Averting a strike that had been approved by the union last month, a settlement has been reached between Channel sw,-2 sk,1 32 management and the 24-member unit of the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians Local 31 . . .
Affected are camera operators, switchers, tape operators and editors at the Howard University public TV station . . .
Under terms of the new three-year pact, the NABET employes will receive annual pay increases of 8, 3 and 1 percent -- for a total raise of 12 percent over that period -- and the long-term disability package has been considerably modified . . .
Originally, the union had demanded WHMM hold to a plan included in the original contract that would provide 5.5 percent increases yearly over a 12-year period . . . or 16.5 percent over the life of the new three-year pact . . .
Management, citing federal budget cuts expected for the school because of Gramm-Rudman-Hollings, had countered with offers of 7, 3 and 2 percent raises, or the 12 percent finally agreed upon last week, albeit by a different formula . . .
The raises are retroactive to Nov. 29, 1985, when the last contract expired . . .
The previous disability package required that an employe had to be age 30 to be eligible, had to have worked at the station at least five years and had to be off six months with the disability before pay began . . . Under that contract, only three unit employes qualified . . .
In the new contract, the age limit was reduced to 27, the years worked dropped to three and the time off to three months. Eighteen are now eligible for such aid . . .
In addition, overtime pay was improved, according to a Local 31 spokesman Friday . . .
For two weeks in a row now, Captain Airwaves has been bored stiff by CBS' "Bridges to Cross." As a result, BTC is no longer eligible for mandatory Thursday viewing by Captain Airwaves . . .
Apparently, discriminating viewers everywhere are starting to agree . . .
In its April 24 premiere, "Bridges to Cross" was seen in 12.4 million TV homes, which accounted for 26 percent of the TV sets in use, finishing 18th in the weekly primetime ratings . . .
Thursday night, the audience for "Bridges to Cross" fell to 8.9 million homes, while getting a 17 percent audience share between 9 and 10 . . .
"Bridges," which loses Suzanne Pleshette in talky, poorly crafted scripts, finished far behind the combination of "Cheers" and "Night Court" on NBC, which averaged 19.3 million TV homes, and "The Colbys" on ABC, which drew 12 million . . .
By the way, CBS is scheduled to announce its fall primetime schedule this coming Thursday . . . ABC will announce a week from tomorrow (May 13) and NBC on Thursday, May 15 . . .
CBS Entertainment announced Friday that Judith Krantz's best-seller "I'll Take Manhattan" will become an eight-hour mini-series next season . . .
It's the story, says CBS, "of a young woman's struggle to preserve her father's magazine empire from treachery from within, set against the glamorous and powerful world of New York magazine publishing" . . .
That's good enough for us! . . .
Production starts in July but the only cast member chosen so far is young, wildly successful Manhattan real estate mogul Donald Trump, who will do a walk-on, says CBS, as a "young, wildly successful Manhattan real estate mogul" . . .
Also in the News
CBS News is feuding with ABC News over the latter's use last Wednesday of a satellite photo of the Soviet nuclear disaster to which CBS claimed exclusive North American rights . . .
The photo, showing two hot spots at the Chernobyl site, was distributed by a private Swedish firm, Satellitbilt, which sold the rights to CBS . . .
ABC says it took the same picture, without restrictions, when it appeared on Swedish TV . . .
CBS planned to lead its 6:30 p.m. Wednesday feed of "Evening News" with the picture. When it showed up at 3 p.m. on the regularly scheduled ABC news break, a spokesman for CBS News said, CBS lawyers twice called ABC to notify them of the exclusivity . . .
ABC News vice president for news coverage Bob Murphy said Friday that "about 5:40 p.m., a CBS lawyer called one of our lawyers to say they had purchased that picture and had it exclusively . . .
"We were well into planning for our 6:30 p.m. feed and we tried to confirm it. But it was midnight in Stockholm and Satellitbilt was not in the phone book. We made a good-faith effort to confirm the CBS claim but we trusted our sources, double sources, that it was available . . .
"We made the decision that the information was too incomplete and too late," said Murphy. "We didn't do it maliciously. We acted in good faith. We planned to use the picture in our lead story, and if we'd pulled the picture we wouldn't have been able to recoup . . .
"We do not and would not willfully steal someone else's material. The real ownership so often is difficult to establish, particularly under those kinds of time pressures" . . .
A spokesman for CBS News said Friday that lawyers are looking into the possibilities of a suit . . .
The Federal Communications Commission, assisted by the FBI, is focusing on the Dallas-Fort Worth area in its search for "Captain Midnight" (no relation), the video pirate who briefly interrupted Home Box Office's satellite broadcast of "The Falcon and the Snowman" last Sunday morning to complain of HBO's signal scrambling . . .
If he (or she) is caught, "Captain Midnight" faces a possible $10,000 fine and/or a year in prison -- more if the Justice Department decides a felony has been committed . . .
Channel 7 news made a nice recovery Saturday during its 6 p.m. newscast after first announcing the successful launch of that $57 million weather satellite at Cape Canaveral . . .
The station aired 45 seconds of the launch live just before the weather break, leading to a discussion on the air by Allan Eustis of how it would aid weathercasters in the future . . .
Meanwhile, up in the control room, producers still monitoring the launch realized that at 71 seconds something had gone wrong with the Delta rocket . . . and after contacting NASA to confirm the launch had failed, got on the air with the story of the blowup before signing off at 6:30 . . .
NBC Entertainment President Brandon Tartikoff hosted a luncheon Friday for 300 New York-based employes at Tavern on the Green in Manhattan to celebrate NBC's first-ever primetime season victory . . .
It was a little chilly on the Green, where drinks were served, but inside it was toasty as they dined on a spiced cold pasta, grilled chicken with mushroom sauce, and cheesecake with shaved chocolate and fruit topping . . .
Everybody got a red T-shirt with the message "The First Time Is the Best!" spelled out in white letters . . .
After brief preliminary remarks from network President Pier Mapes and Vice Chairman Irwin B. Segelstein, Tartikoff took the floor to single out several in the audience who had contributed to the victory, including his New York secretary, Dorothy Worthington, and Nancy Mead, director of Entertainment Research . . .
Mead works seven days a week. She's the one who calls Tartikoff out in Beverly Hills every morning, including Saturdays and Sundays, with the Nielsen ratings as they arrive in New York . . .
Earlier, Segelstein, in his remarks, had challenged the wording on the T-shirt, telling the audience that "when you get a bit older, the last time is the best!" . . .
Honestly, Irwin! . . .