At the TopOf the News this postholiday morning, TV Column fans, is an urgent call to "all local comedians" from Jaynne Fitzgerald Productions, out in Fairfax (elected officials and TV sportscasters need not apply) . . .
JFP wants their audio or video tapes, with photo and re'sume', so they can get to work within four weeks on the pilot for a new syndicated show to be called "Lifestyles of the Weird and Unimportant" . . .
Fitzgerald says the half-hour weekly show would be satellited to cable systems and independent TV stations around the country . . .
The address is 9689 Lindenbrook St., Fairfax, Va. 22031 . . .
But seriously, folks . . .
We've noodled around with this one before, but expect the announcement from CBS News regarding the status of "CBS Morning News" coanchor Bill Kurtis sometime next week . . .
The straight Memorial Day Weekend Skinny is that Kurtis will have a new deal allowing him to return to CBS-owned WBBM in Chicago as an anchor while keeping a hand in with CBS News . . . probably as an anchor for network documentaries and specials . . .
Kurtis was a very popular WBBM anchor before he came to "Morning News" in the spring of 1982 to join Diane Sawyer on the network show. He reportedly has had $1 million-plus offers to return to the Chicago market . . .
The Kurtis-Sawyer combination, which debuted the week of March 19, 1982, managed to pull third-place "CBS Morning News" out of its doldrums and for a time even challenged NBC's "Today" for second place in the three-network morning race . . .
But "Today," apparently relying on a previously undiscovered trove of morning viewers, has pulled ahead again to seriously challenge ABC's "Good Morning America," whose own ratings have remained static in the battle for first . . . Meanwhile, "Morning News" has gone nowhere lately . . .
Phyllis George, who replaced Sawyer 18 weeks ago, with no apparent effect on the ratings, remains as coanchor of "Morning News," so the next guessing game will revolve around her new partner . . .
The inability of "CBS Morning News" to jump into the battle with ABC and NBC isn't all the fault of the program or its anchors . . .
The show is cleared by just about as many network affiliates (some 200) as the more successful "Today" and "GMA," but at least 50 of the CBS stations -- particularly in the Midwest -- put it on the air between 6 and 8 a.m., instead of 7 and 9 a.m., and that's a mighty powerful damper on audiences, which are counted during the two later hours by the ratings services . . .
Channel 57 in Philadelphia, which has been operating as a subscription TV station, has been sold to the Grant Broadcasting System, which plans to change its format . . .
Sellers are Leon and William S. Gross. Chairman of the board of GBS is Sidney Shlenker, and Milton Grant, former owner of Channel 20 here, is president and chief executive officer . . .
In a release, Grant said he envisions WWSG as a "world-class independent station serving Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley area with innovative and exciting alternative programming" and will increase the station's power to 5 million watts . . .
GBS recently sold UHF stations in Dallas and Houston and began operating WBFS, Channel 33, in Miami . . . Also in the News
Last week ABC News held a screening at the Washington bureau of its upcoming three-hour documentary on the history of the nuclear age, "The Fire Unleashed," for representatives of about 20 newspapers and publications. The audience included two syndicated newspaper columnists, too . . .
The documentary, which will air Thursday, June 6, looks at "nuclear weapons and their proliferation, nuclear power, nuclear waste and the arms race between the superpowers," including the current "Star Wars" plans of the Reagan administration . . .
Not on the guest list for the Washington screening was Reid Irvine, head of Accuracy in Media, who showed up with a tape recorder . . .
The conservative Irvine frequently targets what he considers the "liberal" media . . .
When Pam Hill, head of ABC's documentary unit, noticed the taping, she asked Irvine to stop but, she said, it took two such requests before he agreed . . .
When the screening ended and a question-and-answer period was about to begin, Hill asked him to leave, claiming he didn't qualify for attendance on two counts: because his AIM newsletter has a circulation of less than 50,000 and because she considers Irvine "to be a lobby- ist" . . .
Irvine said last week that he repeatedly asked her why he wasn't invited to the Q & A and said he finally told Hill "the real reason is you're afraid of criticism" . . .
Hill said she told Irvine that "we invite conservatives, that isn't the problem. But that in our view, you're a lobbyist" . . .
"Well, I'm not going to argue that," Irvine recalls saying . . . adding that in his opinion, the ABC documentary, which was also screened at ABC News bureaus in Moscow, London, Paris, Tokyo and Bonn for foreign correspondents last week, was "antinuclear" . . .
Peter Jennings hosts the three-hour program, Marshall Frady is correspondent . . .
Variety reports that the independent producers of tonight's PBS "Frontline" documentary about recent bank failures had trouble getting insurance to protect them against possible libel suits . . .
Variety said "obtaining errors and omission insurance, otherwise known as producer's liability insurance, has gone from routine to a labyrinthine practice . . . perhaps the first tangible sign that libel suits such as Westmoreland v. CBS are having a chilling effect on documentaries, according to interviews with producers, lawyers, insurance companies and their underwriting managers" . . .
Scott Craig, who produced "Breaking the Bank" for "Frontline," told Variety that four or five companies turned down his efforts before he was able to obtain insur- ance . . .
Nineteen-year veteran David Dick will retire in July from CBS News to become an associate professor of journalism at the University of Kentucky . . .
Now at the Dallas bureau, Dick covered Congress, the White House, the State Department and the Pentagon here as well as such breaking stories as the assassination attempt on Gov. George Wallace in 1972 and the Jonestown, Guyana, mass suicide . . .
C-SPAN will send a crew of 17 to provide live coverage of the annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors June 15-19 . . . from Anchorage . . .
This is the first of several road trips that the nonprofit cable co-op plans to make this year as part of its "States of the Nation '85" series . . .