Robert Wussler, who came under Capitol Hill fire late last year as president of CBS Sports because of a series of so-called "winner take all" televised tennis matches, resigned yesterday at CBS to form his own television production company.
The announcement of the resignation, effective April 15, was made late yesterday by Gene F. Jankowski, president of the CBS Broadcast Group. Jankowski said that Wussler and CBS were "entering into a long-term arrangement that will permit Bob to develop and produce a broad range of entertainment programs for us."
The four controversial tennis matches, featuring Jimmy Connors, were advertised as "winner take all" matches but in fact each player was guaranteed large sums of money, win or lose.
Wussler, who was president of the CBS Television Network from April 1976 to October 1977 before returning to his previous job as head of sports, told the House subcommittee on communications last November that "I take ultimate responsibility with this and I am personally embarrased."
Compounding that embarrassment, the Federal Communications Commission is currently holding meetings to decide on possible sanctions to place on CBS for its handling of the matches, which were held between February 1975 and March 1977.
In another development, the Communications subcommittee's counsel, Harry M. (Chip) Shooshan, said yesterday that the subcommittee had "reopened" its investigation into sports and television and that it "plans to formally request information from CBS about CBS and (fight promoter Bob) Arum and CBS and Leon Spinks," the new heavyweight boxing champion.
In the resignation announcement, Jankowski said Wussler would be producing "series specials" and made-for-television movies in addition to sports.