Baseball's All-Star game on NBC Tuesday night (and Wednesday morning) averaged an 18.2 national Nielsen rating and a 33 percent share of the audience ...

NBC research says about 45 million watched all or part of the game, which got underway at 8:34 p.m. and ended at 12:24 a.m. ...

Channel 7, which last week announced it was letting 5 p.m. co-anchor Dan Lewis out of his contract, yesterday announced that the station is not picking up the option on two-year weathercaster Dave Sweeney ...

Sweeney was brought in from Eugene, Ore., where he enjoyed considerable success with a lighthearted touch that worked well for a college town audience ...

But a previous WJLA news management took a look and decided that Sweeney should play it straight for Washington viewers. Both he and the station have reportedly been uncomfortable with the attempt to make him over for some time ...

The station, which has been unable to mount a real challenge to Channel 9 and is only sometimes successful in holding off Channel 4 in the local news races, has been conducting a series of viewer surveys since the first of the year, including an extensive study in May ...

Among the May results was a finding that Sweeney didn't particularly register with viewers, one way or another ...

Tom Doerr, vice president and executive news director, yesterday praised Sweeney as "a good meteorologist and a good newscaster. I want to stress that Dave did everything we asked him to do and performed well. This just wasn't the best market for him" ...

He said Sweeney will remain on the air "until he finds another job or we find a replacement. His contract ends in mid-September but we may extend it. There's no big hurry" ...

Doerr said free-lance weatherman Alan Eustis will continue as weekend weathercaster ...

Meanwhile, Doerr said, they're still talking with anchor Wes Sarginson about a possible change in his schedule that could pair him with Paul Berry at 5 p.m. as well as with Renee Poussaint at 11 p.m., which could mean the station is looking for a new co-anchor for Renee at 6 ...

In just the past two weeks, Seven has flagged Lewis and now Sweeney, while Channel 5 has announced the departure next month of sportscaster Joe Fowler from the 10 o'clock news ...

Meanwhile, early figures for the July ratings sweeps underscore Channel 7's problems ...

They show Nine news ahead from 5 to 6 p.m. weeknights with a 10.5 Nielsen rating and a 22 percent audience share, with Seven at 8.3/18 and Four at 7.9/17 (each local rating point represents 15,800 TV homes) ...

Keeping in mind the Iran-contra hearing lead-ins from their networks, so far Seven has averaged an 8.3/20 between 4 and 5 p.m., just ahead of Nine's 8.2/19 and far ahead of Four's 5.7/14 ...

From 6 to 7 on weeknights (Seven goes to ABC News at 6:30, remember), Nine again is ahead with a 10.6/21, followed by Four at 8.9/18 and then Seven at 8.3/17 ...

At 11 p.m. in the July sweeps so far, Mondays through Sundays, Four leads with a 12.0/26, followed by Nine at 10.2/22 and Seven at 9.3/20 ...

The 10 p.m leadins from the networks? Seven's ABC lineup is tops, at 12.5/23, followed by Nine (CBS) at 11.4/21 and Four (NBC) 11.0/21 ...

Oops! Captain Airwaves, who obviously ran out of toes, reported yesterday that "CBS Evening News With Dan Rather" had finished in third place behind NBC and ABC in five of the last six weeks ...

"CBS Evening News" has finished third in six of the last seven weeks ...

Cable News Network today will air live between 2 and 5 p.m. the colorful ceremonies from Philadelphia as hundreds of members of Congress travel to that city to mark a special day in the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Constitution ...

Our shaky sources say today 200 years ago the decision was made by the framers to chose two senators from each state and congressmen by proportionate vote ...

Channel 26 says that Norm Abram of "This Old House" will appear the night of Thursday, Aug. 20, to help WETA with its fund-raising effort. The program, which started in 1979, airs on WETA at 8 p.m. on Thursdays ...

Publicity attending on Norm's upcoming appearance claims reviewers have called him "the most famous carpenter since Joseph" ...

Representatives of an ad hoc group of about 40 minority employes at ABC News met with News president Roone Arledge in New York last week and received, said one participant, "some welcome representations" ...

However, a spokesman for the group, who asked for anonymity, insisted there had been "little progress" in minority status at ABC News in the 18 months since the group was first formed -- a charge denied by ABC News officials and even questioned by some other members of the minority caucus ...

"Essentially," said the minority spokesman, "we haven't moved. All top management is still racially segregated, and we have disagreements on hiring, promotions, airtime for the correspondents and pay inequities" ...

ABC News vice president Joanna Bistany, who attended last week's meeting, challenged the anonymous characterization ...

"We have a good record in terms of numbers. That doesn't mean we don't want to make them better. Admittedly, there are no minorities in senior management, which is about four or five positions at ABC News. But there is a minority bureau chief and a senior producer already in management and it is going to improve" ...

Arledge and other News officials met with a group of 15 for more than 90 minutes last week. They were joined briefly by network president John Sias in the discussions ...

As a direct result of the meeting, ABC News agreed to arrange a meeting in the near future between between representatives of the minority caucus and the executive producers of all news programs -- including "World News Tonight" and "Nightline" -- to discuss how to improve the current situation ...

In addition, ABC has agreed to commission a study on pay equity, although there is some disagreement over particulars. Some members of the minority group contend ABC agreed at the meeting to call in an outside party to make the study; ABC News says no such condition was agreed on and that the study is scheduled to be conducted in house ...

The minority caucus includes producers and correspondents, as well as support staff, in both TV and radio at ABC News. The spokesman said it represents 40 black employes and one Hispanic throughout the News division ...

As the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists (AFTRA) meets in St. Louis this week, a controversial petition is due to be considered by the AFTRA board ...

It's a proposal by local and network news people, including staff broadcasters, announcers and disc jockeys, that the union establish a well-budgeted unit within AFTRA, with a senior executive in charge, to "concern itself solely with the needs of news people and staff broadcasters" in TV and radio ...

CBS News correspondent Robert Schakne, leader of the national news steering committee that is pushing the petition, argues that "as currently organized, AFTRA can't effectly represent us without a specific support unit" ...

He said such a unit could deal more effectively in negotiations, as well in establishing national standards for the news profession and proper working and pay conditions throughout the industry ...

The national news steering committee, which is offering the proposal, points out that among AFTRA's membership of 67,000, only 2,200 are news personnel, while another 1,200 are staff broadcasters -- but that 5 percent minority contributes some 25 percent of all AFTRA revenues through dues payments ...

Most AFTRA members are actors, dancers and singers or free-lance news staffers without regular salaries ...

A major issue at the AFTRA convention is a proposition to merge with the Screen Actors Guild -- a move that would be anathema to most news professionals in the union ...

Parenthetically, the steering committee's proposal can be seen as a first step in a long-range plan to reorganize union representation of people in all aspects of news operations around the country -- from AFTRA as well as the Directors Guild, the Writers Guild and the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians (NABET)...

"This first move," Schakne said recently, "is absolutely necessary. With layoffs, strikes, budget reductions, new organizations and a growth in nonunion outfits in broadcasting, AFTRA has no staff to respond to our particular problems. It's a threat to the quality of news professionalism" ...