n immediate resignation without public comment on his problems and his quick establishment at ABC News of an innovative "This Week With David Brinkley" public affairs program in the moribund Sunday morning market--was not lost on a new network management team . . .
Small's departure before his three-year contract was up this September, despite public denials from NBC chairman Grant Tinker, became almost inevitable . . .
"There are a lot of parties being planned around here," one veteran NBC hand told us Friday after the news of Small's departure surfaced . . .
The vindictiveness of the comment aside . . . in dismissing what Small confronted at NBC from a News Division that is satisfied with a second-place mind set . . . it also betrayed a good deal about the factional problems facing an NBC management that still doesn't seem to have allocated its priorities as shrewdly as have CBS and ABC in the competitive news area . . . More to Come ------------
With Small's departure . . . the next question is the Replacement . . .
Some kind of reorganization of NBC News management is apparently in the works (we hear that Tom Pettit was ordered up to New York on short notice Friday following Small's resignation) . . .
John Chancellor is apparently the No. 1 choice to become NBC News president . . .
He's had some administrative experience as director of the Voice of America, he's due to step down as anchor in April to make room for Tom Brokaw on NBC Nightly News and, as one longtime friend puts it, "Jack loves to make First Amendment speeches and attend banquets . . . all he has to do is hire a good No. 2 to keep the place going every day" . . .
Rueven Frank, now a senior executive producer and a former NBC News president, could be named interim boss, pending Chancellor's arrival . . .
Others rumored to be candidates include Ed Planer, a vice president of NBC News, Richard Wald, ABC News senior vice president (and a former NBC News president) and Ed Fouhy, vice president of hard news for CBS News . . .
And then there's the problem of all those CBS folks who followed Small to NBC . . .
Will the destructive factionalism continue? Has Small favorite Roger Mudd lost his power base? Is Tom Brokaw (a prote'ge' of RCA chairman Thornton Bradshaw) on the ascendancy? Are the Brothers Kalb and all those ex-CBS vice presidents behind the scenes facing Reassignments? . . .
The incoming NBC News president, scheduled to be announced by midweek, has a lot of fence-mending and priority-setting to do . . . And Finally -------------
Joining Archie Bunker's armchair and Rodney Dangerfield's tie at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History: the Walton family's 1940 Zenith radio . . . The TV COLUMN Highlights Tom Selleck stars in "Divorce Wars: A Love Story" on ABC; NBC marks Roy Acuff's 50 years in country music; and Channel 26 has Part VII of "Brideshead Revisited," the Sixth Symphony in the "Bernstein/Beethoven" series and an all-Haydn Smithsonian chamber concert. By John Carmody Washington Post Staff Writer Public Broadcasting -------
Evening Exchange. Scheduled are Pat Jacobs, president of the American Association of Minority Enterprise, and Teresa Watson, executive vice president of the American Savings and Loan League, discussing minority economic development. Live with viewer call-in (Channel 32, 7:30).
Great Performances: Brideshead Revisited (CC). In Part VII, Charles delivers food during the general strike and learns from Anthony Blanche that Sebastian is living with a German deserter from the Foreign Legion in North Africa. Asked by Julia to find Sebastian so he can visit his dying mother one last time, Charles finds his friend hospitalized and too ill to travel (Channel 26 at 8).
Bernstein/Beethoven. The "Pastorale" (Sixth) Symphony is played by the Vienna Philharmonic (Channel 26 at 9).
The Smithsonian Chamber Players in Concert. Honoring the 250th birthday of Franz Joseph Haydn, the program includes the Sonata in G Major for piano and violin; the Concerto in G Major for violin and strings; and the String Quartet in D Minor, Op. 9, No. 4. Under the direction of James Weaver. Duplicates the instruments and techniques contemporary to the music. Simulcast WETA-FM 91 (Channel 26 at 10). Prime-Time Movies --------
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963). Not-very-funny treasure hunt with a lot of stars, including Spencer Tracy, Milton Berle and Sid Caesar (Channel 20 at 8).
Divorce Wars: A Love Story (Channel 7 at 9) is previewed by Tom Shales on page C3. Country Music Special -----
Roy Acuff . . . 50 Years the King of Country Music (Channel 4 at 9) is previewed by Richard Harrington on page C3. Series ------------------
Little House on the Prairie (CC). When Isaiah Edwards shows up as a drunk, only Laura stands by him after he causes an accident that almost kills little Albert. Little Albert, of course, is the scamp who torched the school for the blind a couple of ratings seasons ago (Channel 4 at 8).
That's Incredible! A paraplegic tries to climb a 13,000-foot mountain, a ghost haunts a New Jersey castle and teen-age paramedics save lives (Channel 7 at 8).
Mr. Merlin. Zac thinks he needs the amulet Merlin made for Napoleon in order to win a high stakes ping-pong match (Channel 9 at 8).
