Seven news editors and producers who were transferred to NBC television when the network closed the Washington radio bureau two weeks ago have been told to stay home until the network's bosses decide what to do with them.
"They are on paid leave," said Christie Basham, deputy bureau chief for NBC-TV here. "The decision has not been made as to how to absorb them into the operation."
Basham said that the "problem" is being worked out, but could not say when a decision would be reached. The employes, represented by the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), are collecting full pay and benefits and are not involved in any way with the strike against NBC by the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians. The seven, whose years of service with NBC range from five to nearly 15, worked in radio until NBC sold its radio news network to Los Angeles-based Westwood One for $50 million two weeks ago. Westwood One also owns and operates the Mutual Broadcasting System, headquartered in Arlington. At the time of the sale, the seven were told that they would be automatically transferred to NBC-TV and join about 40 other editors and producers in the Washington bureau.
The situation may be changing for one of the seven, Dan Latt. He has resigned from NBC to join Mutual, which now shares its newsroom with five of the original 16 Washington bureau NBCers, who now operate under the signature "NBC Radio News Network."
You Never Know Who's Listening David Zacur tuned into the "Joel A. Spivak Show" two weeks ago and found what guest Ingrid Newkirk was saying very interesting. So much so that Zacur, an agent for the FBI in Hyattsville, called WWRC-AM (980) and asked for a tape of the conversation with Newkirk, national chairman of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. A receptionist at the talk station told Zacur that WWRC didn't normally provide such tapes unless there was an "official request." Several days later, Zacur's request arrived in the form of a subpoena. The tapes will be played in court Thursday when a federal grand jury looks into recent cat-snatchings at a government research lab in Beltsville. Newkirk's group has acted as a spokesman for Band of Mercy, the group that claimed responsibility for the Beltsville break-in.
Speaking of WWRC, weekend psychotherapist Jerilyn Ross will host a special program today between noon and 3 p.m. featuring "Elizabeth," a 30-year-old suburban Maryland woman who was abducted from Wheaton Plaza in January 1986, raped repeatedly, bound and gagged and then tossed from a bridge into the Patuxent River and left for dead. Incredibly, the woman survived to see Richard Dale Baumgardner convicted and sent to prison for the crime.
Beatrice, 2; Snyder, 2 You'll be hearing half as much from "Sports Call" host Ken (You're Naaaxt!) Beatrice come Oct. 5 when ABC's WMAL-AM (630) adds former TV talker Tom Snyder to its weeknight lineup. "Sports Call," which has changed starting times and length almost annually since its inception 11 years ago, will continue with its 9 p.m. post time but give way to Snyder's two-hour ABC network talk show at 11. Snyder has been doing the show for two months from Gotham.
"I feel badly for those that this will inconvenience," said Beatrice last week. "I'm grateful that people have managed to find us and have stayed with us."
Beatrice, 44, a man who lives, eats and breathes sports, has 26 months remaining on his WMAL contract, and said he has grown accustomed to schedule changes and has no intention of leaving the station. Beatrice, who'll continue doing a three-hour Sunday version of "Sports Call" after Redskins games, said he'd love to syndicate his show nationally, too.
Meanwhile, one ABCer described the Snyder show with the phrase "timely, topical Tom" and "something like the Larry King Show."
While we're still on the subject of Beatrice, we should point out that the nonstop sports-talker does have a sense of humor. And so does morning sports anchor Johnny Holliday. Taped to the door of the office they share is a piece of newsprint that reads, "To enter you must be over 21 and talk sports incessantly."
WETA's Fall Progam Changes Listener-supported WETA-FM (90.9) will shorten its year-old "Weekender" program, hosted by Dan Gawthrop and heard Friday at 6:30, to 90 minutes beginning Oct. 2. That's when the mostly classical station begins broadcasting a 13-week series of concerts by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, followed at 10 p.m. by "High Performance," hosted by Los Angeles Philharmonic conductor Andre Previn, which will feature high-energy classical performances and interviews along with a few jazz and contemporary performances. WETA is also selecting a host for a new-age music show that is scheduled to follow