University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Robert Wussler Papers



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Wussler, Robert
Title: Robert Wussler Papers
Abstract: The papers document the career of senior news executive Robert Wussler, with a large component devoted to CBS News coverage of the manned space program.
Extent: 39 ft.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History,The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Robert J. Wussler was a senior executive at CBS and later at the Turner Broadcasting System (TBS). Born in 1936 in Newark, New Jersey, he graduated from Seton Hall University in 1957 and worked in the CBS mailroom, earning promotions until he became executive producer for CBS News where he managed coverage of manned space flight, national political conventions and elections, and President Richard Nixon’s groundbreaking trip to China.

Wussler was instrumental in expanding and changing CBS sports coverage with an eye toward making live sports more entertaining. He oversaw the growth of the “NFL Today” gameday show and expanded CBS coverage of the Super Bowl. Wussler briefly held the office of President of CBS but returned to sports again after a reorganization in 1977. In 1980, Ted Turner hired Wussler to join the new Turner Broadcasting System as a senior executive vice president, and the network went on to expand exponentially in the coming decade. While at TBS, Wussler was a key contributor in the creation of the Goodwill Games in 1986. In 1989 he departed the network to take the helm at Comsat Video Enterprises, a company that delivered on-demand programming via satellite to hotels. He died in Connecticut in 2010.

(adapted from The New York Times)


Scope and Contents

The papers document the professional career of Robert Wussler, with a large component devoted to CBS News coverage of the manned space program. The major space projects include Mercury, Gemini, Mariner, and Apollo, and the papers include planning, correspondence, logistics, budgets, etc. Other important events covered by CBS include President Nixon’s trip to China, President Johnson’s round-the-world trip, national political conventions and elections, the papacy, and both college and professional football. Later papers include correspondence and strategic planning from Wussler’s tenure at the Turner Broadcasting System (TBS).


Restrictions

Restrictions

This collection is stored off-site at the Library Storage Facility. Please contact repository in advance for retrieval.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Robert Wussler Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.


Detailed Description of the Papers

 

