The Washington Redskins' tussle with the Buffalo Bills Sunday on Channel 9 averaged a 36.6 Nielsen rating and a 70 percent audience share between 1 and 4:07 p.m. (each rating point represents 15,851 TV homes in this market) ...

By comparison, that excellent two hours kicking off CBS' "Echoes in the Darkness" later in the evening on Nine fell off to a 25.1/41, which tells Captain Airwaves that an awful lot of leaves didn't get raked Sunday afternoon ...

In Nielsen overnights in the 15 major cities, including Washington, "Echoes" did a 21.6/34, compared with a 16.2/26 for "Dangerous Affections," the movie on NBC. Which tells C. Airwaves that ABC's "Dolly" and "Buck James" during the same two hours probably wish they'd been out raking leaves somewhere ...

ABC News' "Nightline," its plan to spend this week in Cuba and Nicaragua having foundered over an inability to get contra and Sandinista leadership together for a broadcast, yesterday announced a three-hour special for Friday night called "A National Town Meeting on Wall Street and the Economy" ...

Ted Koppel will moderate the broadcast from New York, which will be held in front of an audience drawn (or perhaps very drawn, depending on Friday's Dow Jones performance) from the financial community. It will air from 11:30 p.m. until 2:30 a.m. Saturday ...

ABC plans a panel of "financial experts" who will be available to answer calls from the national audience on an 800 telephone number, as well as remotes from various network affiliates around the country. The broadcast will be simulcast on radio ...

In addition, to help demystify the Wall Street jargon, ABC will call on some of the Muppets for help. Kermit the Frog has already agreed to appear. Negotiations were continuing yesterday with Fozzie Bear. And may we suggest Miss Piggie for a discussion of takeovers? ...

Also in the NewsNBC yesterday denied a report in The New York Times that 700 jobs would be cut at the network by the end of 1988 ...

NBC has said for weeks that 200 jobs were to be eliminated by the end of this year, but network spokesman McClain Ramsey said yesterday "there was a review session of business plans and the subject of down-sizing was discussed and there were many possibilities that were looked at ...

"But there was no final determination, so there was no final number arrived at" ...

She referred to a budget meeting held at General Electric headquarters in Fairfield, Conn., Friday among GE and NBC executives, which was the basis for the report in The Times that at the meeting "plans that would include about 500 more job cuts {in addition to the 200 earlier announced} were presented" ...

Many of the 2,800 members of the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians union returned to work for the first time yesterday after a 17-week strike against the network. According to UPI, on arrival, dozens were reportedly notified of their firing or offered buyouts to leave the company under plans previously announced ...

Of the 200 NABET employes already ticketed to leave, about 100 will come from the radio network that NBC sold this summer ...

The NBC News bureau here reportedly has yet to make final determination of its layoff list. Last week, management of NBC-owned Channel 4 notified 18 of about 250 employes that they were to be terminated ...

Our sources yesterday indicated it is much too early to determine just how many positions will eventually be cut at NBC, which is undergoing a long-range "down-sizing" that began even before General Electric purchased NBC parent RCA a year ago and could conceivably continue for years under GE management ...

There is no doubt that as many as 500-700 positions in all could be eliminated before the end of 1988, but the actual number of employes laid off could be considerably lower, through attrition and planned buyouts ...

Moreover, with the network facing coverage of the 1988 national election year and the Summer Olympics in Seoul; the addition of two TV stations, in Miami and Denver, to its owned-and-operated station group; as well as additions to a growing computer operation, actual employment next year is expected to rise at NBC, at least for a considerable period ...

In sum, our sources cautioned yesterday, between an extensive job retraining program GE and NBC managers discussed at Fairfield last Friday, the juggling of complex union seniority lists and the expectation that many in middle management will choose to take advantage of an NBC pension plan that expires by December 1988, it is much too early to speculate on final layoff totals at this stage ...

CBS News president Howard Stringer is expected to announce this week the name of the male co-anchor who will join Kathleen Sullivan on the two-hour (7 to 9 a.m.) news program that begins on the network Nov. 30, replacing "The Morning Program" ...

As we've reported, Stringer's Short List is believed to be down to four names, with two of them believed to be from outside the News division ...

Lots More Dots

ABC Entertainment, which has had no luck whatsoever in coming up with a late-night show that can hang on to the loyal "Nightline" audience after midnight, is apparently getting serious ...

They've given Squire Rushnell, longtime vice president for children's programming, the additional title of late-night vice president to see what he can come up with ...

Speaking of ABC, and we certainly have been this morning, TV Column fans, in one way or another, we should report that the peoplemeters have struck again and that ABC is the beneficiary ...

From 1978 through 1983, ABC's daytime schedule was number one among the three networks. Then CBS stepped up, in January 1984, to take over the top ...

But starting the first week in September this year, and especially since Nielsen introduced its new peoplemeters in mid-September, ABC has regained the lead, winning the last six weeks in a row ...

In the most recent week, through Oct. 23, ABC was first with a national rating of 5.9/22, followed by CBS at 5.5/21 and NBC, which never has solved its daytime problems, at 4.4/17 (each rating point represents 886,000 TV homes) ...

ABC researchers like to point out, moreover, that regardless of the Ratings War, for the past 10 years the network has remained number one in daytime with women 18-45, the statistic that advertisers (and network researchers) like best ...

In last week's ratings, ABC's "General Hospital" and "All My Children" were one-two in the daytime list, followed by CBS' "Young and the Restless," ABC's "One Life to Live" and NBC's "Days of Our Lives" ...

Among 26 soap operas, game shows and series reruns ranked for the week, NBC's "Sale of the Century" and ABC's "Mr. Belvedere" had the lowest ratings ...

UPI Awards

UPI regional broadcasting awards were announced last week and among the Washington winners were (may we have the envelopes, please? Oops, sorry. No, no, it was our fault. Here we go):

Channel 5 was first, Channel 9 was second in the best newscast awards ...

Roberta Baskin, of Channel 7, won the best reporting, individual achievement award and Channel 4's Angela Owens was named for best commentary ...

Channel 9's "Toxic Waste in Adamstown, Md.," reported by Mark Feldstein, was awarded first place in the best investigative report category while Channel 4's "High Sex Tech," reported by Jack Cloherty, took second ...

In the best feature category, Channel 7's "Doggie Birthday," reported by Ed Turney, tied for first with Channel 5's "Back to the Bay Beaches," produced by Ron Sarro ...

Stations from Maryland, Delaware and the District compete annually for the UPI awards ...