No, no poems this morning, TV Column fans, just the word that ABC News is a teensy bit interested in obtaining the services of NBC White House correspondent Chris Wallace, who's current contract is up in December . . .
The first tentative overture was reportedly made about eight months ago . . .
Precisely where Wallace would fit in at ABC is unclear, although it would certainly increase the network's bench strength . . .
If we had to make a guess, it would be that Wallace might have his eyes on the "ABC World News Tonight" anchor spot down the road. But that might be a pretty long road. ABC News seems pleased with Peter Jennings, despite the fact the program continues to languish in third in the nightly news race . . .
The thinking at ABC is that viewers prefer an older anchor and stability in the job over a period of years. Moreover, ABC researchers point out that the spread between first-place "CBS Evening News With Dan Rather" and the third-place ABC show has shortened to only about two ratings points each week, and among the top 50 markets in the country, "World News Tonight" outdraws CBS, whose audience strength is in the rural markets and among older viewers . . .
Otherwise, should Sam Donaldson ever decide to leave the ABC White House job, Wallace might just jump into that spot, where he's considered to be a top competitor by his peers . . .
It must be remembered that this type of conjecture almost always springs up when a serious negotiation begins on new TV contracts . . . and stakes get higher . . .
Which is one reason we suspect we're hearing now that Wallace can have the "Meet the Press" coanchor spot being vacated by Roger Mudd next month if he wants it . . .
The first reaction at NBC News to the idea (he tried out in the spot last Sunday with coanchor Marvin Kalb) was that the two of them together were just too drop-dead serious (Mudd, like Sunday rival David Brinkley, could lighten it up when necessary) . . . but when word gets out that another network is interested in one of your key players, such frivolous considerations tend to be forgotten . . . Still No Poem
But we do have the Rumor du Jour from New York that Susan Winston, currently at ABC, is being considered for the job as executive producer of "CBS Morning News" . . .
Winston was the very successful executive producer of ABC's "Good Morning America" until last summer, when she quit the show. After a short stint with ABC Sports during the Summer Olympics, she went to Paramount TV out west to help prepare a new syndicated show . . .
When Winston departed "GMA," the ABC program had been first in the early morning rankings for well over two straight years . . .
Winston recently returned to ABC News to work with Jim Bellows on a new magazine project for the network that is probably a long way from reaching the prime-time schedule. She reportedly is on a short-term contract . . .
Reached late yesterday in Los Angeles, Winston confirmed that she had had "a chat" with CBS executives, "but then I have a lot of chats. It was a nice discussion. I know a lot of the people over there" (end of chat with Captain Airwaves) . . .
Jon Katz, the current executive producer of "CBS Morning News," is suffering from severe bronchitis and hasn't been at work lately. But as CBS affiliates express discontent with the continuing third-place standing of the show, the chances are that Katz's term at the helm may be nearing an end (executive producers are like baseball managers -- when the high-priced anchors put you in the cellar, you're the one who leaves the dugout) . . .
As we reported Monday, the word persists that CBS News will make an announcement soon on the status of coanchor Bill Kurtis, and that the word will be that he's leaving . . .
For weeks there's also been talk that Forrest Sawyer, who months ago was named a coanchor on "CBS Early Morning News," will eventually replace Kurtis. Sawyer won't show up on the early news until next month because the Atlanta station wouldn't let him out of his contract until the May ratings sweeps were over . . .
Faith Daniels, who was also named coanchor of the CBS early news, starts Monday in that job. She comes from WTAE in Pittsburgh . . .
Meanwhile, Bob Schieffer reportedly is being asked to stand in on an interim basis for Kurtis -- if Kurtis goes -- but may be balking at the early hours . . .
In last week's ratings, released yesterday, "GMA" was in first in the early morning race with a 4.8 Nielsen count and a 23 percent audience share, barely ahead of NBC's "Today" show, which had a 4.7/23, while "CBS Morning News" trailed with a 3.2/16, its lowest rating since the week ending Dec. 21, 1984 . . . Still No Poems
Just the announcement that the 12th annual Daytime Emmy Awards will be broadcast on the afternoon of Thursday, Aug. 1, on CBS . . .
Bob Barker, of CBS' "The Price Is Right," will host the telecast, live from the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York . . .
A TV and newspaper advertising campaign will be launched here May 30 by the Union of Concerned Scientists . . . appealing to the U.S. and Soviet governments to negotiate a total ban on weapons in space . . .
Leading American scientists, including 53 Nobel Prize winners, will introduce the campaign that same day with a press conference here . . .
Black employes of ABC News, apparently interested in forming a caucus, were scheduled to meet last night at the Mayflower Hotel here. Some reportedly were flying in from ABC bureaus around the country . . .
Sources say that pay differentials, assignments and lack of hiring were on last night's agenda . . .
Members of an informal women's caucus at the ABC News bureau here recently met with ABC News president Roone Arledge in New York . . .
Yesterday, George Watson, ABC bureau chief here, said he was aware of last night's scheduled meeting -- to which no ABC executives had been invited -- and that he "would be glad to sit down and talk with them, either as a group or individually if they'd like a hearing on particular issues. In fact, we're perfectly willing to let them use space here in the bureau to hold their meetings" . . .
Watson would not estimate how many of the bureau's 700 employes are black but said he was satisfied that "the totals are encouraging. I know we have black producers in substantial roles, for instance" . . . And Finally
Saturday morning, at the unholy hour of 4:45 a.m., Cable News Network will begin a two-hour broadcast of ceremonies from Vatican City during which 28 prelates will receive their red hats as cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church, including archbishops John O'Connor of New York and Bernard Law of Boston . . .
A one-hour highlight film of the solemn ceremonies will air on CNN at 3 p.m. Sunday . . .