Channel 4 revealed Friday that 12-year veteran Fred Thomas will be leaving the station June 19 ...

Thomas, who began his career with NBC in 1961 as a page, has served as anchor and reporter during his career at WRC. He has also worked at Channel 7 here and at NBC-owned WMAQ in Chicago. There was no word Friday on his plans for the future ...

Joe S. Foote, chairman of the Department of Radio and Television at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, has been tabulating the number of appearances by the "100 most visible" correspondents on the three major evening network news shows since 1983 ...

We've obtained a copy of his calendar year 1986 figures, which seem to confirm several suspicions -- that the Washington bureaus still wag the dog at network news divisions; women are underrepresented, at least in the Top 20; and that business and white-collar crime reporting are areas of opportunity. Medical reporting, in view of the AIDS crisis, will undoubtedly increase in future tabulations...

The only women in the Top 20 last year were three from CBS News -- Rita Braver, Lesley Stahl and Susan Spencer. ABC White House correspondent Sheila Kast tied for 26th with 51 appearances, while New York-based Jennifer McLogan was tops for NBC News, tied for 40th with 45...

In 1986, Foote reports, the top three White House correspondents led the list, with NBC's Chris Wallace at the top with 122 appearances on weeknight and weekend broadcasts, followed by ABC's Sam Donaldson with 113 and CBS' Bill Plante with 110 (assignments as anchors don't count in the tally) ...

ABC national security and State Department correspondent John McWethy and CBS Pentagon correspondent David Martin tied with 101. Hustling NBC general assignment correspondent Robert Hager ranked sixth, with 91 appearances...

CBS political correspondent Bruce Morton and ABC congressional correspondent Brit Hume tied for seventh with 81; CBS Pentagon correspondent Eric Engberg had 78 ...

The first correspondent on the list from outside Washington was CBS' Athens-based Allen Pizzey, who covers hot spots like the Persian Gulf and Africa, with 75 appearances. Pizzey was ranked 10th, followed by CBS congressional correspondent Phil Jones with 72 and ABC's New York-based economics correspondent Dan Cordtz with 68 ...

NBC's London-based John Cochran had 65 appearances; CBS Justice Department correspondent Rita Braver had 60; and CBS' London-based Tom Fenton appeared 59 times ...

Rounding out the Top 20, ABC Justice Department correspondent John Martin was ranked 16th, with 58; followed by CBS' Lesley Stahl, whose figures reflect both White House and national affairs correspondent assignments last year, with 57. CBS' New York-based economics correspondent Ray Brady, ABC Pentagon correspondent Dean Reynolds and CBS medical correspondent Susan Spencer all had 56 appearances ...

Moving Right Along By voice vote Friday, the Senate approved the nominations of four people to the board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Two openings remain on the 10-member board with the Senate action ...

Among the four approved Friday was William Lee Hanley Jr., a Greenwich, Conn., oil executive, who had been chairman of the CPB board when his term expired in March. The post is currently held on an interim basis by Howard Gutin, of San Antonio ...

Hanley, 47, is expected to seek the CPB chairmanship again. The confirmation of a potential opponent for the chairmanship, former board member Harry O'Connor, of Playa del Rey, Calif., has been held up by the Senate Commerce Committee. A committee aide said Friday that "the committee still has some questions" for O'Connor ...

There was speculation Friday that O'Connor would ask the White House to withdraw his name from further consideration. Meanwhile, the committee has been alerted that President Reagan may send the nomination of one more board member to the Hill on his return from the economic summit, but whether that person is intended to replace O'Connor was not known Friday ...

Approved on Friday, in addition to Hanley, were Archie Purvis, 48, senior vice president of ABC Distribution, from Woodland Hills, Calif.; Sheila Tate, 45, of Falls Church, former press secretary to First Lady Nancy Reagan and a public relations executive; and Marshall Turner, 45, a San Francisco businessman ...

The terms of Tate and Purvis expire in March 1991. Hanley and Turner will serve through March 1992 ...

The board could name a permanent chairman in a meeting next month or postpone the action until the regular September meeting, when the board must also name a permanent CPB president. Acting CPB president Donald E. Ledwig has been recommended for the latter job ...

Furthermore The Friday announcement that "Today" executive producer Steve Friedman will be leaving NBC News at the end of July didn't come as a complete surprise ...

After seven years on the 4:30 a.m. wake-up circuit, Friedman had let a lot of people know he was ready to move on to something else as a producer and had already entertained offers from Fox Broadcasting and Disney as well as an offer from NBC that would have permitted him to expand beyond the "Today" assignments if he stayed ...

When in L.A. last week for the NBC affiliates meeting, Friedman lunched with former NBC chairman Grant Tinker, whose GTG Entertainment is putting together a top production team ...

GTG is bankrolled by Gannett, and the word in L.A. is that they'd like Friedman to produce a nightly syndicated half-hour "reality-based" program relying on the resources of its USA Today, which could be produced on the East Coast ...

Friedman said Friday he also expects to talk to Lorimar and Paramount before he makes a final decision about his future -- but sources said the GTG Entertainment offer is still at the top of his list. Friedman greatly admired Tinker during the latter's five-year stay at NBC ...

Friedman's contract had another year to run at NBC News. Friday morning, he said, he attended an editorial conference where plans for the trip to China in the fall, the 1988 Summer Olympics, the election and even the 1989 inaugural were discussed ...

"I suddenly realized that if I stayed on I couldn't walk away from those assignments, and that meant at least another 18 months on the job. It was too much," he said. Friedman also hinted that the fact that Bryant Gumbel's contract with NBC runs out in December 1988 figured in his decision ...

Friedman has completed the basic work on "Sunday Today," which debuts Sept. 20 on NBC, and feels that both the weekday "Today" and the new show are in good hands ...

He said that after notifying NBC News president Larry Grossman of his plans on Friday, he also called Tinker about his decision ...

"Grant once told me, 'If you're ever interested in leaving, let me know,' " Friedman said. But he declined to discuss any firm offer from GTG Entertainment ...

As for his career at NBC, which culminated in the return of "Today" to No. 1 in the morning race, Friedman said, "At least I'm walking out at the top. And if 'Sunday Today' goes well, I'll take some of the credit for that, too" ...

Next week he'll be in London for a seminar on morning TV and then will return to help "Today" senior producer Marty Ryan with the task of taking over the two new shows ...

Friday, after notifying Grossman, Friedman went to Central Park where the "Today" softball team lost to "CBS Evening News," 13-11. "In the true spirit of my leadership," said Friedman, "I stayed out until the fifth inning, but came off the bench to hit a double" ...

Meanwhile, there is speculation at ABC News that one of its hotshot producers is on the NBC News Wish List to replace Friedman for the long haul, speculation nobody at a morose NBC News would entertain Friday afternoon ...

Talk persists at ABC of a shuffle of top producers among "World News Tonight," "20/20" and "Nightline," which could make an offer from "Today" -- which paid Friedman a reported $350,000 a year -- mighty appealing to Somebody ...

Not so incidentally, "Nightline" anchor Ted Koppel tells Newsweek in today's issue that he plans to leave the program when his current contract is up (we haven't read Newsweek yet, but we do know Koppel has told friends the show -- and he -- might do very well in syndication at some time in the future) ...