Dennis Swanson, president of ABC Sports, met the TV press out in Redondo Beach, Calif., over the weekend and had some nuggets of cheerful news among revelations of just how bad 1986 had been financially for the division, which suffered a loss of more than $60 million ...

But now, says Swanson, college football is sold out for the 1987 season on ABC. The network is getting about $38,000 per 30 seconds of advertising this season, while last year ABC was lucky to get $20,000. Monday Night NFL Football is "virtually sold out" and, despite raising the ad rates twice, the Winter Olympics from Calgary early next year has sold almost 90 percent of its advertising inventory ...

And if the World Series this year goes to at least six games, Swanson said he'd be very happy and "ABC Sports would be in black ink by the end of the year" ...

And, of course, when you're hot, you're hot. The opening game of the Monday Night Football schedule, Sept. 14, matches the Super Bowl champion New York Giants and the 1986 champs, the Chicago Bears ...

Swanson is thinking of going on the air with that game at 8:30, ostensibly to spend the extra half hour before kickoff introducing the refurbished broadcasting team that now includes CBS defector Dan Dierdorf as well as Al Michaels and Frank Gifford ...

It will probably happen: Advertisers are climbing over each other to get a piece of that game, which will get huge audiences in both the first and third biggest TV markets in the country. Even a warmup half hour under those circumstances could go for plenty ...

Speaking of NFL football, WJLA executives weren't returning phone calls late Friday but Channel 9 apparently outbid Channel 7 as well as Channel 50 last week when WUSA purchased the rights for the Sunday night, Dec. 20, NFL game between the Washington Redskins and the Miami Dolphins from ESPN ...

Under the deal ESPN made with the NFL in getting the rights to eight, late-season Sunday night games this year, the cable network has to offer any sold-out game to over-the-air stations in both the markets involved ...

In the Washington market, the sports cable network set a minimum bid of $130,000 for the Dec. 20 game. WTTG and WDCA, both with considerable penetration of area cable, were excluded from the auction ...

WUSA's winning bid may have been as high as $160,000 for the game. That also included the rights to any Redskins regular season Sunday night games over the next two years of the ESPN contract with the NFL and perhaps a pre-season game as the contract is worked out down the line ...

It's known that WFTY bid $150,000 for the package, which will cost winning WUSA an additional 10 percent over each of the next two years ...

NBC-owned Channel 4 declined to bid, ostensibly because game dates are unknown over the next two years and could, in theory, interfere with key network programming plans, especially during a November ratings sweeps period ...

Jerry Nachman, vice president and general manager of WRC, suggested ESPN may be outsmarting itself with the three-year requirement. "They might have a dynamite game in the schedule next year they could really bid up if they hadn't required a blind bid in the first place" ...

Although WUSA concedes it will be pre-empting three hours of the strong CBS Sunday schedule, including "Murder, She Wrote," on Dec. 20, a spokesman pointed out, "the network will be in holiday reruns then, anyway" ...

Also in the News

Barry Sand, producer of "Late Night with David Letterman" since its inception on NBC in 1982, announced his departure from the show after the Friday broadcast, the network said yesterday ...

A spokesman for NBC said Letterman denies that Sand was fired. NBC said Sand's replacement will probably be announced early this week. Sand has not announced his future plans, although Fox Broadcasting's "The Late Show" could probably use a talented hand right about now ...

Letterman's statement yesterday said, "Barry Sand has made invaluable contributions to the success of this show. I regret that he has decided to leave. Barry was there from the very beginning and has been a major creative source for the show. His help will never be forgotten and we will all miss him. I wish him the very best in his new projects. I know he will have tremendous success" ...

Said Sand in his statement: "Working on 'Late Night' has given me more excitement than one man should have in a lifetime. But after more than five years of guiding 'Late Night' to its high point of success, I want to do more than rest on my laurels. I think the right time to say goodbye is when you're on top" ...

Elizabeth Board, who was director of the White House television office, has been named special assistant to the president for media and broadcast relations ...

She replaces Sue Mathes, who has taken a top PR job with Disney World ...

Before joining the White House staff in 1984, Board had worked for NBC News and for WMAL radio here ...

The Israeli government has lifted its ban on NBC News interviews with top government leaders, including Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin ...

The ban followed the July 1 broadcast in the United States of "Six Days Plus 20 Years: A Dream Is Dying," an NBC News documentary examining the problems of 20 years of occupation of territory captured in the 1967 Six Day War. Israeli officials called the program "biased and slanted" ...

The agreement Friday came after two days of meetings between Israeli officials and NBC News vice president Ed Planer and NBC Tel Aviv bureau chief Larry Weidman ...

The network conceded two inaccuracies on the program and, as part of the agreement, NBC has extended an invitation to Israeli government officials to appear on the "Today" show to discuss the controversies stimulated by the broadcast ...

In an internal memo Friday, NBC News president Larry Grossman said such a discussion would include "the fundamental concerns that have been raised over {the Israelis'} ill-advised attempt to retaliate against our news coverage" ...

The network has also offered to allow the documentary to be broadcast on Israeli government television "so that," in Grossman's words, "viewers there could see this important documentary for themselves" ...

NBC conceded that NBC News correspondent Peter Kent referred to the fact that West Bank Arabs are required to have special permits to sell vegetables, without mentioning that West Bank Israelis also are required to obtain such permits ...

Grossman said the second inaccuracy "concerns a reference to the fact that West Bank Arabs require special permits to travel into Israel. Instead, they need only their identifications papers; however special permission is required for West Bank Arabs to stay in Israel overnight" ...

Grossman said the "two minor so-called factual inaccuracies ... do not in any way impair or diminish the quality and character of this outstanding NBC News special hour" ...

"Finally they have admitted there were some inaccuracies there," said Shamir's media adviser, Avi Pazner, after the final meeting with Planer and Weidman. "We are very pleased that we have the opportunity to air our misgivings about this program" ...

Pazner said he would probably be the official on the "Today" show. Grossman, in his subsequent statement, emphasized that "NBC News did not agree to provide air time to the Israeli government ... we simply extended an invitation to Israeli officials to participate in a segment on the 'Today' show regarding this controversy" ...

Rumour du Jour: An unconfirmed report by Associated Press out of Los Angeles has Linda Ellerbee going to WNET in New York to "anchor a program similar to her canceled ABC newsmagazine show, 'Our World.' "

That was the good news for Ellerbee fans. The not-so-good news was that the "anonymous Public Broadcasting Service source" told AP that Ellerbee will help raise the $5 million needed to finance the first 13 episodes and until the money is raised there is no target date for when the show would begin airing (a lot of PBS program ideas have foundered on those particular shoals over the years) ...