NBC News yesterday announced that executive vice president John Lane has been named news director of WNBC, the NBC-owned flagship station in New York. He replaces Mark Monsky ...

Lane's post as executive vice president will not be filled. His responsibilities at NBC News will be divided among several other executives. Lane came to NBC from CBS News soon after NBC News president Lawrence Grossman took over in 1984 ...

His transfer anticipates several changes at the top of NBC News that will be announced today ...

Gordon Manning is retiring as vice president, special projects. Manning, who is 70, will continue as a consultant to NBC News ...

Jerry Lamprecht, who has been in charge of foreign coverage, will be placed in charge of news gathering, which includes management of the NBC News bureaus ...

"NBC Nightly News" anchor and managing editor Tom Brokaw takes on the additional title of chief of correspondents ...

Tim Russert, vice president and assistant to the president, is in charge of programming at the News division. His position as number two in the division will be consolidated by today's appointments. In the absence of Grossman, "Nightly News" and "Today," which report directly to Grossman, will report to Russert ...

Senior vice president Tom Ross is in charge of long-range restructuring of the division ...

Joe Angotti, who has been vice president, daily news, has been named executive producer of election coverage ...

Marty Ryan, who yesterday was officially named executive producer of both "Today" and the upcoming "Sunday Today," had been slated to take the election coverage post ...

But on Friday, longtime "Today" executive producer Steve Friedman announced his resignation and Angotti was penciled in for the election unit ...

Following Ryan's appointment, Cliff Kappler, who has been one of two supervising producers on the morning show, replaces Ryan as senior producer on the program ...

Ryan has been with NBC since 1973, Kappler, since 1967 ...

Meanwhile, across town at CBS News, we've learned that Dan Rather will return to his anchor job on "CBS Evening News" next Monday. Yesterday, he was flying back from the West Coast where he has been working on a documentary about Vietnam vets living in the Cascades and on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state ...

That program is due to air sometime in the fall ...

Rather said yesterday he will work briefly on another documentary, about Afghanistan (which will air within the next two months) for a couple of days this week. Then he plans to do a little fishing ...

Bob Schieffer will sit in for Rather on "CBS Evening News" at least through Thursday ...

Also in The News NBC Entertainment yesterday announced that the 34th live telecast of the Miss America Pageant -- stereo and all -- will air from Atlantic City on Saturday, Sept. 19, starting at 10 p.m. ...

Gary Collins will serve as host for the sixth year. Theme of this year's telecast: "The Heart of America" ...

Columnist Marilyn Beck reports that CBS Entertainment has dropped plans to revive "Columbo," with Peter Falk, and "Kojak," with Telly Savalas, on a monthly basis next year but assures us the idea isn't totally kaput ...

Speaking of Telly, CBS Entertainment said yesterday that he will appear on a two-hour special episode of "The Equalizer" next season. Telly plays a former terrorist who has become a monk. Although their relationship will be stormy, Brother Savalas will join Robert McCall (Edward Woodward) in hunting down a terrorist named Alpha who is on a deadly mission in New York ...

CBS Entertainment has also ordered eight more episodes of "The Cavanaughs," signaling the series' return in mid-season of 1987-88 ...

Production of the new shows, starring Christine Ebersole and Barnard Hughes, will begin in October. Bob Moloney is the creator and supervising producer of the series, which finished in a tie with CBS' "Magnum, P.I." for 34th among regular network shows last season but still failed to make the new fall schedule ...

The Way We Are Friday night from 11:30 p.m. until 3:30 a.m. Saturday, the ABC News "Nightline" special on AIDS averaged a 4.4 Nielsen rating and a 19 percent audience share on Channel 7 here ...

That four-hour average represents an audience of about 69,520 TV homes in this market ...

The unusual special averaged a strong 5.9/25 in Nielsen's top 14 markets Friday night. Houston, which has always been a big "Nightline" town, averaged an 11.5 rating and a 36 during the four-hour broadcast ...

On Saturday, from noon until 1 p.m., wrestling on Channel 5 attracted the largest audience, with a 6.2 Nielsen rating and a 26 percent audience share (representing some 96,960 Washington-area TV homes) ...

"High-Ballin'," a truckers' movie starring Peter Fonda on Channel 20, was next with a 3.1/13 (48,900 homes), followed by French Open tennis on Channel 4 with a 2.9/12 (47,800 homes) and the combination of "Pick Up the Beat" and a tape of a November 1986 steeplechase on Channel 7, with a 2.5/10 (39,500 homes) ...

During that same hour, Pope John Paul's live "prayer for peace" from the Vatican on a worldwide satellite broadcast, seen here on Channel 9, had a 2.0/8 -- or 31,600 homes ...

The Way We Are II In Seattle a polyester magenta dress once worn by "Wheel of Fortune" woman of letters Vanna White has been put on display at an espresso bar. Customers at Uptown Espresso may touch it for 25 cents ...

After one day on display, there were 15 quarters in the jar next to the dress ...

Paul Duke, senior correspondent for public television in Washington and moderator of WETA's "Washington Week in Review," is one of four journalists named to the Hall of Fame of the Washington chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi ...

Also elected this year were syndicated columnist Robert Novak; Jeremiah O'Leary Jr. of The Washington Times; and Darwin Olofson, formerly of the Omaha World-Herald ...

Each year SDX elects "journalists who have achieved 25 years of distinguished Washington service in journalism" ...

C -- SPAN will carry taped coverage of Sen. Joseph Biden's noontime announcement of his presidential candidacy in Wilmington, Del., at 8 p.m. tonight.

Terry Louise Fisher, co-creator and supervising producer of NBC's "L.A. Law," will be honored at the Women's Legal Defense Fund's annual benefit luncheon Friday, June 19, at the Capital Hilton ...

The WLDF credits Fisher "with creating positive and multidimensional women characters on the series, which deals with the personal and professional lives of lawyers at a prestigious Los Angeles law firm" ...

For more information call 887-0364. That's 887-0364 ...

A report from the ABC News Women's Advisory Board, created in January 1986 in response to criticism of policies at ABC News, says top management has:

Completed a pay equity study of producers' salaries and "corrected the inequities"; created the position of a full-time recruiter; and named a woman as executive producer of "Business World" and another, producer of "The Health Show" ...

The report also says that in the past 18 months, ABC News has hired four new women correspondents; begun posting some job openings"; and named women as futures producer of "World News Tonight" and Northeast bureau chief ...

The report also credits ABC News with "indications of a heightened sensitivity to women's problems." But the board, made up of ABC News employes, suggests "there is plenty of unfinished business" ...