The Children's Miracle Network Telethon over the weekend raised a record $30.1 million for 131 pediatric hospitals around the country, according to cochairmen Marie Osmond and John Schneider.
The 21-hour telethon, carried on 162 stations in the United States and Canada, raised $8 million more than last year . . .
The first telethon, in May 1983, raised $4.7 million for 22 hospitals on an ad hoc network of only 30 stations. In 1984, $12 million was raised for 68 hospitals by 91 stations. Last year, $22 million was raised for 115 hospitals . . .
Locally, Channel 20 reported yesterday that "at least" $445,000 had been raised for Children's Hospital here with pledges still coming in. Said a station executive, "Our total is definitely up from last year" . . .
Channel 2 in Baltimore reported pledges of more than $836,000 for Johns Hopkins Children's Center . . .
Along the Ratings Rialto, the twice-delayed Indianapolis 500 finally got out of the pits Saturday on ABC to earn a 9.1 rating and a 30 share in Nielsen's 12 major markets . . .
In Washington the 500 registered an 8.2/28 on Channel 7 -- not bad considering the good weather -- while Chicago was tops that afternoon with a 13/45, which shows you what a couple of lousy ball clubs can do for the numbers . . .
On Sunday night, the Tony Awards on CBS averaged a we-closed-in-New-Haven 13.8/23 in the 12 Nielsen cities, including a 15.0/27 on Channel 9 here . . .
On ABC, the "The Indomitable Teddy Roosevelt" special from 7 to 9 p.m. averaged a less-than-bully 7.5/15, including a 10.1/19 on Channel 7 here . . .
The repeat of "Calendar Girl Murders" that followed on ABC did a 17.9/30 in the 12 cities (12.8/23 on Seven), while a repeat of "Tough Enough" on NBC from 9 to 11 did a 9.9/16 (and an 8.0/15 on Four) . . .
Also in the News
Channel 7 has named Pete Roets as news operations manager . . .
Pete comes from KPRC in Houston, where he was in charge of the investigative team at the NBC affiliate. The slumping economy in that top-10 market recently forced the NBC affiliate station to drop its I-team unit . . .
Roets replaces Roger Hommel, who wanted to return to the engineering department at Seven, according to News Director Tom Doerr . . .
NBC has moved its "Liberty" drama special to Monday, June 23 (from June 30). The three-hour movie stars Frank Langella, Carrie Fisher and LeVar Burton in the story of the building of the Statue of Liberty 100 years ago . . .
ABC is holding its affiliates meeting out in Los Angeles this week, which explains why Ted Koppel and the "Nightline" crew will broadcast therefrom tonight and tomorrow . . .
Tonight's "Nightline" will offer a rare chance for a lengthy Koppel interview with Chief Justice Rose Bird of the California Supreme Court . . .
Chief Justice Bird's reelection try is throwing a scare into a lot of liberal California candidates running for office this year, as some of them try to distance themselves from her controversial stand against capital punishment . . .
Meanwhile, back at the affiliates meeting, where ABC management is sure to hear a lot about that third-place primetime finish this year, one hot topic on the agenda is a proposal by ABC to eliminate compensation to its stations for "Monday Night Football" as well as for primetime and weekend telecasts of baseball league championship games . . .
Instead, the network would give stations one additional minute to sell to advertisers and increase the local news "window" from one minute to three minutes at half time in both Monday and special Thursday night NFL games . . .
That means that at half time, ABC would offer four minutes of network news from anchor Peter Jennings, followed by three minutes of local news (one of which could be a commercial) plus another three minutes of game highlights . . .
Compensation would also be dropped for American and National baseball league primetime and weekend games while offering two more minutes for local commercial time . . .
It's part of a plan by Cap Cities/ABC Inc. to reduce the estimated $125 million in compensation it pays its 210 affiliates every year for carrying network shows . . .
When it comes to NFL football, at least in the larger markets like Washington, stations could probably make more selling the additional minute than they could from their ABC payment for carrying the games (sales executives at Channel 7 here are reportedly still studying the ABC proposal, which came down from network affiliate relations on May 27) . . .
But major league baseball, which is all over the tube these days, is another matter when it comes to selling advertising at prime rates . . .
ABC affiliate reaction overall is expected to be mixed, since right now everybody -- the network and the local stations -- is having trouble selling advertising spots . . .
Exempt from the compensation withdrawal plan would be ABC's three preseason NFL games, which the network has just announced will include the Hall of Fame game Saturday afternoon Aug. 2, between New England and St. Louis; the Friday, Aug. 15, game at 8 p.m. featuring Cleveland at Miami; and the Aug. 22 night game matching Pittsburgh at Dallas . . .
Meanwhile, fat-cat affiliates of first-place NBC will spend their meeting June 8-11 on Maui, not talking about network compensation (though within a few years, all three networks could be discussing the subject) . . .
Due to appear tonight on the "NBC White Paper: Divorce Is Changing America" (WRC at 10) are representatives from two Washington organizations -- Kids on the Block and the Center for Children of Divorce . . .
And how did the local Saturday evening public affairs shows do in the May ratings sweeps? . . .
Well, according to the Nielsen book, "Agronsky & Co.," at 7 p.m. on Channel 9, averaged an 8.1 rating and a 21 percent audience share, down two ratings points and four share points from a year ago in May . . .
"The McLaughlin Group," at 7:30 p.m. on Channel 4, did a 7.0/17, exactly what it scored a year ago . . .
David Schoumacher's "Point to Point," also at 7:30 on Channel 7, scored only a 1.8/5 in that time period (it was not on the air a year ago) . . .
Each Nielsen point stands for 15,000 TV homes . . .
And finally, David Tabacoff has been named director of national news coverage for ABC News, based in New York . . .
He previously was a producer for "World News Tonight" . . .
Tabacoff will coordinate news coverage between ABC News' 11 domestic bureaus and the various news broadcasts, assign correspondents to stories and assist with daily supervision of domestic news coverage . . .