Old fashioned Captain Airwaves thinks you might want to clear the breakfast nook of the tots for the first item this morning, TV Column fans ...

It seems the International Banana Association Inc. has protested to the Public Broadcasting Service about the use of a banana in a demonstration of the use of a condom during an upcoming special called "AIDS: Changing the Rules," which airs Nov. 6 ...

Robert M. Moore, president of the association, wrote PBS president Bruce Christensen on Aug. 24 "that our industry finds such usage of our product to be totally unacceptable. The choice of a banana rather than some other, inanimate prop consitutes arbitrary and reckless disregard for the unsavory association that will be drawn by the public and the damage to our industry that will result therefrom ...

"The banana is an important product and deserves to be treated with respect and consideration" ...

Pointing out that bananas are consumed in 98 percent of U.S. households and are important to the "economies of many developing Latin American nations," Moore said, "the banana's continued image in the minds of the consumer as a healthful and nutritious product is critically important to the industry's continued ability to be held in such high regard by the public and to discharge its reponsibilities to its Latin American hosts" ...

Christensen replied Sept. 9 that "considerations of taste made it desirable to use a prop instead of the human anatomy to demonstrate proper use of a condom ... the decision to use a banana for this purpose is the type of editorial decision that the producer is uniquely qualified to make based on a broad range of aesthetic and journalistic considerations ... PBS believes that the choice was an appropriate one, and that it will not result in any damage to your industry" ...

Moore last week notified PBS that "the industry intends to hold PBS strictly responsible for any and all damages sustained through the arbitrary, capricious and totally unnecessary display of bananas in the form intended; and reserves the right to take whatever legal remedies available in remedy thereof" ...

A spokesman for Channel 26 yesterday said the hour-long special is hosted by Ron Reagan, salsa star Rube'n Blades and Beverly Johnson. Blades conducts the demonstration during the telecast but, in effect, "apologizes" for using the banana as a prop ...

Moore also had protested WETA's decision to forbid his request to view the film in advance. WETA cited PBS rules against allowing advance screenings by third parties who, Christensen explained to Moore, are "interested in influencing program content" ...

Also in the News

CBS News president Howard Stringer yesterday announced that Kathleen Sullivan had been named co-host of the new morning broadcast, which will premiere Monday, Nov. 30 ...

Sullivan joins CBS after five years with ABC News. Most recently, she has substituted for Joan Lunden on the ABC Entertainment program "Good Morning America," a stint that ends tomorrow as Lunden returns from maternity leave ...

Stringer declined to discuss details of Sullivan's new three-year contract beyond denying reports that it includes a specific proviso that she will join the short line of substitutes for Dan Rather when he takes time off from "CBS Evening News" -- an assignment now split among Bob Schieffer, Charles Kuralt and Diane Sawyer ...

Sullivan is a loss for ABC News, where in recent years she has had a role on "World News This Morning," "World News Saturday" and, since January, her own "The Health Show" ...

ABC News president Roone Arledge did not want to lose her but the News division currently has no added opportunities for her. And ABC Entertainment, hoping to keep Lunden on GMA, would make no promises regarding a future role on that program, which might have kept her with the network ...

Stringer yesterday said it may be several weeks before he chooses a co-host for the still untitled 7-to-9 a.m. program, which will replace "The Morning Program" as the News division reclaims the last 90 minutes of the time period, which it lost in January. He declined to name any prospective candidates now on the CBS News staff, and suggested he could go outside the division again for a co-host. "It's an important decision and I don't want to hurry it" ...

He is high on Sullivan, who gained her first fame on ABC Sports. "I think she glitters," he said yesterday. "I tried to get her three or four years ago." He said she handled the recent negotiations with "a grace" not often displayed in the business. In a statement Rather called Sullivan a "bright star rising" ...

Sources at CBS said yesterday David Corvo will become executive producer of the new two-hour program...

ABC premiered "Thirtysomething" Tuesday night and with help from the "Moonlighting" lead-in drew a 16.7 national Nielsen rating and a 30 percent audience share from 10 to 11, good enough to beat out "The Law and Harry McGraw" on CBS with a 9.4/16 and NBC's "Crime Story" at 14.2/26 in that time period ...

Now This

L'affaire John Huddy, which rocked the CBS News bureau here in the summer of 1986, seems to have finally been settled to almost everyone's satisfaction ...

Huddy had been executive producer of "Nightwatch" here when a group of women employes of the program complained of sexual harassment on the job. Huddy subsequently resigned and shortly thereafter seven of the women sued CBS, alleging harassment. Huddy was not named in the suit, which was settled this past summer ...

At about the time of that settlement, Huddy filed a libel and slander suit against Pamela Browne, another former "Nightwatch" employe (but not a party to the suit against CBS), citing allegations made in her testimony during the initial June 1986 probe by CBS News concerning job harassment ...

As we reported recently, Huddy withdrew that suit against Browne, now an executive producer at CBS-owned WCAU in Philadelphia. We have since learned that as part of a complicated deal, CBS agreed to pay Huddy $5,303 for travel costs connected with the first suit, in return for his agreement not to sue CBS and Browne's agreement not to file a counterclaim against Huddy ...

Huddy, meanwhile, is doing well out in California. He describes his current job as "a combination executive producer and a senior adviser basically responsible for the TV and movie projects" of Meshulam Riklis and his Riklis P.Z. Entertainment company ...

Huddy was recently in Toronto for the film festival at which the Riklis film "Gaby: The True Story," distributed by Tristar, was shown ...

Under terms of the complicated settlement, Huddy could not discuss details, but he told us recently, "I look back a year ago and I say this could only happen to an Irishman from Ohio who went to Washington, D.C. There's two sides to every story. But for the first time it's funny and bizarre" ...

Riklis, whom Huddy calls "tough, soulful and honorable," is probably most familiar to the public as the husband of Pia Zadora ...

Former President Richard Nixon, who reopened the door to mainland China in 1972, will be seen on the "Today" show via satellite from New York this morning as the NBC program broadcasts from Shanghai ...

And from our Why Nobody Should Ever Take TV Too Seriously file: Fox Broadcasting executives and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences recently held a post-mortem out on the Coast to discuss the ratings fiasco (a drop of over 50 percent) for this year's primetime Emmys, which showcase the industry's primetime efforts, such as they are ...

We've learned that in that meeting, Richard Frank, outgoing president of the Academy and a Disney executive, with backing by Emmy executive producer Don Ohlmeyer, suggested next fall's Fox broadcast of the Emmys be moved to national election night, Nov. 8, so that ABC, CBS and NBC wouldn't be able to counter-program against the awards special ...

Mercifully, Fox executives quickly nixed the idea, although they're still faced with a problem in 1988: The "traditional" Emmy broadcast on the third Sunday in September next year would conflict with Jewish holidays and the NBC telecast of the Summer Olympics from Seoul ...