A spokesman for CBS board chairman William S. Paley yesterday denied as "absolutely untrue" reports that outgoing Secretary of State Henry Kissinger had been offered the job of CBS, Inc. President by Paley.
The report surfaced yesterday in an unsigned 800-world story in the New York Post that implied that Paley and Kissinger had met over the weekend in Acapulco to discuss the post, currently held by John Backe, named president just last October.
"I confirmed the denial with Mr. Paley twice this weekend," the spokesman said yesterday, "after I first received an inquiry from The Post last Friday."
He said Paley had been in the Caribbean, not Acapulco, over the weekend.
The corporate spokesman also characterized as "untrue" other reports published in New York that CBS had offered Kissinger a "consultancy."
Another Paley aide said the board chairman and "Dr. Kissinger are social acquaintances." But, he added, Paley had told CBS' New York headquarters that "no offer of any kind had been made" to the Secretary, who leaves office Jan. 20.
A spokesman for Kissinger said late yesterday that "the Secretary has not discussed the subject (of the presidency of CBS, Inc.) with Mr. Paley."
CBS plans a one-hour special on condemned Utah killer Gary Gilmore, to be aired the evening after his scheduled Jan. 17 execution.
Bill Moyers, in his first major assigment with CBS since leaving PBS last year, will be editor and narrator of the documentary.
Moyers said the program will "be in good taste" stressing how the bizarre events surrounding the Gilmore case "perhaps reflect something in America we should try to explore." Moyers and his crew are currently in Utah.
The list of applicants to replace "Panorama" host Maury Povich continues to lengthen at Channel 5 these days as the Jan. 28 deadline for the announcement inches closer.
Lastest entries include The Rev. John McLaughlin, the inactive Jesuit priest and former Nixon speechwriter, who "impressed" the Panorama staff last week in an off-air audition. McLaughlin is currently a consultant.
Former New York mayor John Lindsay, reportedly unhappy over his pact with ABC's "Good Morning, America," is due in town for a two-day tryout next Monday and Tuesday.
He'll co-host with Boston "personality" Pat Mitchell of WBZ, who is returning for a second look, Lawyer-lobbyist-socialite Steve Martindale also had a recent tryout.
Meanwhile, dozens of other not-so-qualified applicants have called "Panorama" producer Phyllis McGrady seeking the $50,000-a-year post.
Povich resigned recently to accept a $100,000-a-year job as anchorman at WCCM, the NBC owned-and-operated TV station in Chicago. Povich plans to return Jan. 28 for the 10th anniversay of the mid-day talk show, at which time the station hopes to announce his successor.
Other names previously in the hopper include columnist Frank Mankiewicz, WTOP's Ed Mutter and White House press secretary Ron Nessen.
NBC abruptly canceled its low-rated mid-day soaper, "Somerset" last week and replaced it with "Lovers and Friends," a "bold new series blazing with life and love as they are today" in Chicago, yet, which began yesterday.
For "Somerset" fans, here's how the story was wrapped up Friday afternoon: "Somerset Register" publisher Dan Briskin turned out to be "Mr. Big," the head mobster (he killed Fred); ex-reporter Steve asked reporter Carrie to marry him; Heather was going to have a baby; and Julian Kinnell and Vicky Paisley, the department store heiress, planned to live happily ever after.
Since NBC announced the cancellation early last week, the network in New York has received about 500 letters. Yesterday NBC received 133 telephone complaints. Locally, the Channel 4 switchboard recorded 75 sorrowful calls.