ABC News isn't going public with it, but top producer Av Westin will replace Jeff Gralnick as executive producer for this year's third and final "Jennings/Koppel Report," which is scheduled for Dec. 2 ...

Anchors Peter Jennings and Ted Koppel, who have worked with Westin often in the past, okayed the change, which will permit Gralnick to return full time to his assignments on the 1988 political campaigns ...

The "Reports" debuted this year and have shown viewer strength. The network hopes to air four of them next year, but the political campaigns could alter plans ...

The previous broadcasts of "The Jennings/Koppel Report" have dealt with Ronald Reagan and the crisis in the Persian Gulf. No topic has been announced for the December program ...

Westin was dispatched to the ABC News Hundehu tte in February after he distributed (throughout ABC News, yet) a memo sharply criticizing ABC News president Roone Arledge's management style, his easy ways with a budget and "ABC World News Tonight" ...

In May, Arledge finally lifted the suspension that followed and Westin was immediately assigned to "The Blessings of Liberty," the three-hour special on the Constitution that aired on the network Wednesday night, on which Jennings, Koppel and David Brinkley appeared ...

Westin retained his title of vice president, program development, but he did not regain control of "20/20" nor of the now-defunct "Our World," lost during the suspension ...

Gralnick, vice president for special broadcasts, who produced the first two "Reports," will return to his primary duties as leader of the 1988 political campaign coverage ...

Speaking of the "Blessings of Liberty," that three-hour special averaged an 8.2 national Nielsen rating and a 14 percent audience share on ABC (each rating point represents 886,000 TV homes) ...

And still the New Series roll around ...

On CBS Wednesday, the debut of "The Oldest Rookie" did a 14.2/24, while the two-hour pilot for "Wiseguy," which eventually shows up on Thursday nights, did a 15.8/27 ...

Over on NBC Wednesday evening, "Highway to Heaven" returned for another season with a 16.6/28. "A Year in the Life" debuted as a regular series with a 15.3/26 and "St. Elsewhere" returned with a strong 17.0/30, considerably above the 13.4/23 it averaged all last year when St. Eligius faced more than a wrecking ball ...

On the local scene Wednesday night were the debuts of "You Can't Take It With You" on Channel 4 at 7:30 and "Working It Out: Kids and Race," a one-hour documentary on Channel 5 ...

"You Can't," part of NBC's new "checkerboard" primetime access schedule for the weeknight 7:30 time period, arrived with a 9.6/18 ...

But the special on race on Five drew a disappointing 3.2/6 in primetime, as viewers opted to the debut of "The Oldest Rookie" on Channel 9, which did a 16.4/28, the return of "Highway to Heaven" on Four (13.1/23) and the first hour of ABC's "Blessings of Liberty," which did an 8.2/14 on Channel 7 -- which is what it registered for the whole three hours here (each local rating point represents 15,800 TV homes) ...

Moving Right Along

Was that CBS telecast from Philadelphia yesterday morning a celebration of the 200th anniversary of the commercial? ...

The National Catholic Association of Broadcasters and Communicators has given a Gabriel Award to a segment on Channel 9's "Capital Edition" called "Goodnight Saigon" ...

It won in the best short feature category for programs from the top 25 markets ...

The tribute to Vietnam veterans was aired on Memorial Day weekend ...

And Ron Townsend, president and general manager of Gannett-owned WUSA, has been named to the television board of directors of the National Association of Broadcasters ...

The 39th annual primetime Emmy Awards will be on Fox Broadcasting (including Channel 5 here) this Sunday night, a radical departure from the old rotation system among the three Big Guys ...

Fox outbid ABC, CBS and NBC this spring to win rights to the nightime Emmys over the next three Septembers auctioned by the sponsoring Academy of Television Arts & Sciences ...

ABC, CBS and NBC aren't completely over their snits yet (snits not how you play the game in TV, it's strictly whether you win or lose) ...

There was even a published rumor this summer that the three would withhold clippings of their nominated series -- an absurdity on the face of it because the studios that actually produce the programs are only too happy to promote their products regardless of who's airing the Emmys ...

But the netorks aren't going to let Fox off free Sunday night, even though there isn't the all-out counterprogramming that could have really hurt the new network (after all, if "L.A. Law" wins big for NBC, NBC is getting some free promo time on somebody else's network) ...

Nevertheless, CBS starts the new season of "Murder, She Wrote" at 8 p.m., just as the three-hour Emmys get under way, followed by a network premiere of the Dudley Moore flick "Micki & Maude."

NBC goes with a new "Family Ties," at 8, debuts "My Two Dads" at 8:30 and introduces a shoot-'em-up called "The Highwayman" at 9. ABC goes with a "Spenser" rerun and a repeat of "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" showcasing its upcoming Sunday night star, Dolly Parton ...

That halfhearted effort aside, Fox may have a larger chuckle than the competition has expected. A major complaint about the award to Fox was that its 115 affiliates simply couldn't deliver a national audience worthy of the night the industry pats itself on the back. Each of the Big Three has about 210 affiliates, which gives each network just about 100 percent coverage of the country ...

Yesterday, Fox announced that going into Sunday night, it has picked up an additional 46 stations for the Emmycast, including 22 from ABC (ouch!), eight from CBS, five from NBC and 11 independent stations. The 161 total will give Fox 94 percent coverage of the nation and, by the defections alone, will put a dent in the competition's ratings for the night ...

Also in the News

NBC's "Today" show won the morning race for the 50th week in a row last week ... but as the show prepares to head for China, there's a bogyman named "people meter" hiding there in the bushes around 30 Rock ...

For the week ending Sept. 11 -- the last week Nielsen used the old diary method -- "Today" scored a 4.8 rating and a 25 percent audience share, compared with a 3.6/19 for ABC's "Good Morning America" ...

But for the second week in a row, a people-meter trial run narrowed "Today's" margin over GMA to a whisker, 4.2/22 to 4.1/21, a difference of 88,600 TV homes ...

CBS' "The Morning Program," which needs something considerably more dramatic than a change in ratings systems -- and just may get it -- registered a 2.2/12 in the Old System, a 2.1/11 in the people-meter trial ...

Out in Beverly Hills, Calif., today, U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop will address 250 TV professionals on the subject of the presentation of AIDS on television and in other media ...

The luncheon will be co-sponsored by the Caucus of Producers, Writers & Directors and the Center for Population Options, which has been seeking a more responsible portrayal of sexuality in popular media ...

And Finally

Football fans, Nielsen has revised upward its estimate of the Sept. 14 audience for the New York Giants-Chicago Bears game on ABC Monday Night Football ... and the game is now the third-highest-rated MNF game in the 18-year history of the series ...

The original figure released gave the game a 21.8 rating and a 38 percent audience share. The revised figure is 23.1/41, which means an average audience of almost 20.5 million TV homes a minute ...

In the first computation, Nielsen left out Los Angeles. Just the second-largest TV market in the country, that's all ...