A former president of CBS News has died after being treated for throat cancer for years. The New York Times reports that Edward M. Joyce died Saturday at his home in Redding, Conn. He was 81.
Joyce’s son confirmed his death.
The Times writes, “When Mr. Joyce was promoted to lead the news division in 1983, it had been a jewel in the CBS crown, its glowing reputation built on its radio coverage of World War II and its aggressive reporting and quality programming on television in the postwar years. For a network committed to news and with plenty of money, excellence had trumped costs.”
But CBS News was under pressure by the mid-1980s to make a profit, leading Joyce to cut 125 news jobs, with 74 of those dismissals, a move that shocked the news industry, the piece adds.
He also faced a legal threat, after General William C. Westmoreland sued the network over a 1982 documentary that alleged he had engaged in a Vietnam War “conspiracy” by underestimating the size of enemy forces, the piece notes. CBS settled with the general in 1985. “But questions remained about CBS’s concern for accuracy and even its motives,” The Times notes.
In his 1988 memoir, Joyce wrote, “The trial convinced the Far Right that CBS was the Great Satan.”
Joyce retired in 1986 and moved to California, where he raised horses before later moving to Redding, Conn.
Edward M. Joyce