But first, let's get the weekly Skins-keeping chores out of the way ...

The CBS telecast of the Redskins-Cardinals NFL game on Channel 9 averaged a 35.9 Nielsen rating and a 67 percent audience share between 1 and 4:46 p.m. Sunday afternoon ...

That was bad news for the NBC game over on Channel 4 during much of the same three hours-plus. The Colts and the Browns averaged just 3.5/7 (each rating point represents 15,851 TV homes in this market) ...

The National Association of Public Television Stations, the lobbying arm for PBS, yesterday announced that David Brugger has been named president ...

He was the unanimous selection of the 19-member NAPTS board, which is meeting in Atlanta. The board reportedly considered some 40 applications for the job ...

Brugger, senior vice president of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting since September, succeeds Peter Fannon, who resigned from NAPTS in August ...

Baryn Futa, vice president and general counsel for NAPTS, who has won high praise as acting president since Fannon's departure, will remain with the lobbying organization ...

With CPB since 1981, first as vice president, telecommunications, Brugger has been the corporation's main link with the nation's public TV and radio stations and has had a role in policy planning at CPB ...

In 20 years in public broadcasting, he had previously been in charge of the TV and radio stations at the University of Florida in Gainesville and served with the Iowa state public TV system...

Ward Chamberlin, president of WETA and a key figure in the public broadcasting establishment, yesterday called Brugger "an excellent choice ...

"He is a very able fellow and enjoys the full confidence of the public TV community. He's not a big talker and he did a good job at CPB" ...

Bruce Christensen, president of PBS, said Brugger was "terrific. He's cool under fire and he has a wry sense of humor. He worked at public TV stations and has a great deal of experience on the national level. He's just what public TV needs at this time. He's going to be very effective at representing public TV before Congress and the administration" ...

CPB president Donald Ledwig said, "this is good news for public broadcasting. The NAPTS directors made a superb choice. I look forward to continuing my close working relationship with David in his new position, which I believe is of critical importance to our continued success" ...

NAPTS' main job, to be blunt about it, is to raise as much money as possible from Congress every year. In theory, the managers of the 325 public TV stations around the country should be a key part of the lobbying effort from state delegation to state delegation. Brugger's appointment should help in marshaling that potential resource...

Chamberlin, by the way, was particularly cheerful yesterday: Sunday night his Channel 26 finished the annual pre-Christmas fund-raising drive with the biggest single night ever in WETA fund-raising history ...

The 10-day drive grossed $542,948 in all, including $106,475 in matching funds provided by six major donors ...

The goal had been $450,000. Among the 10,013 pledges received during the drive were 5,808 new members ...

Sunday night, a lineup of Christmas programs starring the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, James Galway, Luciano Pavarotti and Jessye Norman brought in a very Christmasy $115,177 ...

The two Friday night Gershwin specials raised the most money per program, Friday night's "Washington Week in Review" recorded the most lucrative single break, and among the premiums, the Gershwin records were tops ...

One bonus all public TV viewers can enjoy: WETA's policy of cutting marathon Alms Talks to a manageable 10 nights or so has once again Paid Off. Handsomely ...

Also in the News

Channel 5's 10 o'clock news launches a new, once-a-week feature tonight called "Point Counterpoint" ...

Conservative Times-Mirror syndicate columnist Cal Thomas (he wrote a book called "Liberals for Lunch") and Newsweek correspondent Eleanor Clift, representing the Liberal Persuasion, will have at it on what news director Joe Saitta calls "the hot topic of the day" ...

CBS News' "60 Minutes" once had a similarly named segment pitting James J. Kilpatrick against Shana Alexander. The early "Saturday Night Live" had a lot of fun mocking it -- Dan Aykroyd would say to Jane Curtin: "Jane, you ignorant slut" -- and eventually "60 Minutes" put it to sleep ...

Saitta yesterday said the legal department has assured him there are no legal problems connected with use of the title ...

The feature, about 2 1/2 minutes in length, will appear shortly after the half-hour. Saitta said "Point Counterpoint" is designed "to provide something viewers can't get on other local news shows in the evening," adding that its future depends on "how viewers will react" ...

And where stands "USA Today: The Nation's Television Show"? So far the syndicated program, which debuts next Sept. 12, has been sold to almost 70 stations around the country, including 36 in the top 50 markets ...

Steve Friedman, who is putting the show together for GTG Entertainment, said yesterday he expects to announce his Front Four anchors in time for the Feb. 25 kickoff of the National Association of Television Program Executives convention in Houston -- where stations buy next season's shows ...

Gannett, which publishes USA Today ("the nation's newspaper") is a partner in GTG Entertainment and the new half-hour weeknightly program will be a flashy introduction each night to the next day's issue of the newspaper. It will be satellited around the country each evening from USA Today HQ in Rosslyn ...

Friedman says that so far no on-air talent has been signed. "I've had lots of preliminary talks but a lot of the people I'm interested in have contracts that don't run out until the end of the year and I don't want a lawsuit" ...

"West 57th's" Jane Wallace -- whose name is often mentioned as being on Steve's Wish List -- recently volunteered that despite all the reports in the press (including, sigh, The TV Column), she has never even met Friedman. But her contract expires at the end of the year and Friedman confirmed yesterday they'll probably sit down for a chat soon ...

Ordinarily

We Don't Do Radio ... but in this case we are happy to Break The Unbreakable Rule to report that WAMU talk show host Fred Fiske will be honored for his 40 years as a Washington radio broadcaster tonight at a tribute dinner to be held at the National Press Club ...

The evening will benefit public radio station WAMU-FM (88.5) and establish an endowed fund at the American University School of Communications to support an intern program for its students at WAMU ...

The event, which begins at 8 p.m., will mark the establishment of the Fred Fiske Award, "to be given annually to a broadcaster who exemplifies the professional excellence and concern for the community that have characterized Fred Fiske's career" ...

The Capitol Steps, who have composed a song for the occasion, will be among the featured entertainers ...

A cocktail reception will be held before the banquet from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the ballroom of the Hotel Washington at 15th and Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Tickets to the reception are $35, payable at the door ...

Information regarding tickets to the banquet may be obtained by calling WAMU at 885-1030. That's 885-1030 ...

We Had Promised

Ourselves that we would get through an entire TV Column this morning without mentioning anything remotely connected to the s-u-m-m-i-t ...

But the prospect of ABC correspondent Sam Donaldson, the terror of the White House, glowering live into breakfast nookskis all over Russia tomorrow morning was too much for our resolve...

ABC News' "Nightline" tonight will be seen live for the first time ever in the Soviet Union when it joins "90 Minutes" while the regular U.S.S.R. morning show is in progress ...

With the time difference, the 11:30 p.m. to midnight ABC show will be seen between 7:30 and 8 a.m. in Moscow ...

Donaldson and "Nightline" anchor Ted Koppel will talk via satellite to Vladimir Molochonov, one of the "90 Minutes" hosts, and a guest to be announced ...