Channel 4 announced yesterday that Dave Marash, who has been a correspondent at WNBC, the NBC-owned TV station in New York, will join WRC next Monday as an anchor/reporter.

Initially, he will coanchor the 5 p.m. news with Lea Thompson and the 11 p.m. weeknight newscast with Bob McBride.

He is expected to debut on the air "either August 5 or 11," according to Frederick L. DeMarco, vice president and general manager of WRC. Channel 4 is also owned and operated by NBC.

Marash, a former anchor at WCBS in New York and an investigative reporter for ABC's "20/20," is currently being considered a temporary substitute for WRC anchor Jim Vance. In late June, Vance took his second leave of absence from the station this year to seek further treatment for problems he has blamed on a chemical dependency.

Vance, who spent several weeks at the Betty Ford treatment center in California starting in January, this time reportedly has been seeking help from local physicians.

DeMarco said yesterday that "Jim continues on an indefinite leave of absence. We hope he can come back."

DeMarco added that "if and when Jim comes back, we'll find room for everybody" on the now-crowded weeknight anchor roster at WRC, which also includes the team of McBride and Susan King at 6 p.m. Presumably, Marash would move to an investigative reporting post should Vance return.

Earlier this year, Marash was briefly a candidate for David Schoumacher's anchor job at Channel 7, which was eventually claimed by Wes Sarginson starting the first of July.

Shortly after the WJLA talks broke off, insiders were aware that Marash had begun talks in May with WRC executives regarding a job, apparently with network approval.

Marash had become available when WNBC canceled his 11 p.m. "Cover Story" investigative reports, a move that prompted him to file an unsuccessful lawsuit against the station.