About 1,500 technical employes at CBS, members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, have ratified a new three-year contract ...

The previous pact expired Oct. 1. Network and union negotiators, with the help of the Federal Mediation Service, have been talking steadily since. CBS submitted a revised contract package three weeks ago that the union leadership submitted for a vote ...

Affected by the pact are camerapersons, audio technicians, tape editors and the technicians who maintain and handle transmission of network programming, including about 100 at the Washington CBS News bureau ...

According to Jim Sirmons, senior vice president, industrial relations for CBS Inc., the new contract will allow the network "much more flexibility in the way we hire people on a daily basis" except in the network transmission and maintenance categories ...

IBEW members on the payroll as of Oct. 1 will receive a ratification bonus equal to a 3 percent raise the first year, with 3 percent raises each of the next two years ... Some salary schedules go into effect Dec. 20, according to Sirmons, "but a lot are retroactive to the October 1 date" ...

Sirmons said yesterday the union gained national jurisdiction over production in the contiguous 48 states. Previously IBEW had exclusive jurisdiction only within a limited radius of CBS production centers -- such as bureaus and CBS-owned stations ...

As an example, an NFL game in New Orleans, outside previous IBEW jurisdiction, will now be handled by union crews ...

"The bottom line," said Sirmons, "is that we have a much more efficient contract than we did before. We are not going to lay people off but we can meet the changes in the industry more efficiently" ...

By contrast, 2,800 members of the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians, whose rolls included many nontechnical workers, struck NBC for 17 weeks earlier this year ... with an eventual cost of hundreds of jobs over the next year or so ...

Changes at ABC

ABC Entertainment yesterday announced a major scrambling of the schedule on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, starting in mid-January ... as seven series will move to new timeslots and a movie will be added to the slumping Sunday schedule ...

Three series -- "Buck James," "Hotel" and "I Married Dora" -- will be pulled from the schedule for long-overdue naps and the Jan. 16 premiere of "Juarez" has been postponed "to allow more time for production," which is another way of saying "it looks like a bow-wow so far, muchachos" ...

ABC is hanging on to so many low-rated series with this schedule restructuring, it is obvious no major program overhaul is due until after the 16-day Winter Olympics end Feb. 28 on the network. (You can't establish a new series if you're pulling it off again in a couple of weeks, TV Column fans) ...

"Dolly," the biggest bust of the ABC season by any measurement (oh, and you've been so good until now, Airwaves!), moves from Sunday to 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16, where Dolly Parton will be faced with NBC's "Facts of Life" and "227" and a new CBS drama series, "High Mountain Ranger" ...

Here's the revised lineup, new times in CAPS, starting with Thursday night, Jan. 14:

"THE CHARMINGS" at 8 p.m., followed by an extended Thursday night movie ...

Friday, Jan. 15: "Full House" at 8; "MR. BELVEDERE," 8:30; the previously announced new series "The Thorns" at 9; SLEDGE HAMMER!" 9:30; and "20/20" at 10 ...

Saturday, Jan. 16: "DOLLY" at 8; "OHARA" at 9; "SPENSER: FOR HIRE" at 10 ...

Sunday, Jan. 17: an expanded "Disney Sunday Movie" at 7; the return of the Sunday Night Movie at 9 ...

"Dora" competes its current run Friday, Jan. 8, "Hotel" on Jan. 9 and "Buck James" on Jan. 10 ...

Also in the News

ABC News' "Nightline" scored something of a coup Tuesday night with an hour interview of Gary Hart the day he resurrected his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination ...

But despite the fact that Tuesday night is the best primetime night of the week on the network, Hart's appearance earned only a 7.4 rating and a 23 percent audience share in Nielsen's 15 major markets, below the 9.8/29 Hart attracted with an hour's appearance on "Nightline" Sept. 8 ...

In Washington, on Channel 7, "Nightline" did a 7.5/24 ...

Whatever, the Hart appearance scored considerably under "Nightline's" top five Nielsen overnight figures, which are still topped by the appearance last spring of Jim and Tammy Bakker, which was good for a 15.4/42 (Hart's September appearance still ranks third on that list) ...

Although we suspect Hart didn't have much trouble deciding to get national exposure so soon after his announcement, the "Nightline" crew once more displayed its efficient operation against a tough deadline. .

Rick Kaplan, executive producer of "Nightline," heard of the announcement about two hours after a Hart advance man in Manchester, N.H., Paul Giorgio, tipped WBZ in Boston at 7 a.m. of the development. Richard Harris, the program's head booker, immediately contacted Bill Shore, Hart's friend and adviser here in Washington, where he is director of a national hunger relief organization. Shore in turn contacted Hart and aide Susan Casey in Manchester and after a series of phone calls all day, arranged at 5:45 for Koppel to talk to Hart. Casey called back at 6 to give the go-ahead and Harris headed for WMUR, the ABC affiliate in Manchester where Hart would appear in a satellite interview with Koppel at 11:30 ...

Harris, the producer in charge of live interviews for "Nightline," recalled yesterday that just before the broadcast he got the impression that Hart did not quite grasp the notion that "he had turned the Democratic party upside down -- he didn't understand the implications" ...

Semper Fi!

NBC will announce today that Robert S. Walsh, 58, group executive vice president in charge of owned stations, sports and radio, plans to retire, effective Jan. 1, 1989 ...

Walsh, a 26-year NBC veteran, is one of several top executives who have elected to retire under terms of a pension plan instituted by RCA some years ago, which expires at the end of next year when a General Electric plan goes into effect. GE purchased RCA (and NBC) last year ...

The RCA plan allows a maximum lump sum payment that will not be matched under the still-generous GE plan ...

The prospect of early retirements by key NBC executives familiar with how the network operates and their replacement by GE executives without network experience has caused some unease within NBC ranks in recent months ...

Bob Butler, group executive vice president in charge of finances, and Gene McGuire, executive vice president for personnel and labor relations, earlier elected to take the early retirement ...

Other top executives who have yet to decide are Ray Timothy, group executive VP in charge of the TV network and NBC Entertainment; and Merryle S. (Bud) Rukeyser, executive vice president in charge of corporate communications ...

In the coming year, Walsh will oversee an orderly turnover of duties as Al Jerome, president of NBC-owned TV stations, will report to NBC president Bob Wright, and Arthur Watson, president of NBC Sports, will report to executive vice president Albert F. Barber. Walsh will continue to work on the reconfiguration of the remaining NBC radio properties and aid Wright in corporate planning, including possible mergers and station purchases ...

Yesterday, Walsh said he plans to "stay in the business, probably on the entrepreneurial side. I'd like to return to Chicago {he grew up in the late mayor Richard Daley's neighborhood} and watch the grandchildren grow" ...

Walsh, a captain in the Marine Corps during the Korean War, was vice president and general manager at Channel 4 here in 1977-78. Captain Airwaves, a raw recruit in those days, has fond memories of Captain Walsh's many kindnesses at a time the TV Column was young ...