His Master's New Voice

Tough challenges face a skilled manager at RCA

When Thornton Bradshaw was chosen last January as the fourth chairman of RCA in six years, the electronics and communications conglomerate (1980 sales: $8 billion) was already heading into trouble. Earnings were slipping, morale had been devastated by a decade-long succession of management fiascos, and Wall Street analysts were beginning to wonder whether the once high-flying firm would ever regain its former luster.

A year later, RCA's financial prospects appear, if anything, grimmer still. The company's once strong NBC television network remains a distant third in the ratings, behind both ABC and CBS. Meanwhile,...

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