Fox Broadcasting-owned Channel 5 yesterday announced a "major reorganization" and expansion of its news department that is expected to add nearly a dozen new employes over the next few weeks ...

The changes include establishment of an initially modest, three-member Fox Broadcasting Washington bureau to supply daily news segments from the nation's capital for use by the other six Fox-owned stations around the country. The bureau will operate out of the WTTG newsroom for the time being...

Joseph Saitta, news vice president for the station, called establishment of the bureau a signal of "Fox's commitment to a strong news presence in Washington" and predicted its eventual expansion ...

Several years ago, the then-owner of what are now the Fox Broadcasting group stations, Metromedia, invested nearly $4 million in a Washington bureau but backed away from the project -- at the cost of some 40 jobs -- before it really got under way ...

Saitta announced the changes to the news staff at a meeting last night at the station ...

Still undisclosed are possible changes in the on-air talent lineup on the 10 o'clock news, which Saitta yesterday declined to address ...

He revealed that a new set, which will include a "weather center," will be constructed for the nightly news program, to be ready by the end of September ...

He also confirmed that 10 o'clock news co-anchors Morris Jones and James Adams will continue in their roles for the foreseeable future ...

Both are under long-term contracts but neither has ever registered heavily in viewer recognition polls in the Washington market. There has been periodic talk that the station might replace one or both of them ...

All the pair has done in the months since Maury Povich deserted the staff for an assignment in New York is deliver the top-rated primetime news show in the country -- a position of eminence that Five learned yesterday has now extended through the May ratings sweeps ...

Saitta also said he is establishing a "beat system" for reporters and has named Margie Elsberg to the new position of planning manager to help staff with long-range story concepts. Weekend assignment manager Ron Sarro will replace Elsberg as assignment manager ...

Five also plans to add a news writer, a second sports producer, a reporter, a business manager and the previously announced "specials unit," which will produce monthly news specials ...

The specials unit, whose product is eventually expected to be circulated regularly among the other Fox stations, was forecast at the time of the recent cancellation of the noontime "Panorama" show with the resulting drop in public affairs programming available at the station ...

The unit will include a producer, writer/field producer and a cameraperson/editor, all still to be hired ...

Meanwhile, there's talk among local broadcasters that a 5 o'clock news anchor at one of the local network affiliates has been told to look around. C. Airwaves was unable to confirm late yesterday, however ...

Also in the NewsThe White House has notified the Senate Commerce Committee that former Corporation for Public Broadcasting board member Harry O'Connor has requested that his nomination for a second term on the board be withdrawn ...

O'Connor was originally named to the CPB board in 1983 and renominated earlier this year. However, at recent Senate hearings that concluded with the confirmation of four other CPB board nominees, committee members tabled O'Connor's appointment pending the receipt of further information from the California broadcaster ...

O'Connor was expected to be a candidate for CPB board chairman at the upcoming annual September meeting ...

O'Connor, of Playa del Rey, Calif., produced and syndicated Ronald Reagan's radio broadcasts from 1975 to 1979, before Mr. Reagan was elected president ...

With the withdrawal, the 10-member board is two members short. Charles Lichenstein, a longtime Washington hand, is awaiting hearings on his recent nomination to the CPB board ...

Today's Best Publicity Stunt: Fox Broadcasting has arranged a full moon to be seen all over the U.S. Saturday night when the two-hour premiere of the new series "Werewolf" airs on the fledgling network ...

And, while we're talking Fox, comedian Eddie Murphy will be a guest on tonight's "The Late Show" (Channel 5 at 11) ...

Moving Right AlongABC had an edge -- at least in the big cities -- with its coverage of Lt. Col. Oliver North's appearance Tuesday as the Iran-contra hearings aired during the day on all three major networks ...

Both Nielsen and Arbitron reported that ABC finished first, NBC second and CBS third in big market overnight ratings ...

NBC research estimated that 55 million viewers saw all or part of the Tuesday morning and afternoon sessions on all three networks and that daytime audiences were up about 10 percent over normal summertime viewing of soap operas and game shows ...

In Washington, ABC coverage on WJLA had a 4.9 Nielsen rating and a 16 percent audience share in the morning and an 8.0/21 in the afternoon (ABC showed "Loving" and "All My Children" during the noontime break, which rivals credit for the ABC increase in the afternoon) ...

WUSA (CBS) registered a 4.9/16 in the morning and a 6.3/17 in the afternoon, while WRC (NBC) did a 6.3/21 in the a.m. and a 5.1/13 in the p.m. WUSA showed "Donahue" and "The Price Is Right" during its lunch break; WRC aired "Super Password," "Wordplay" and "Days of Our Lives" ...

The Public Broadcasting Service reported that its coverage averaged a 1.5/6 in the morning and a 1.5/4 in seven major markets reporting ...

That included a 1.3/4 and a 1.5/4 on Channel 26 here (a local ratings point represents 15,800 TV homes)...

Arbitron said that in its 13 major markets, ABC coverage averaged a 6.0/19 for both sessions, compared with a 4.0/13 for NBC and a 3.5/12 for CBS ...

NBC News revealed yesterday that for the week beginning July 27, Jane Pauley and Maria Shriver will co-anchor the "Today" show while the "Today" news breaks will be handled by Deborah Norville, anchor of "NBC News at Sunrise" ...

The network thinks that the appearance of three women in the top jobs may be a first for network TV ...

ABC News' "Jennings/Koppel Report: Questions of Policy, Questions of War," which dealt with the Persian Gulf crisis, earned a 9.2 national Nielsen rating and a 16 percent audience share Tuesday night ...

Courtney Cox, who danced with the Boss in Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark" video, has signed to be Michael J. Fox's (Alex Keaton) main squeeze next season on NBC's "Family Ties" ...

ABC News has announced that London bureau chief Helen Westwood has been named Washington bureau chief for "Newsone," the daily news feed from Washington to the network affiliate stations ...