The 17-week strike by 2,800 NBC camera operators, news writers, video technicians and editors against the network appeared to be near settlement yesterday after a majority of the union members voted to accept the NBC offer ...

However, two small units of the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians -- in Chicago and Los Angeles -- rejected the offer. Under union bylaws, all 14 NABET units involved in the strike, no matter what their size, must ratify a contract before it becomes effective ...

Late yesterday, NABET spokesman John Krieger said that following a conference call among union leaders and discussions with NBC negotiators, contract talks with the recalcitrant units could begin by midweek, promising the possibility of a full settlement by the weekend ...

NBC would then begin calling back the union members based on regular work schedules. NBC has already confirmed that some 200 jobs will be eliminated before the end of the year, despite the return of the NABET members. During the strike, management personnel filled curtailed union assignments ...

Couriers in Chicago voted 17 to 1 to reject the NBC offer; air conditioning and plant maintenance workers in Los Angeles voted 11 to 8 against the pact ...

Altogether, 1,507 members voted to accept the offer, while 738 voted to reject it in balloting that began last week and concluded yesterday morning in some scattered units ...

In New York, the key engineering unit (camera operators, videotape editors) voted 662 to 169 to accept the NBC offer. The Washington engineering unit voted 191 to 76 to accept. The Chicago unit also accepted the pact but engineering units in Burbank and San Francisco rejected it. However, the engineering unit of NABET overall voted 1,222 to 650 to accept ...

News writers in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles all voted overwhelmingly to end the strike ...

The previous three-year contract expired March 31 but the union did not strike until June 29 ...

In a statement yesterday, NBC pointed out that the two units still balking comprised 2 percent of the NABET work force and but that even so, "none of its members will return to work until each unit ratifies. Meetings in Los Angeles and Chicago with both units are being scheduled" ...

Five of the six-member NABET executive committee had recommended against the pact, but all last week a recorded message on the hot line of the New York local, the union's largest, urged approval ...

On Oct. 7, NBC agreed to extend the new pact from two years to 29 months after ratification, with a lump-sum payment at the start of the third year. The network also agreed to extend NABET's medical benefits package into the third year and to eliminate a proposed two-tier wage scale for workers in Washington and Cleveland ...

The pact calls for a $30 weekly increase in the first year and $40 the second, in addition to the lump-sum payment ...

In a key job security issue for the union, NBC agreed to limit temporary employe hires to 4 percent of all actual employes in any unit the first year and a cap of 6 percent the second year. A review group would meet on a quarterly basis to review how the system was working ...

Also in the News

Network newsmen earned their salaries yesterday as two major breaking stories -- the U.S. reprisals against Iran and the historic 509-point drop in the Dow Jones average -- called for repeated appearances on the air starting in the morning ...

CBS News' first report of the Persian Gulf action aired at 8:23 a.m., with follow-up broadcasts starting at 9 ...

ABC News bulletined the Persian Gulf action at 8:11 a.m., with three more-complete reports through the noon hours ...

NBC broke the Iran story during "Today" at 7:58 a.m. and, like the other networks, broadcast more complete reports as additional information, including the U.S. boarding of another platform, became available during the day ...

Overall, network correspondents showed admirable restraint and responsibility in tracking yesterday's huge drop in the Dow Jones stock market average ...

CBS News' business reporter Ray Brady was probably the first to focus on the implications of early action on the market yesterday morning. Amidst the reports from the Gulf, Brady came on at 11:11 a.m. for five minutes with the news that the market had already dropped 200 points ...

At that time, Brady was guarded in his forecast, cautioning viewers that the market could still turn around should N.Y. Exchange computers catch up with possible buy orders, while stressing there had never been a market quite like this before . .

But as the day wore on and the market showed less stability, Brady's special reports reflected the growing importance of the break ...

Speaking of the first, cautionary report, Brady said yesterday, "I think we handled it very responsibly. Dan {Rather} and I talked about it. We had to give the news of the selling but pointed out that it could easily turn around. We tried to bend over backwards and suggested we see what happens at the end of the day" ...

By his report at 4:03 p.m., when the market closed down 508 points with a record 604 million shares sold for the day, Brady and the rest of the country had some of the answer ...

Similarly, NBC anchor Tom Brokaw, in his first major report on the market at 11:30 a.m., said he "threw caution in, we didn't want to cause any panic. I recall urging viewers to pay attention hour by hour and pointed out that with the ticker running late nobody can make a firm prediction" ...

By 4 p.m., after the market bell clanged, economics reporter Mike Jensen would appear with Brokaw to intone that "today will be known as Black Monday" and NBC News consultant Donald Regan would bid "goodbye to the bull market" ...

At ABC News, near the conclusion of an 18-minute report on the Gulf action that began at 12:21 p.m., Peter Jennings commented that in another major story of the day the stock market was "going bananas" and offered explanations widely held in the industry for what was then a 177-point drop in the Dow Jones average ...

At that point, he urged viewers to watch "World News Tonight" in the evening for a full report, adding that the market's performance so far Monday "has been far beyond what people on Friday had thought would happen" ...

By 4 p.m., Jennings would devote a full 12 minutes to the record day on Wall Street ("there's never been a day like this"), stressing that it was not "Black Tuesday" -- the historic day in 1929 when the market crashed to precipitate the Great Depression -- but adding that in addition to selling by the big financial institutions, there has been some panic selling and that "people want to get out" of the market, "whether it's justified or not" ...

Cable News Network was on the air all day yesterday every 15 minutes with reports on the market, starting at 9:15 a.m. ...

Both NBC News and CBS News late yesterday announced specials for last night ...

Even Fox Broadcasting (WTTG here) planned a half-hour special on the market from New York and Washington starting at 11 p.m., sliding the debut of "A Current Affair" by 30 minutes ... the first such spot news special by Fox since it began operating this year ...

In Other News

Overnight ratings in Nielsen's 15 major markets this past weekend showed the first game of the World Series with an 18.0 rating and a 31 percent audience share on Saturday night, with an 18.9/29 on Sunday evening ...

Paul Tully, political director of Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis' campaign for the presidency before resigning in the wake of the Joe Biden "attack video" incident, is now a consultant for "Power House," the upcoming ABC series about an influential Washington public relations firm, scheduled to debut next fall ...

The one-hour drama series will feature ensemble casts and multiple story lines made popular by "Power House's" creators, David Milch, who produced "Hill Street Blues," and John Masisus from "St. Elsewhere" ...

King World, distributors of "The Oprah Winfrey Show," announced yesterday that the Emmy-award winning syndicated show will continue production through the 1990 season ...

Cable News Network reported yesterday that during its "Prime News" telecast Friday night, as little Jessica McClure was rescued from a well in Midland, Tex., the network recorded its highest rating ever ... a 7.4 Nielsen count and a 12 percent audience share, representing 3.1 million cable viewers around the country ...