Linda Ellerbee and ABC News yesterday had an amicable parting of the ways ...

The co-anchor of ABC's recently canceled "Our World" magazine show said she was leaving the life of a network correspondent entirely to start her own production company -- Lucky Duck Productions -- so that "I can starve on my own for a change" ...

Ellerbee and Ray Gandolf co-anchored the weekly ABC News magazine "Our World" through the 1986-87 regular season. The quirky look at U.S. history since the Depression earned a loyal but almost negligible following, at least by network standards, finishing as the lowest-rated series of the year on all three networks ...

She has also been doing the "TGIF" segment on "Good Morning America" every Friday, a feature she introduced on the "Today" show when she was at NBC ...

ABC chose not to renew "Our World" for the fall schedule, and there had been speculation that Ellerbee could be moving on. Yesterday, after word leaked in a New York column that she was taking a walk, she discussed the situation with ABC News executives, who had been surprised by the story ...

"ABC and I have come to an amicable separation," Ellerbee told a reporter yesterday. "There are no hard feelings on either side. I had a wonderful year there, which I loved. But there's nothing at the network for me that I haven't done before, so I'm going to leave. Call it a 'no-fault divorce' " ...

Her current contract, signed in August 1986, would have run through August 1989 ...

She said yesterday she is "halfway through a novel" she has contracted to write, but her priority is to start Lucky Duck Productions. She had no specifics on what Lucky Duck might produce ...

"The {TV} business has changed and I'm going to change with the business; starve on my own, for a change," she said. "I feel good about things. In fact, it isn't TGIF, it's 'thank God, it's Monday!' " ...

Ellerbee established her unique style while at NBC News, although the several programs she anchored -- "Weekend," "Overnight" and "Summer Sunday, USA" -- consistently earned higher praise than they did ratings ...

ABC News had no official confirmation of Ellerbee's decision late yesterday but sources indicated the break was not only amicable, it was immediate -- meaning no TGIF on this Friday's "Good Morning America" ...

Also in the News

News divisions at ABC, CBS and NBC are reportedly close to an agreement to rotate coverage of the Iran-contra hearings, perhaps as early as this week ...

"The lawyers have been working on this for the past couple of days," one network news executive told us yesterday ...

The plan would be similar to that used during the Watergate hearings in 1973, as the three networks took turns broadcasting gavel-to-gavel coverage on a daily basis ...

Sources have estimated that the three networks, in providing such coverage over four days last week for the appearance of Lt. Col. Oliver North, lost up to $10 million in advertising revenues altogether ...

This revenue loss and the prospect of witnesses with less interest for audiences as the days go by were cited for the enthusiasm for rotation of coverage among the networks ...

NBC News president Lawrence K. Grossman said yesterday that he had no objections to rotating coverage as long as his network had assurances that one of the networks will always carry the hearings and that any agreement would not preclude a network from carrying the hearings if it chooses to do so independently ...

The three networks are already using "pooled" cameras. Cable News Network and the Public Broadcasting Service are also providing gavel-to-gavel coverage, at least so far. C-SPAN is airing taped versions of the daily hearings every evening ...

Owoooooooo!

The two-hour debut of "Werewolf" on Channel 5 turned out to be a howling success Saturday night ...

The series, which launched Fox Broadcasting's Saturday primetime lineup, returns as a regular half-hour program this week in the 9 p.m. timeslot...

Locally, "Werewolf" practically devoured the competition. Between 8 and 10 p.m., it averaged a 14.4 Nielsen rating and a 30 percent audience share (each rating point represents 15,800 TV homes in the Washington area)...

That performance left NBC's comedy block on Channel 4 with a 10.1/21, the ABC lineup on Channel 7 ("Webster" plus 90 minutes of "Thunderball") with a bite-sized 3.7/8 and two hours of "Space" on Channel 9 with a hair-raising 3.5/7 ...

As has been frequently the case since Fox began its primetime Sunday broadcasts, Channel 5 on Saturday turned up with the best audience among all seven Fox-owned stations around the country ...

To Go Off On a Slight Tangent: the night of July 4, CBS got the lowest rating ever for a primetime lineup -- a 4.1 national Nielsen rating over three hours of "Space" and "West 57th." That night, according to CBS research, the lineup averaged a 3.6/9 in the top 14 Nielsen market overnight ratings ...

This past Saturday, the same lineup averaged a 4.5/9 in the Nielsen big city overnights, suggesting to Captain Airwaves, in a desperate effort to fill up space, that CBS won't set any futility records this week ...

Elise Adde has been named manager, news information for ABC News in New York, replacing Tom Goodman, who recently went to CBS News ...

Adde has been publicist for "ABC World News Tonight" ...

Union News

Television and motion picture producers and directors held out little hope of averting a strike today that could cripple Hollywood and network TV ...

Talks continued into the evening yesterday as the Directors Guild of America, representing some 8,500 members, prepared to start the first strike in the history of the Guild at 6 a.m. this morning, against NBC, Columbia Pictures and Warner Bros. ...

CBS on Sunday said it would lock out its 150 directors in support of NBC. Late yesterday, there was still no decision from ABC as to whether it would join its rivals against the Guild ...

The three networks negotiate as one unit with the Guild ... But NBC was chosen as a specific target by the union after the Guild rejected a final offer over the weekend ...