Can magnets permanently damage CRTs?

I have a 1978 RCA XL-100 TV that I use in my main HT system. It's obviously a CRT and it's solid state. Without naming names, I'll just say that a demonstration of a magnet's effect on the picture tube was performed. Now the picture remains distorted even though the magnet is far away from the TV.
My question is whether the magnet just temporarily affected the CRT's stability or is the CRT ruined?
Magnets are one of a crt tv's worst enemy. They gererally take weeks to do this damage. Then it is permanet. This is dependant on how powerful the magnet is. Newer sets automatically de magnitize the set each time the set is turned on and off. I'm sure you could bring the set in and have a service shop use their demag ring. If that don't do it---It's toast. As you probably know a set from '78 must have weak color;maybe it's time to "put it down". (The humain thing to do.)
I would suggest pulling the power on the TV for a day or so. This "might" discharge any residual magnetism within the circuit. Other than that, you'll probably have to take it in and have the unit serviced. If you like the TV enough to do this, you might want to have them perform an alignment at the same time. Sean
When my CRT computer monitor was on during a power surge related to a thunder storm the picture became distorted and the colors (colours for you Sean) all messed up. I was sure it was destroyed. But, low and behold, turning it off and back on fixed everything. That demag at turnon really works.
Thank you guys for your advice. I did "the google" on CRTs and magnets and I will try to degauss the picture tube. I tried a tape head demagnitizer and it changed the color distortion. I think I'll just grab the next discarded TV I find on the street and open it up and see if it has a degaussing circuit I can cannibalize, and make a degausser.
I just bought a heavy duty degausser on ebay for $24.
A long time ago I set a raw car speaker on top of my television. I didn't think much of it until a few days later the picture was looking a little strange...not extremely noticeable...but different...the colors were a bit off.

When I picked the speaker up off the set...BAM...the colors were all out of wack...completely...not to mention the "stretching" of the picture.

Luckily...a good friend was an EE and explained to me that the picture had "aligned" itself with the magnet and within a few days it would realign itself.

He was right...after a few was back to normal.
Can magnets damage a CRT: yes.
Do most fix themselves: yes.
Most modern CRT's automatically 'degauss' at turnon. Your old screen may not have that feature.
A large looped wire with at least six loops with an AC current flowing in it will fix your screen.
You can use a LONG extension cord and make it into a perfect circle 20" diameter. At least six loops, better ten, and let it be in use running some big current draw item.
the loops should be rigid!! use a coathanger wire as a form.
Take this contraption and bring it (while powered) near you TV screen.. moved it slowly!! slowly around and around the turned on TV screen. VERY close! 1 inch away. Then slowly very slowly move the coil away from the screen while both have current running through them. DO NOT TURN OFF THE COIL NEAR THE SCREEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This should fix the worst old TV magnetization.
As Elizabeth said, don't forget to include resistance [light bulb in a socket will work] in your home-made degausser, or the TV will be the least of your problems!
The heavy duty $24 ebay degausser worked and some. The picture on the RCA XL-100 is even better than before the magnet experiment.
Thank you all for the advice.
Actually there is a easy way to fix it. It seems a little strange but I tried it & it works excellent.

Homemade degausser. And yes it truely works. :)

Go to this link:
Sean (who said "this 'might' discharge...):

What are the nonsense quotation marks supposed to be for? You should know that they're not meant for emphasis. Why would you think they could be?