CBS/Broadcast Group President Gene F. Jankowski yesterday restructured his top command and, in the process, restored Van Gordon Sauter as president of CBS News.
Sauter replaces Ed Joyce, who has been named to the Broadcast Group staff as senior vice president in charge of CBS World Wide Enterprises, the international sales and marketing division, which markets the CBS product in 125 countries, including the People's Republic of China.
Sauter, who was president of CBS News for 22 months, starting in 1981, retains his title as executive vice president CBS/Broadcast Group. He relinquishes control of the five CBS-owned TV stations but takes over the CBS Radio division.
Group Executive Vice President Neal Pilson, who is in charge of CBS Sports, takes over the five TV stations and the operations division.
Group Executive Vice President Tom Leahy remains in charge of the Entertainment division and the TV network . . .
No replacement was named yesterday for Senior Executive Vice President James Rosenfield, who was in charge of finance for the Group but last month elected to take early retirement . . .
Also named to the News division yesterday was David Fuchs, who becomes senior vice president and assistant to Sauter at CBS News . . .
Most recently Fuchs has been Group senior vice president for broadcast affairs. Previously he had nine years with the News division as a producer of documentaries and as vice president, public affairs . . .
Howard Stringer remains as executive vice president of CBS News, reporting to Sauter . . .
The announcement comes as about 50 CBS station executives meet today in Tampa, Fla., with top network officials at an annual Southeast affiliates meeting . . .
Sauter first became president of CBS News in 1981, after having served with the network as a working newsman in a variety of positions here and abroad. Later, he began climbing the corporate ladder, first as vice president and general manager of KNXT (now KCBS) in Los Angeles, as chief censor for the network and as president of CBS Sports . . .
In his first, 22-month-long stint as head of News, Sauter's flamboyant style coupled with some smart decisions that turned around "CBS Evening News" after it had faltered at first when Dan Rather replaced Walter Cronkite as anchor (moves that endeared Sauter to Rather, incidentally) proved to be a morale booster for the division, even though some of the news "purists" in the division considered him to be more interested in ratings and his own ambitions in a job that had previously always gone to CBS News insiders . . .
Joyce, whose CBS background had been mostly in station management, joined Sauter as his executive vice president in 1981. He was considerably more aloof than Sauter, who, when he moved up to the Broadcast Group in 1983, named Joyce to the News presidency . . .
Joyce inherited -- and weathered -- the problems that arose from the libel suit Gen. William Westmoreland subsequently withdrew against the network over a 1982 documentary about the Vietnam war, but earlier this year Joyce failed to stifle a small skirmish within the division over "West 57th," a magazine show whose breeziness upset some veterans. Criticism of his management style came to a head this fall when he was forced to fire 74 employes as the company retrenched after Ted Turner's aborted takeover attempt, which cost CBS millions of dollars . . .
Joyce -- and Sauter, for that matter -- were widely blamed within the division for not fighting the cuts. Morever, the 74 fired employes, who included many veterans, were told to exit within 48 hours of receiving their notices. Joyce bore the brunt of criticism for the abrupt dismissals, although insiders insist it was a CBS corporate personnel tactic for which he was blameless . . .
Nevertheless, CBS Inc. Chairman Tom Wyman subsequently told The Wall Street Journal that the removals had been handled "with clumsiness," implying that the News division was at fault -- an early signal, perhaps, that Joyce was on the way out . . .
Then, in October, an odd story surfaced revealing that "60 Minutes" executive producer Don Hewitt, over lunch with Jankowski, floated a trial balloon about the prospects of buying CBS News, which would then sell the regular news programming back to the network . . .
At the time, Hewitt was reported to have also demanded the firing of both Sauter and Joyce, a report that Hewitt vehemently denied. Rather, who had supported Hewitt's inquiries, took pains to deny other rumors that he and Joyce were not getting along . . . In Other News
Anne Baxter, the Academy Award winning actress who currently stars as Victoria Cabot, the wealthy owner of the St. Gregory in ABC's "Hotel" series, was reported near death today after suffering a stroke on Madison Avenue in New York Wednesday while on the way to her hairdresser . . .
A spokeswoman for Lenox Hill Hospital said Baxter, 62, was in critical condition in the intensive care unit . . .
Joyce Wagner, Baxter's spokeswoman, denied reports that Baxter, who was on a two-week break from her filming schedule for "Hotel," was brain dead . . .
Wagner said doctors were conducting tests yesterday "to see what the damage was."
She said Baxter's three daughters and friends visited the actress Wednesday and yesterday.
Wagner said the actress had arrived on the East Coast Nov. 23 to spend the holiday at her home in Eaton, Conn. She was in New York to visit friends Wednesday night and was scheduled to return to Los Angeles next Tuesday to begin filming a new episode of "Hotel." She was walking alone when felled by the stroke at approximately 10 a.m. . . .
Aaron Spelling, executive producer of "Hotel," said yesterday that "we have not thought of the production at this time, and we're not going to think of it. We're all praying for Anne" . . .
Miss Baxter, a granddaughter of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, won an Academy Award as best supporting actress for her performance in the 1946 adaption of Somerset Maugham's "The Razor's Edge," in which she played an unhappy American girl drowning her troubles in drink in Paris . . .
Four years later she was nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal of a scheming young actress in "All About Eve" . . .
Barry Manilow's "Copacabana" on CBS Tuesday night earned only a 12.6 Nielsen rating and a 20 percent audience share in the national ratings . . .
As of this writing, the networks, including Cable News Network, had been told they could not cover President Reagan's appearance at last night's gala at the Plaza Hotel in New York honoring the 30th anniversary of William Buckley's National Review . . .
After being told that the affair was closed to TV coverage, "at the request of the host," due to lack of space, NBC News Washington bureau chief Bob McFarland, as head of the network "pool," telegrammed Buckley and White House spokesman Larry Speakes seeking to have the ban lifted . . .
He was told, instead, that a crew from Buckley's "Firing Line" PBS program would make "dubs" available to the pool. That offer was subsequently withdrawn . . .
McFarland even offered to send a "tight pool" of 13, including only one TV camera . . .
"Speaking for the networks," McFarland said in his telegram, "it is difficult to understand how a ballroom, which is capable of seating 750 people, cannot accommodate 13 journalists . . . We at the networks feel very strongly that the President of the United States should, indeed, must be, covered at all times, not only for the news he makes but as a matter of historical record and for the principle outlined in the First Amendment of the Constitution" . . .
NBC executives in New York were attempting a last-minute appeal to have the ban lifted . . .
CBS' "Sunday Morning" racked up a 5.9 Nielsen rating and a 23 percent audience share last Sunday, its highest since Oct. 30, 1983 . . .
NBC's "Today" show edged ABC's "Good Morning America" in the morning network race last week with a 4.9 Nielsen rating and a 22 percent audience share, compared with GMA's 4.8/21. "CBS Morning News" had a 3.2/15 for Thanksgiving week, during which audiences were down overall . . . And Finally
Mirjana Gosev, chairman of the Conference for Social Activities of Women of Macedonia, in Yugoslavia, complains that she asked the TV station in Skopje, Macedonia's provincial capital, to suspend broadcasts of "Dynasty" on Monday night, "but nobody listens to me" . . .