Washington talk show host Larry King has signed a multi-year deal, reportedly worth about $800,000 annually over five years, to remain with the Cable News Network ...

King's previous contract with the network expired in June. His weeknight "Larry King Live" is the highest-rated show on CNN ...

In recent months, King had discussed a possible syndicated show with King World (no relation) and a late-night program with ABC News executives. Both projects would have been aimed at post-midnight audiences on ABC who had just been watching "Nightline" ...

King still has about two years on his contract with the Mutual Broadcasting System for his post-midnight radio interview and call-in show ...

The Senate subcommittee on communications, chaired by Sen. Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii), today will hold an oversight hearing on public broadcasting ...

The committee will look at programming and funding, independent productions, journalistic independence and technological developments in a review of the industry and the issues facing it in coming years ...

Among the witnesses scheduled are Donald Ledwig, president of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; Bruce Christensen, president of PBS; Douglas J. Bennet, president of National Public Radio; Henry Cauthen, president of the South Carolina Educational Television Commission; Loni Ding, president of Vox Productions Inc., representing independent producers; and William F. Baker, president of WNET in New York ...

The hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. in Room SR-253 of the Russell Senate Office Building ...

It's back to Square One for CBS News in its search for Kathleen Sullivan's male co-anchor on the division's new two-hour morning program, scheduled to start Monday, Nov. 30 ...

Peter Mansbridge, a popular news anchor and public affairs show host on the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., believed to be the leading candidate for the job, has turned CBS down ...

Sources said yesterday CBC countered a reported offer of $700,000 a year from CBS by giving Mansbridge the top news job, as national anchor, five nights a week. He will remain as host of "The Sunday Report," which Canadian sources liken to ABC News' "Nightline" program ...

Mansbridge last week was in New York for a secret tryout with Sullivan along with CBS correspondent Charles Osgood; Pat O'Brien, a sportscaster from KCBS in Los Angeles; and Harry Smith, a CBS correspondent at the Dallas bureau ...

Charlie Rose, anchor of CBS' "Nightwatch," is reportedly also being considered by News executives, although he has denied actively seeking the job ...

Late yesterday CBS News had no comment on Mansbridge's withdrawal ...

As a measure of Mansbridge's popularity in Canada, there have been widespread reports that Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney recently called him to urge he remain with the network ...

Also in the News

ABC News has reorganized its so-called "longform programming resources" into a single department headed by Av Westin, vice president of program development for the division ...

He will be responsible for all primetime longform programming, including the "Closeup" documentaries and "The Jennings/Koppel Report" ...

Pam Hill, vice president and executive producer of "Closeup," will continue in that job, reporting to Westin ...

Between 10 and 12 hours of such programming is scheduled in 1988, with at least four of them devoted to the "Jennings/Koppel Reports." There have been no "Closeup" documentaries on the air since last summer. Hill is expected to have broader responsibilities in overall planning with the reorganization, however ...

In the consolidation, about 13 people assigned to "Closeup" will be absorbed into the larger unit ...

Westin now looms as a leading candidate for the 1987 Phoenix Award ...

He was suspended for several weeks earlier this year by an angry ABC News president Roone Arledge after circulating a lengthy memo (originally planned as a magazine article) to top management of Capital Cities/ABC Inc. and within the News division that was highly critical of Arledge's management, particularly his spending ...

Westin reportedly has about 18 months remaining in his current contract ...

Channel 4 News has hired Paul Irvin for the assignment desk. He was formerly a hazardous-materials specialist with the D.C. Fire Department ...

The Monday night conclusion of "Billionaire Boys Club" on NBC averaged a 22.1 national Nielsen rating and a 34 percent audience share. Part I averaged a 20.7/34. That same night, the Monday Night Football game between the Seattle Seahawks and the New York Jets on ABC averaged a 15.9/27 (each rating point represents 886,000 TV homes) ...

That included a 14.4/25 on Channel 7 here (a local ratings point represent 15,851 homes) ...

To digress, the ESPN cable broadcast of the Giants-Patriots game Sunday night averaged a mere 5.0 national rating, representing about 4 million TV homes. The average included over-the-air broadcasts on ABC stations in New York and Boston ...

The Monday night game rating on ABC was 19 percent lower than the games had averaged before the recent NFL strike. Taken together with the drop in Saturday college game ratings on CBS and ABC so far this fall, one could surmise -- indeed, one should -- that the TV viewer is finally getting overexposed to football this season ...

Tuesday night, Part I of "Napoleon and Josephine: A Love Story" on ABC averaged an 18.6/30 in the national ratings, easily beating CBS and NBC in the 9 to 11 p.m. time period ... In Washington, the show averaged an 18.0/30 on Channel 7 ...

Today's "The Sally Jessy Raphael Show" on Channel 7 at 11:30 a.m. will feature Nancy Baskett, 38, a law student and divorce'e from the Washington area. She appears in a discussion on male-female relationships that was taped a couple of weeks ago before an all-male audience ...

This is the show that Shere Hite was too late to appear on, apparently causing the controversial author of "Women and Love" to take a poke at her chauffeur as they drove to the Connecticut studios where the show was being taped ...

NBC president Robert Wright has written a letter to about 5,000 NBC employes who worked during the 17-week NABET strike against the network, to inform them that each will receive 10 shares of General Electric stock as a thank-you ...

The gift, worth about $434 at the close of the market on Tuesday, went to all levels of employes, from clerks on up to vice presidents, who filled in for or had their duties increased by the absence of 2,800 members of the striking National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians. A spokesman for NBC yesterday said the gift was Wright's idea ...

Today's (2) Tee Hees

During the Channel 9 noon news show yesterday, as the snow fell, a spokesman for Montgomery County schools, in explaining why he had recalled the buses after only an hour yesterday morning, said it was "thanks" to the early morning forecast of a heavy six-inch snow ... by Channel 4 weatherman Bob Ryan ...

Another Channel 9 noon news guest asked rhetorically, during a discussion of snow clearance in the District, "Where's Mayor Barry?" ...

At that moment, Mayor Barry was appearing live on Channel 4 from the 14th and U snow removal center, talking to Joe Johns ...