CBS' owned-stations division yesterday took another step toward revamping management at its troubled Chicago outlet, WBBM . . .
News Director Jay Newman, who was moved from the same position at WCAU, the CBS-owned station in Philadelphia, seven months ago to try to stop the ratings decline in Chicago, yesterday returned to his old job in Philadelphia . . .
The move will enable Johnathan Rodgers, named Wednesday as the new vice president and general manager at WBBM, to make his own choice for news director . . .
Rodgers, on the fast track at CBS, has been executive producer of "CBS Morning News" since November . . .
Colleen Dudgeon, assistant news director at WBBM for the past five years, will fill in for Newman in the interim . . .
Meanwhile, Rodgers will meet in Chicago today with representatives of the Rev. Jesse Jackson's Operation PUSH (People United to Serve Humanity), which has been boycotting the Chicago station since November over the demotion of a popular black anchor. The boycott is believed to be a factor in the low ratings for WBBM . . .
The appointment of Rodgers on Wednesday coincided with a meeting between the Rev. Jackson and CBS executives in New York concerning the boycott. Operation PUSH has complained about hiring practices at the station . . .
CBS Wednesday said the choice of Rodgers, who is black, was based on his professional qualifications, not his race . . .
Yesterday in Chicago PUSH spokesman Walter Perkins said that "we see the naming of Mr. Rodgers as a step in the right direction" . . .
Channel 9 reporter Bruce Johnson and a WDVM camera crew were close to the Champs Elyse'es in Paris at the height of rush hour yesterday evening when a terrorist bomb exploded in a shopping gallery on the famed avenue, killing at least two persons and injuring 29 . . .
The WDVM crew was in the City of Light to film a documentary, "A Tale of Two Capitals" . . .
The WDVM crew obtained footage at the scene that appeared on "CBS Evening News With Dan Rather" last night as well as on Channel 9's 6 p.m. news . . .
Senior documentary producer Jeanne Bowers and Johnson coordinated getting the footage to CBS in New York . . .
Speaking of Gannett-owned WDVM, we hear that Gannett-owned WUSA in Minneapolis-St. Paul has been told to come up with some new call letters . . . but Channel 9 executives yesterday had no comment about the persistent reports that WDVM will get WUSA as Gannett's flagship in the nation's capital . . .
Senior Vice President Wallace Dunlap, who has been in charge of the Washington office of Group W (Westinghouse Broadcasting) since 1971, has announced his retirement, as of June 30 . . .
He will be replaced by Gerald Udwin, who has been vice president, Washington, for Group W since 1982 . . .
Udwin previously had been in charge of the Group W Washington news bureau . . .
NBC's "Today" show took first place in the morning race for the 14th week in a row with a 6.1 Nielsen rating and a 26 percent audience share for the week ending March 14 . . .
ABC's "Good Morning America" had a 5.4/23 and "CBS Morning News" tottered in with a 3.1/13 . . .
Also in the News
"Hill Street Blues" has been renewed for a sixth season, according to NBC sources . . .
NBC has also announced that "The Last Precinct," which "presents the outlandish and often-unbelievable antics of a group of zany, outcast policemen," will have a seven-week run in the 9 p.m. Friday time slot starting Friday, April 11 . . .
"Precinct," which got unnecessarily high ratings in a preview following the Super Bowl, replaces "Knight Rider," amid speculation that the talking dashboard may not be back next fall . . .
NBC is expected to announce its fall schedule May 15 . . .
There will be a considerable Washington presence next Tuesday night when CBS News repeats the powerful Bill Moyers documentary "The Vanishing Family -- Crisis in Black America" at 11:30 p.m. . . .
Following the documentary, which attracted national attention when it first aired in January, "Nightwatch" anchor Charlie Rose will interview members of Washington's Shiloh Baptist Church for a half-hour . . .
Rose will then discuss the broadcast and its issues with Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.), whose report in the 1960s on the black family crisis made a major impact on Moyers, then an aide to President Johnson; Secretary of Health and Human Services Otis Bowen; Reps. Dan R. Coats (R-Ind.) and Harold Ford (D-Tenn.); and Los Angeles City Councilman Dave Cunningham . . .
"If Tomorrow Comes" (and hopefully it will, because otherwise, all this work on the Friday TV Column will have been in vain, TV Column fans) finished its three-night run on CBS with an overall 22.0 Nielsen rating and a 35 percent audience share. The Tuesday night conclusion did a 20.8/33 nationally, as if you care . . .
Art Kent, who has been vice president, news operations for NBC News, returns to the air in the newly created position of national security affairs correspondent at the Washington bureau . . .
Kent was an NBC correspondent out of the Tel Aviv bureau between January 1980 and July 1982 . . .
Maryland Public Television stations completed an 18-day drive Tuesday that netted $544,235, short of its $600,000 . . .
Navy basketball fans can see the Middies NCAA playoff tilt with Cleveland State live tonight at 7 p.m. on Channel 11 in Baltimore . . . if they don't want to wait up for the late night replay on Channel 9 here . . .
ABC News yesterday said that it was a pair of anonymous phone calls to anchor Peter Jennings on Wednesday that led to the discovery of further over-the-counter drug tampering yesterday in Houston and Orlando, Fla. . . .
The caller, who gave only his first name, pinpointed where the suspected drugs could be found in both cities. After the second call convinced Jennings he was serious, the anchor notified police in both cities . . .