Thomas H. Wyman was president, CEO and chairman of the parent company of CBS News. He was ousted from office in a management shakeup.
Wyman, 73, who more recently made headlines when he quit the Augusta National Golf Club because it does not admit women, died Wednesday at Brigham and Women's Hospital, the family said in a statement. He had undergone surgery Dec. 15 for an abdominal infection.
In April 1983, CBS' legendary founder William Paley, then 81, turned the chairmanship of CBS over to Wyman, who had been CBS President and chief executive since 1980. Paley stayed on as a consultant and member of the board of directors.
But CBS suffered from stagnant advertising revenue and declining ratings during Wyman's tenure.
Paley - who had handpicked a series of heirs apparent in his later years and had no compunction about dumping them when he felt they did not measure up - teamed up with Laurence Tisch, CBS' chief stockholder, to remove Wyman from power in September 1986.
The pivotal factor, according to many reports, was Wyman's suggestion that the Coca-Cola Co. might want to take over CBS. Tisch, Paley and other CBS board members were adamant that CBS remain independent.
In 1987, the CBS board approved a multimillion-dollar settlement with Wyman that, among other things, provided an annual payment of $400,000 for life.
A year later, Wyman made his first public comments about the ouster in a talk at Yale University. He said he believed Paley had wanted to reclaim a leading role in the company, but had been disappointed.
"For 50 years," Wyman said, "Paley had been the man. He thought he would be the man again. He was wrong."
Just last month, Wyman was back in the news when he said he had become the first member of Augusta National to resign in protest over its refusal to let women join. He called the Georgia golf club's stand "pigheaded."
Augusta National officials said they were disappointed at Wyman, saying that he was publicizing "a private matter" and that the club will decide when to admit women on its own.
Wyman had been a 25-year member of the club, which hosts golf's premier tournament, the Masters. CBS has broadcast the Masters for years.
Before coming to CBS, Wyman had stints with Nestle Co., Polaroid Corp. and the Green Giant Co., where he served as president and chief executive until it was acquired by Pillsbury in 1979.
Later, he served on several corporate and philanthropic boards, including those of Amherst College, his alma mater, and the United Negro College Fund.