Now Here's the News
That Other Shoe could drop today or tomorrow at CBS News . . .
The division had planned to announce the departure of as many as 100 from its staff of 1,200 during the first week of September, part of a major budget-cutting effort across the board at CBS Inc., which is feeling the pinch after a costly stock buy-back forced by Ted Turner's unsuccessful takeover attempt . . .
On Sept. 3, however, CBS Inc. chairman Tom Wyman also announced the company was offering early retirements to 2,000 employes companywide, which added a new factor to the decisions on personnel cuts . . .
The CBS News bureau here, as well as New York headquarters, is bracing itself . . .
And from our One Very Small Straw In The Wind file: Charles Osgood, the CBS TV and radio correspondent who is reportedly mulling over a very nice offer to jump to ABC News at the end of this month when his current contract runs out, is due to appear as moderator of a panel today in New York before the CBS Radio Affiliates meeting . . .
The two-hour pilot of "Our Family Honor" on ABC Tuesday night did well in the 10-market Nielsen overnights, averaging an 18.8 rating and a 31 percent audience share, beating out a Bob Hope special and a "Remington Steele" rerun on NBC, which averaged a 15.1/24 over the two hours . . .
The conclusion of a rerun of "Sunset Limousine" and the hour-long "West 57th" magazine show on CBS averaged an 8.9/14 between 9 and 11 p.m. in the 10 big cities . . .
During its hour, "West 57th" averaged an 8.3/17 in the Nielsen markets, but only a 6.2/15 in Washington . . .
"Our Family Honor," which will debut in its regular 10 p.m. Tuesday time slot next week, did a 17.2/27 on Channel 7 here . . . Moving Right Along
Broadcasting executives told the Senate Rules and Administration Committee yesterday that television coverage of Senate debates would help inform the public . . .
But Sen. Russell Long (D-La.), a longtime opponent of plans to televise Senate sessions, warned that lawmakers would only be tempted to perform for the cameras and that "already a speech is twice as long as it needs to be" . . .
"Television would encourage the senators to make speeches they would not otherwise make," Long said. "TV would be a way for a senator to seek to reelect himself very cheaply at the expense of the taxpayer." He said he could support live radio coverage, however . . .
Representatives of the networks, urging gavel-to-gavel coverage, disagreed with Long's view that senators would talk more . . .
"While TV coverage of the House since 1979 may have increased the number of speeches, there hasn't been a quantum leap," contended George Watson, head of the ABC News bureau in Washington . . .
William Headline, Cable News Network Washington bureau chief, told the committee that "the public's right to know is best served when they can view proceedings directly" . . .
Bob McFarland, NBC News bureau chief here, objected to a provision in one pending bill on Senate TV that gives control of the cameras to the Senate staff, as House cameras are currently controlled by House employes . . .
"Ideally, the Senate could offer unilateral access to all interested broadcasters," said McFarland. "That is, each news organization covering an event for itself with its owner personnel and practices" . . . Moving Right Along
Amy Hirsch, who began as a talent coordinator with "Good Morning America" in 1976 and most recently has been a line producer, has been named senior producer for the ABC morning show . . .
That title has been open since Jack Reilly left GMA a couple of years ago to become executive producer of the syndicated "Entertainment Tonight" out on the West Coast . . .
Hirsch will also continue as a line producer on the program . . .
Susan Palka has been named weekend weatherperson at Channel 5 and will debut on Saturday, Sept. 28, when WTTG goes to an hour Saturday newscast . . .
Palka comes from WTVR in Richmond, where she did the noon and weekend weather . . .
Channel 5 has been using substitutes for some time, including Fred Knight, who "retired" as regular weekend weatherperson some time ago . . .
One more item from the tentatively titled "Weekend Edition of the 10 o'clock News": Conservative columnist Cal Thomas, author of a new book called "Liberals for Lunch," is the first of five commentators to be hired for the WTTG Saturday news hour and will appear on the premiere program . . .
As part of NBC's promotion effort for the upcoming monthly young people's show "Main Street," which will be anchored by Bryant Gumbel, the network has bought time on the MTV cable network . . .
"Main Street," which will air eight times during the coming season, replaces "Special Treat" on the once-a-month afternoon network schedule . . .
NBC is also promoting the Gumbel show on "Punky Brewster," "Family Ties" and during its Saturday morning kiddie schedule . . .
And from our Arnie, If You Drop That Piano I'll Never Speak To You Again file: Maria Shriver is taking a week off "CBS Morning News" starting today as she returns to Los Angeles to oversee a move of her belongings back to her new permanent base in New York . . .
Faith Daniels will fill in as coanchor with Forrest Sawyer during her absence and Bill Redeker will be doing the news blocks usually handled by Faith . . .
Which somehow reminds us, there was a reason behind NBC's last-minute decision to pull "Conan the Barbarian" (starring Maria's fiance', Arnold Schwarzenegger) from last Sunday night's schedule in favor of a rerun of "Secrets of a Married Man," starring William Shatner and Cybill Shepherd . . .
Cybill, of course, is suddenly doing very well in those reruns on ABC of "Moonlighting" and NBC kinda thought . . . well, you get the idea . . . And Finally
Channel 5 says that the D.C. Association of Dental Hygienists has named Channel 5 sportscaster Bernie Smilovitz the "sportscaster with the sportiest smile" . . .
WTTG also says that Bernie has already received the first shipment of the 25-year supply of toothbrushes that comes with the award . . .