoring Tom Freston. Save-the-date cards sent in June celebrated Freston as prexy-CEO of Viacom. But Freston’s boss, Sumner Redstone, abruptly axed him two weeks ago, leaving the Gotham nonprofit and, one imagines, a big chunk of its annual budget, in limbo. (Center chairman Richard Bressler is himself a Redstone refugee.) The invite still stands. And there’s plenty of love. The longtime MTV chief had thousands of Viacom staffers pouring down hallways and onto city sidewalks on his last day. He’s so popular in the entertainment and music biz that Time Warner’s Richard Parsons, NBC Universal’s Bob Wright, Warner Music Group’s Edgar Bronfman Jr. and others, including some top Viacom execs, are said to have bought tables and offered support after Freston was sacked. The gang’s all here. Is Tom?