Skip to main content


It didn't take long after Laurence Tisch became head of CBS in September 1986 until he was seen as just another greedy moneyman who didn't know much about broadcasting, and really didn't care.

Tisch replaced Thomas O. Wyman, who was ousted by the CBS board Sept. 10, 1986, after he had brought to the board a proposal that the Coca-Cola Co. acquire the network. Earlier, Tisch had acquired just under 25% of CBS and helped the company rebuff a takeover bid by Ted Turner.

Tisch's move to cut station compensation came back to haunt him in 1994, when the New World Stations affiliate group jumped to FOX. Another blunder: insisting that cable pay cash for retransmission rights in 1993. They wouldn't.

By 1994, Tisch had had enough. In late 1995, Westinghouse bought CBS for about $5.5 billion. Tisch went away happy. He made about $1 billion.