Inventory

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2012-005/1 Project Mercury, 1961
Election photos, 1960
Election wire services, 1960
CBS planned spots, NASA, 1962
Elections, 1962
Inauguration, 1961
Emmy awards, 1975-1976
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2012-005/2 NASA manuals and publicity, 1961
Project Mercury, 1961
Bill Leonard
Elections, 1960
Charts and diagrams
IBM equipment manual
Democratic National Convention, 1964
Republican National Convention, 1964
DeGaulle—memos, bio, etc.
Nixon trip to China, 1972
Louis Armstrong, 1971
Lt. Rusty Calley special, 1971
Canonero II, 1971
California earthquake, 1971
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2012-005/3 1972 Conventions
Apollo 14
Press clippings, 1971
Kids special, 1971
National narcotics test, 1971
DeGaulle wires and clippings, 1971
Fan mail
Conversation with President Nixon, 1972
Apollo 11
Republican National Convention, 1974
New Hampshire primary
Project Mercury, 1963
Gemini, 1966
IBM, 1966
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2012-005/4 Gemini 11
Budget, 1966
Production schedule, 1966
Commercials, 1966
JPL/NASA press kit
Programming, 1966
Radio, 1966
Special devices, 1966
Wire services
Voice profile analysis, 1966
Remotes, 1966
Camera locations, 1965
Digital display units, 1966
Divcon, 1966
Election graphics, 1966
Election primaries, 1964
Audio – video
Budget, 1965, 1966
Gemini 6
Newspaper clippings, 1965
Schedule, 1965
Cherry pickers, 1965
Housing, 1965
Internal memos, 1965, 1966
Itinerary of Pope, 1965
Pool minutes, 1965
Operations charts, 1965
Press information, 1965
Rehearsal schedule, 1965
Research, 1965
Survey reports, 1965
Presidential inauguration, 1965
I-C-I, 1966
News election service
Operations, 1966
Personnel
Press information, 1966
Pool meeting and minutes, 1966
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2012-005/5 Apollo 9
Apollo 11
Nebraska primary
Oregon
College turmoil, 1969
Gemini 7/6
Reading files
Sports procedures
Wussler requests
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2012-005/6 Correspondence, 1972
Super Bowl 12
Political conventions reading files, 1971
CBS agreements, 1978
CBS Sports
Watkins Glen Grand Prix
Gemini 3
Gemini 5
Democratic National Convention, 1964
Presidential inauguration, 1965
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2012-005/7 Gemini 5
Presidential inauguration, 1965
Ranger 9
Apollo 7
Apollo 8
Resumes, 1968
Russian space projects, 1968
Political conventions, 1968
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2012-005/8 Apollo 7
Apollo 12
Apollo 13
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2012-005/9 Apollo 8
Apollo 13
Apollo 14
Mariner, 1969
Astronauts Day, 1969
Turner Broadcasting, 1980-1987
Turner Broadcasting organizational charts
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2012-005/10 Turner Broadcasting, 1980-1981
CBS benefits, pension, incentives
Apollo 10
Apollo 11
Apollo 12
Draft lottery, 1969
Austrian Beethoven festival
Democratic National Convention floor plans, 1964
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2012-005/11 Presidential election, 1964
Claims against CBS regarding Atlantic City
Political conventions, 1964
Adenauer funeral, 1967
Gemini 8
Gemini 12
Sports test, 1966
Internal memos, 1966
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2012-005/12 Sports test, 1966
Mercury 9
Lyndon Johnson Far Eastern trip, 1966
New Hampshire primary, 1963
Oregon primary, 1964
Turner Broadcasting
Time, Inc.
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2012-005/13 Turner Broadcasting
Sports programming schedules
Olympic Games, Los Angeles, 1984
Memos from Gene Jankowski
Legal correspondence
Program practices
Voyager, 1978
Various CBS communications, 1978-1979
Political conventions, 1972
Tricia Nixon wedding
Apollo 14
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2012-005/14 Political conventions, 1972
Tricia Nixon wedding, 1972
Mercury 9
Maryland primary, 1964
Expo 70: Japan World’s Fair
Campuses in Crisis: College Presidents Speak, 1970
Ordeal of James Cross, 1970
Indochina reply, 1970
Hiroshima, 1970
Vietnam: Voices of Dissent, 1970
Eisenhower death and funeral, 1969
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2012-005/15 Apollo 11
Apollo 14
Apollo 204
Nixon trip, 1970
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2012-005/16 Apollo disaster reports, 1967
Lyndon Johnson trip to South America, 1967
Apollo 4
Apollo 204
Pope Paul’s visit to Fatima, 1967
Miami Beach Convention Hall, 1967
Expo ’67 World’s Fair Canada, 1967
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2012-005/17 Miscellaneous correspondence, 1969-1971
Reading files, 1968-1970
Gemini 7
Eisenhower death and funeral, 1969
Presidential trip to Guam, 1968
Pope Paul’s visit to South America, 1968
CBS affiliates meeting, Los Angeles, 1968
CBS News Special Report: Heart Transplant at Stanford, 1968
Political conventions, 1968
Oregon primary, 1968
NASA, 1965
NASA: Saturn and Apollo, 1965
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2012-005/18 Gemini 7
National conventions, 1968
Indiana primary, 1968
California primary, 1968
Robert Kennedy assassination, 1968
Martin Luther King, Jr. assassination, 1968
United States-USSR space cooperation, 1965
Eisenhower death and funeral, 1969
Apollo 8
Campaign 1968
Lyndon Johnson round-the-world trip, South America, 1967
Surveyor 3, 1967
Apollo 204, 1967
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2012-005/19 Wolf, Perry
Australia, 1967
Lyndon Johnson round-the-world trip, 1967
Apollo 8, 1968
CBS News Special Report: The Rockefeller Decision, 1968
New Hampshire primary, 1968
Gemini 6
Gemini 7
Political conventions, 1972
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2012-005/20 Political conventions, 1972
Democratic National Convention, 1964
CBS communications, 1978
NATAS meeting, 1978
Tangerine Bowl, 1978
Toyota Grand Prix, 1978
Script ideas, 1978
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2012-005/21 Programs and script proposals, 1978
Executive incentive program memos, 1978
1980 Olympics
Access music series, 1 978
Internal correspondence
Sports Department study, 1975
Appearances and meetings, 1975
Mercury 6
Mercury 7
Mercury 8
John Glenn’s New York reception, 1962
New York City elections, 1961
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2012-005/22 Project Mercury
Presidential election, 1964
Gemini 4
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2012-005/23 Gemini 3
Gemini 4
Mariner 4
Democratic National Convention, 1964
Oregon primary, 1964
Budget, 1966
Audio and video, 1966
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2012-005/24 Cape Kennedy, Cocoa Beach, 1966
Commercials, 1966
Communications, 1966
Contacts, 1966
Gemini 8
Gemini 10
Downrange video, 1966
Film production, 1966
Internal memos, 1966
Housing, 1966
Houston, 1966
McDonnell, 1966
Operations, 1966
Personnel, 1966
Programming, 1966
Apollo 11
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2012-005/25 Apollo 11
Cannes, 1977
World Boxing Council, 1977
Long range strategic plan, 1977-1980
Proposed sitcom, 1977
Children’s television workshop, 1977-1978
College and pro football news, 1977-1978
Sun Bowl, 1977
Planning, 1977-1978
Executive committee digest
San Diego convention, 1971
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2012-005/26 Bound notebooks, reports, conference scrapbooks, etc.