Now Here's the News
Dow Smith yesterday notified the staff of Channel 7 that he's dropping his role as station manager so he can devote full time to the task of looking for a new job . . .
Two months ago, WJLA president Tom Cookerly reorganized his top staff, reinstating himself as general manager . . .
At the time, Smith retained the title of station manager but his duties were largely confined to "special projects," one of which was the ongoing search by WJLA for anchor David Schoumacher's eventual successor . . .
Sources indicated then that Smith had considerable time to pursue efforts to find new employment . . . but as he noted in his memo to the staff yesterday, "after two months, it's become clear that trying to find a new job" is a full-time pursuit . . . and that "it's time to leave my role as station manager" . . .
Smith first came to WJLA five years ago as news director after considerable success in the same job at WPLG in Miami. Two years later, he moved up to station manager . . .
Smith reportedly wants to return to news directing . . .
Cookerly said yesterday that he will now be handling the day-to-day duties of station manager at WJLA, including the pursuit of the Schoumacher replacement . . .
In his memo, Smith praised WJLA's "exceptional . . . talented staff" and predicted that with "new, effective leadership" the station will enjoy the ultimate success" of leadership in the market, which he called "a very real, attainable goal" . . .
"I will miss you, but as a faithful fan, I will be cheering your success," he concluded . . .
Last week, it was revealed that WJLA had been talking to David Marash, an investigative reporter with WNBC in New York who has had experience as an anchor . . . but the status of those negotiations remained unclear yesterday . . .
Schoumacher is due to move to part-time anchor status soon as he prepares a Saturday evening public affairs show that should debut in July . . .
Donna Reed, replaced this spring on the "Dallas" cast in the role of Miss Ellie by Barbara Bel Geddes, who returns in the fall as the original Miss Ellie, following her recovery from a heart operation . . . has sued CBS Entertainment and Lorimar Productions for $7.5 million, charging breach of contract . . .
The suit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court last Friday . . .
A source close to Miss Reed said yesterday in Los Angeles that she is still receiving payments (an estimated $15,000 a week) from the contract she signed last October with Lorimar that carries through the 1986-87 season . . . but is seeking a settlement and release from that contract . . .
Harry Flynn, her longtime press agent, said that "she was terribly hurt in April when she got a long-distance call in Paris telling her she was fired." . . .
He disclosed that she had been negotiating with Lorimar Productions for another permanent role on "Dallas" a year ago when negotiations for Barbara Bel Geddes' early return to the CBS series broke down. That led to the offer to Reed of the Miss Ellie role . . .
"After 44 years in the business, she feels she hasn't been treated fairly," Flynn added . . .
Neither CBS nor Lorimar would comment on the suit yesterday . . .
NBC's two-part "Deceptions" seems to have caught the fancy of Memorial Day weekenders, at least those sweltering in Nielsen's 10 major markets . . .
On Sunday night, "Deceptions," which starred Stefanie Powers as twin sisters, averaged a 20.8 rating and a 38 percent audience share in the 10 big cities (including a 25.0/46 in New York) . . . while on Monday night, the 10-city count went to 23.2/36 . . .
In Washington, "Deceptions" did a 20.3/38 and a 22.1/35 on Channel 4 here . . .
Meanwhile, on Monday night, ABC's "The Rape of Richard Beck" did a 15.2/23 in the 10 Nielsen cities, including a 13.6/22 on Channel 7 here . . . Also in the News
James Sikking (Lt. Howard Hunter on "Hill Street Blues") and Ellen Foley (attorney Billie Young on "Night Court") will host the local Washington Emmy awards here on June 22, the nominations for which should be announced before the week is out . . .
Speaking of Emmys, nominations for the national Daytime Emmy awards will be announced today by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences . . .
The awards will be telecast on CBS the afternoon of Aug. 1 . . .
Channel 4 said yesterday that the "Joe Theismann Redskin Report With George Michael" will return this season (after a one-year absence), starting with a preseason special in August . . .
Henceforth, Joe will appear at 7 every Saturday night during the regular NFL season, right through the Super Bowl . . .
Channel 9 will carry the syndicated "19th Annual Music City News Country Awards" on Monday night, June 10 . . . which will include the first live on-stage performance by Barbara Mandrell since her serious accident last September . . .
The Democratic leadership and CBS News were still squabbling late yesterday over the latter's refusal to carry the former's seven-minute "response" featuring Rep. Dan Rostenkowski (D-Ill.) live last night immediately following President Reagan's 8 p.m. tax-reform speech . . .
ABC, NBC and Cable News Network were all scheduled to carry the House Ways and Means Committee chairman's response following the speech . . . although NBC had earlier scheduled a late-night half hour on tax reform for Wednesday night that would have included the Rostenkowski message . . .
CBS plans to air a half-hour special at 10:30 Friday night that will feature "opposition views" from a variety of sources to the president's plan . . .
Yesterday, CBS News President Ed Joyce offered to include Rostenkowski among the guests during the Friday broadcast . . .
But the Democratic leadership wants Rostenkowski's Tuesday message to be aired . . . a request CBS, as a matter of long-standing policy, has turned down . . .
"We've been following that policy for more than 10 years," a CBS News spokesman said yesterday . . .
Yesterday, House Speaker Thomas P. (Tip) O'Neill Jr. and Senate Minority Leader Robert C. Byrd sent a letter to Joyce reiterating their request for the response . . .
The Democrats found a certain irony in the fact that CBS had scheduled a program called "America Censored" at 8:30 in lieu of the seven-minute response . . . and pointed out that "the three major American networks, ABC, NBC and CNN" were carrying the Democratic message live . . .
Ouch! . . . And Ouch, Again
Reed Irvine, head of Accuracy in Media, yesterday complained about the way we used a quote from him regarding his ouster from an ABC News question and answer session at the bureau here last week following the screening of "The Fire Unleashed," an upcoming three-hour documentary on the history of nuclear power and arms . . .
Irvine says that he is not now and never has been a "lobbyist" as the use of the quote may have inadvertently conveyed. We regret the misinterpretation. As well as the fact we misspelled his first name in the Tuesday column . . .
Make that two Ouches . . .