The end of the 25-year Metromedia era at Channel 5 will be signaled this morning when viewers are greeted for the first time by the foxy new burgundy and gray Fox Television Stations logo instead of the familiar Metromedia M . . .
There'll be other changes in the on-air "look" of WTTG's promos and graphics, too . . .
In 1959 WTTG was one of three TV stations purchased by Maryland radio station owner John Kluge from what was left of the old Dumont network. Two years later, he created the Metromedia broadcast group, and although his empire eventually stretched coast-to-coast and included the biggest markets in the country, WTTG remained a profitable favorite . . .
Now Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. has completed the purchase for $1.65 billion of Kluge's six Metromedia Broadcasting TV stations. Murdoch also paid $575 million for Twentieth Century-Fox, and from the two Murdoch reportedly wants to eventually build a fourth U.S. TV network . . .
ABC Entertainment announced yesterday that Lucille Ball will star in a new situation comedy -- tentatively titled "Lucy" -- scheduled for the fall season . . .
Ball created TV history when she and her then-husband Desi Arnaz starred in "I Love Lucy," which had a 10-year run on CBS starting in 1951 . . . During the six years it aired original episodes, the program never ranked lower than third in the yearly national rankings . . .
No story line for the new sitcom has been announced . . .
Along the Rumor Rialto: Connie Chung, now chief correspondent for NBC News' recumbent "American Almanac," is expected to sign up again with NBC this summer . . .
Lack of real opportunities at either ABC or alma mater CBS figured in the decision, according to our sources . . .
And at ABC, there's talk that the new management is seriously considering an hour news program to fill the 8-to-9 p.m. Thursday time slot, where NBC's "The Cosby Show" and "Family Ties" are killing the competition . . .
The thinking: A news show can come in for around $400,000 an hour (CBS' "West 57th" is budgeted at about $385,000), whereas an hour of entertainment can cost nearly $1 million, even if nobody is watching . . .
On the strength of their Wednesday debuts, anyway, neither "Fast Times" nor "Tough Cookies" would seem to be the answer to CBS' problems in the 8-to-9 p.m. Wednesday time slot . . .
"Fast Times," despite good reviews around the country, averaged a 12.4 Nielsen rating and a 19 percent audience share, while "Tough Cookies," despite poor reviews around the country, did an 11.5/18 . . . Together, they averaged a 12.0/18 for the hour . . .
Two weeks ago (President Reagan spoke last Wednesday at 8 p.m.), "Mary" and "Foley Square," in that same time slot, averaged a 12.2/18 together for CBS . . .
After six nights of its current 17-day fund-raising campaign, Channel 26 yesterday had $262,666 (from 5,390 pledges) toward its $650,000 goal . . .
Biggest night so far: Tuesday, with Garrison Keillor at the Library of Congress and the Peter, Paul & Mary concert, which raised $62,409 . . .
Hottest item: the "Anne of Green Gables" book, 425 of which have gone for $40 pledges . . .
By the way, WETA says that the four-part "Brown Sugar" series, the final segment of which was not aired because of the start of the fund drive, will be repeated in toto later this spring . . .
After four nights -- through Tuesday -- the Maryland Public Television stations had raised $132,000 toward a $600,000 goal . . .
Ho hum. NBC's "Today" show won the early-morning network race for the week ending Feb. 28 with a 6.1 rating and a 25 percent audience share, compared with a 5.7/24 for ABC's "Good Morning America" and a real ho-hum 3.2/13 for "CBS Morning News" . . .
NBC Entertainment President Brandon Tartikoff made it official yesterday. In an interview with Associated Press, he declared NBC the winner of the 1985-86 primetime race, its first such victory since Nielsen began counting, back in 1955.
Rosemary Reed, formerly a writer/producer on the 10 o'clock news at Five, has been named executive producer of "Panorama." She succeeds Jane Stoddard, who resigned last month to follow her heart to Philadelphia . . .
Ken Howard, he of "Colby," "Dynasty" and the growing girth, has signed to host "Dream Girl USA," a syndicated weekly half-hour show that airs next fall on Channel 20. It's a weekly beauty pageant featuring young ladies from cities around the country. Weekly winners move up to monthly semifinals and eventually to the finals as the weeks roll by . . . Also in the News
The Reagan administration is close to submitting the names of nominees for the five seats on the Corporation for Public Broadcasting board that will be open as of March 26 . . .
Chairman Sonia Landau, Vice Chairman Kenneth Towery and Harry O'Connor, three holdover Republican members of the 10-member board, will be nominated for second terms . . .
Two longtime board members, Lillie Herndon and Howard White, are not seeking renomination . . .
It has been widely reported that Linda Gosden Robinson, a prominent California Republican, will be nominated for another Republican seat. The wife of James D. Robinson III, chairman and chief executive officer of American Express Co. Inc., she worked for Sen. Pete Wilson when he was mayor of San Diego, and after serving with the Republican National Committee and the 1980 Reagan presidential campaign as a press secretary, she became public affairs director for then-Secretary of Transportation Drew Lewis . . .
When Lewis became head of Warner Amex Cable Communications in 1983, she joined him as senior vice president for corporate affairs . . .
Two weeks ago, Louisiana state representative Louis (Woody) Jenkins, a conservative Democrat, withdrew his name from consideration as the fifth nominee to the CPB board . . .
A spokesman for Jenkins in Baton Rouge, La., yesterday said Jenkins, 38, had withdrawn his name "after considerable deliberation when he realized he just didn't have the time to devote to the board" . . .
Tammy Trahan said Jenkins was the voluntary chairman of Friends of the Americas, which she described as "an organization that helps victims of wars and revolutions in Latin America." She said "Friends of the Americas" had given considerable aid to victims of the Colombia volcano disaster . . .
"Current," a trade paper on public telecommunications, recently described Jenkins as "a maverick Louisiana Democrat allied with the conservative fundamentalist movement" . . .
Trahan said Jenkins is an attorney whose Great Oaks Co. manages his holdings. She said he had experience in both TV and print journalism while attending Louisiana State University . . .
The White House personnel office yesterday declined to comment on the status of the nominations . . .