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Former CBS CEO and Chair Tisch Dies at 80

NEW YORK (AP) - Laurence A. Tisch, who took control of CBS in the face of a hostile takeover but whose tenure was marked by accusations that he had tarnished the network's reputation, died Saturday. He was 80.

Tisch, a self-made billionaire who also helped found the Loews Corp., was suffering from cancer, said Candace Leeds, a Loews spokeswoman.

From 1986-95, Tisch served as chief executive officer and chairman of the board of CBS Inc., a period when the "Tiffany Network" saw its nightly newscast fall to third place and lost NFL football to the upstart Fox Network.

CBS Inc. was the target of several hostile takeover attempts in 1986, and Tisch was then praised for stepping in to seize control by spending $800 million for a 24.9 percent stake of the company.

Tisch was survived by his wife, Wilma; four sons, Andrew, Daniel, James and Thomas; and his brother. There was no word on funeral arrangements.

James is the current president and chief executive officer of Loews, a position he assumed from his father in 1999.