Ron Webber has been named managing director of the Washington office for Wesley, Brown & Bartle, a management consulting and executive search firm, which also has offices in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles . . .

Webber, a longtime public relations executive for Alcoa, most recently was vice president in charge of corporate communications and public information for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting . . .

Webber joined CPB last June, one month after CPB board President Sonia Landau had engaged in a public argument with then CPB president Ed Pfister over a board matter that culminated in Pfister's departure. In late January of this year, the board terminated Webber's contract. Sources said the Landau-controlled board was critical of Webber for failing to quash the publicity that followed the May encounter . . .

This Friday night at 11:30 p.m., CBS will repeat the 1973 telecast of the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award to James Cagney . . .

Ronald Reagan and Frank Sinatra were among the guests for the program. Executive Producer George Stevens Jr. said yesterday he will provide a new opening to the AFI special, marking Mr. Cagney's death last week . . .

Also in the News

We understand that Pat Collins, Channel 7's resident raconteur (and Master of the Lights), will be at working at another local station before May is up . . .

Collins worked for Nine here for seven years and then jumped to WLS in Chicago for three years before joining WJLA . . .

The word is he'll be doing straight reporting again. Seven reportedly didn't renew his contract as part of an economy drive at the station . . .

Channel 32 will devote the hour-long "Evening Exchange" program tomorrow night to a debate on the Middle East, as a lead-in to the 2 1/2-hour "Flashpoint: Israel and the Palestinians" . . .

Guests on "Evening Exchange" will include Peter Goldman, director of Americans for a Safe Israel; Alfred Lilienthal, author of "The Zionist Connection"; Maurice Roumani of George Washington University; and Abdul Salem Massarueh, editor in chief of Arab-American Media Service . . .

Producers of "Flashpoint," which was turned down by both Channel 26 here and Channel 13 in New York, said yesterday that 276 of PBS' 308 stations will carry the program. Twenty-three of the stations -- including those in Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Miami -- will do locally produced "wrap-arounds," according to Rachel Ross of KQED, the San Francisco station that produced the program . . .

Ross pointed out that WNYE in New York will carry "Flashpoint." She said 18 stations in all are not carrying it because of the program content . . .

Both WETA and WNET rejected the program -- which includes one Palestinian and two Israeli films -- because executives felt the material was dated and lacked sufficient quality, at least compared with films on the subject that have been shown previously on both stations . . .

Incidentally, the program will be screened twice on April 15 for members of Congress in the Rayburn House Office Building, Room B-352, starting at 1 p.m. under the sponsorship of Rep. George W. Crockett Jr. (D-Mich.) and others . . .

Also at WHMM

The 24-member unit of the National Association of Broadcast Employes and Technicians at the Howard University station last week rejected the latest offer from management and voted to strike, an action that has been approved by the NABET international . . .

The unit represents tape and camera operators, technical directors and lighting technicians . . .

The unit has been operating without a contract since Nov. 28, 1985 . . .

NABET said yesterday that no further meetings are planned and that federal mediation may be sought. But WHMM general manager Arnold Wallace said that "we're going to continue to negotiate. Gramm-Rudman has been a serious blow to the university and we're having some difficulty" . . .

According to union sources, the original three-year contract included plans for a 12-year "escalator," which would provide 5.5 percent increases yearly over that period, with a $16,000 starting wage topping off at $29,000 . . .

Management, the union claims, is now offering raises of 7, 3 and 2 percent over the life of the next three-year pact, or 12 percent instead of 16.5 percent . . .

In addition, the union claims, WHMM wants relief from a disability package that NABET insists is already restrictive . . .

The NABET unit must give 15-day notice if a strike is called. A union spokesman said an April 29 walkout is possible . . .

Rumors are strong that Allie Sherman, who coached the NFL's New York Giants in the early 1960s, will replace Pete Axthelm on NBC's "NFL '86" this season (prompting one NBC wag to suggest yesterday that the program be called "NFL '61" this year) . . .

Speculation is that the network wants to back off from the point spreads on the Sunday pre-NFL game show . . . but in losing the Newsweek columnist, they're also losing one of NBC Sports' few journalists . . .

"Nobody's Child," starring Marlo Thomas, recorded a strong 24.1 rating and a 36 percent audience share Sunday night on CBS, at least in Nielsen's 12 major markets . . .

"Beverly Hills Madam" on NBC during the same time period did an 18.5/28, while "Blue Thunder" on ABC sputtered to a 13.6/20 . . .

Saturday night, in the national Nielsens, "Charley Hannah," an ABC pilot starring Robert Conrad, averaged a skinny 11.9/21 . . .

But then again, "Diner" on ABC Thursday night could muster only a 6.4/10 in the national ratings . . .

On Wednesday, CBS' "News at 11" did just about what news at 11 usually does around here . . . a 13.3/22 . . .

The three-night run of the syndicated Australian mini-series "All The Rivers Run" on Channel 5 averaged an 8.2 Nielsen rating and a 14 share. Its best night was Thursday, when Part I got a 9.3/15 competing with the NBC juggernaut . . .

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting was apparently adrift on Moon River last week when announcing its support for the annual Fourth of July concert on PBS from the Capitol grounds . . .

CPB said Henry Mancini would conduct the National Symphony Orchestra. Wrong, says WETA -- which will again produce the 90-minute live special -- Mstislav Rostropovich will conduct. Maestro Mancini has been commissioned to write a number for the occasion . . .

A Plea

From Channel Nine, to the more than 50 women who have been corresponding with reporter Ellen Kingsley on the subject of breast cancer . . .

Someone threw out the carton containing your letters and Ellen wants you all to know she hasn't forgotten and you should all contact her again as soon as possible . . .

The 38th annual primetime Emmy Awards have been scheduled for the night of Sept. 21 on NBC . . .

Candy Crowley, who most recently has been covering the White House for the Associated Press network, joins the NBC News bureau here as a general assignment TV correspondent . . .

And David Newman, a longtime producer for ABC News here, has been named a producer at Channel 4. He'll do Susan King's "Cover Story" . . .

Newman, who has been free-lancing the past year, replaces Donna Rockwell, who moved to Detroit when her husband, Bernie Smilovitz, left Five to join WDIV there . . .

And Finally

If you were watching the credits at the close of "NBC Nightly News" Friday night, you might have noticed the name of "Junior Producer John Churchill Wheatley" roll by . . .

The junior producer was born earlier that day to Carolyn Churchill Wheatley at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. His dad is Bill Wheatley, executive producer of "Nightly News." He's their first . . .