Private Benjamin spots a missile being sneaked onto the base (Channel 9, 8:30).
M*A*S*H. The EM turn on the charm when Hawkeye, B.J. and Charles are named to the promotion board (Channel 9 at 9).
House Calls. A senator refuses a badly needed operation (Channel 9, 9:30).
Lou Grant. Rossi is determined to get the story of Third World starvation on page one (Channel 9 at 10). Late Night --------------
The Tonight Show (R). Johnny with Steve Martin and Lynn Redgrave (Channel 4, 11:30).
PBS Latenight. (Channel 26 at midnight).
Late Night With David Letterman. With film critics Gene Sikel and Roger Ebert (Channel 4, 12:30). Now Here's the News ------
It looks like a Trend, TV Column fans . . .
CBS congressional correspondent Phil Jones is sporting a Dan Rather sweater . . .
"The Tonight Show" host Johnny Carson was arrested for suspicion of drunken driving early Saturday morning at a Beverly Hills, Calif., intersection . . .
The local police chief ordered that no details beyond the time and location of the incident (1:30 a.m. at La Cienega Blvd., south of Beverly Blvd.) be released . . .
Carson, 56, is scheduled to go before a judge in about two weeks, according to a police spokesman . . .
Carson was released on his own recognizance. A police sergeant said the entertainer had a blood alcohol level above .10 percent, the state measure for drunken driving . . .
Jim Mahoney, a spokesman for Carson, said late yesterday that Carson was stopped for having a lapsed license plate registration. According to Mahoney, Carson voluntarily submitted to a sobriety test, but Mahoney didn't comment on the test result . . .
When ABC News and Sam Donaldson finally get down to cases about where Sam wants to go when he leaves his White House assignment . . . we hear that Barry Serafin, now covering the national beat, and Jack McWethy, covering the Pentagon, are in the running to replace Sam . . .
Memorial services for WRC television engineer James Carter are scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight at the National Presbyterian Church . . .
Mr. Carter, who married the former Juanita Edwards, a WRC radio sales account executive, on Valentine's Day, was fatally stricken while on his honeymoon in Hawaii 10 days ago . . .
More changes in the NBC primetime schedule as "Father Murphy" moves to the 7 p.m. Sunday slot as of March 14 . . .
As a result of that switch, "Bret Maverick" will take over the 8 p.m. Tuesday time period, followed by "Flamingo Road" at 9 and Barbara Mandrell repeats at 10 . . .
Channel 5 here is one of the Metromedia stations that will carry "Gene Kelly's World of Entertainment" on Sunday, April 25 . . .
It's an international variety show being packaged by Fred Silverman, former chairman of NBC, and his InterMedia Entertainment, MGM-UA TV Distribution . . .
And here's what we hope will be the last two Ed Asner items for a long, long time:
Newsweek today will report that Ed says he's not running for office . . .
"I smell those heady fumes. I get occasional hot flashes, but I don't think running for office would be a reasonable or rational response. I wish to remain an actor" . . .
And yesterday it was revealed that influential members of the Screen Actors Guild, including Charlton (Chuck) Heston and Robert Conrad, have rejected a recall movement against SAG prexy Asner . . .
The SAG members met privately Friday to discuss the situation and yesterday issued a statement that said: "President Asner's apology for his unfortunate handling of his recent statements on El Salvador cancels one of the major charges of the recall petition now circulating" . . . Moving Right Along -------
In the wake of the sudden resignation under pressure Friday of Bill Small as president of NBC News . . . the rumors regarding changes were almost as numerous at the network as the popping champagne corks . . .
CBS News alumnus Small never did crack the smug solidarity of the NBC News Club . . . which has remained convinced since the late 1950s that they comprise the elite of the TV news business . . . not withstanding ratings and the competition from CBS and ABC . . .
Small, considered by many to be the best TV newsman in the business, just might have been the one to shake NBC up . . . but he never really got a chance . . .
Small's prickly personality, which his CBS News loyalists always understood (and his CBS News antagonists learned to respect), combined with the demonstrable certainty that he wanted to make NBC over in the image of the successful CBS News that had rejected him for the presidency . . . never sat well with the troops at 30 Rock . . .
From day one, back in September of 1979, they gave him scant loyalty and quickly found sympathetic ears for their complaints higher up . . . suggesting that top NBC management itself didn't know what direction it wanted to go, either . . .
In fairness, it should be noted that NBC veterans felt that Small showed little sympathy or even courtesy toward those NBC hands who were as good as their counterparts anywhere in TV news, which probably cost the former CBS executive valuable allies in his attempt to turn the division around . . .
They pointed to his handling last summer of the David Brinkley situation (abruptly cutting an implicitly promised expense account, firing his