A scant 48 hours after Dan Rather and Vice President Bush went at it on "CBS Evening News," NBC News introduced a 10-second promo during the "Cheers" broadcast Wednesday night featuring quotes from Time, USA Today and The Philadelphia Inquirer that read:

"'Intelligent and low-keyed' ... 'Capable' ... 'Calm. Collected' ... Tom Brokaw and the NBC Nightly News" ...

Last week, NBC News' primetime Brokaw promotion quotes (from The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Boston Globe) read: " 'incisive' ... 'refreshing' ... 'the guts to go along with the glory' " ...

An NBC News spokesman, asked by a wide-eyed reporter yesterday if there was some connection between Monday's Rather broadcast and the sudden switch of adjectives, was reassured that "you can't be that dumb" ...

Speaking of 48 hours, the CBS News series of the same name, anchored by Rather Tuesday night, took a good swipe at Las Vegas, prompting the mayor of Lourdes West to complain that "once again, Dan Rather lost his objectivity." Mayor Ron Lurie dubbed CBS' portrayal of his city "an insult" ...

Poor Dan! A Times-Mirror Gallup Survey conducted Wednesday and released yesterday showed him third-ranked among the three network anchors following the Monday Night Fight ...

A poll of 642 persons around the country showed Brokaw leading with a 79 percent favorable rating, with only 8 percent unfavorable. ABC's Peter Jennings was close by with a 78/7. But Rather scored only a 66/26 ...

In a similar poll (from a larger sample) taken last October-November, Brokaw had a 79/8, Jennings a 74/7 and Rather a 73/14 ...

Back in June 1985, a similar poll placed Rather way at the top of the heap with an 81/10, compared with a 74/9 for Jennings and a 69/9 for Brokaw ...

Rather's approval rate with Republicans slipped from 80 percent in April of last year to 68 in November and to 50 percent in Wednesday's poll. Among Democrats he rated an 87 last April, a 79 in November and an 81 this week. Among independents, he had an 83 in April, a 70 in November and a 66 this week...

Well, as Uncle Airwaves always said, when it rains, it pours! Tonight on "NBC Nightly News" the winner of this year's Publishers Clearing House prize will be announced during the first commercial ...

A year ago, a similar announcement on "CBS Evening News" raised the average for Mr. Rather & Co. from a 13.0/23 to a very nice 16.1/28 for that night. A similar jump on NBC tonight could wipe out whatever ratings gains CBS had this week following the Monday Night Fight (each rating point represented 874,000 TV homes last year) ...

One good piece of news for Dan yesterday: The CBS affiliates board decided not to take any formal action in the wake of a flood of viewer calls around the country following Monday's show ...

"The board decided it was not an actionable board item and it would be inappropriate for the board to make any kind of comment," said Benjamin Tucker, chairman of the affiliates group. "We encouraged local stations to express their concerns and their viewers' concerns to CBS News" ...

Phil Jones, vice president and general manager of KCTV in Kansas City and immediate past chairman of the board, had earlier said, "I think initially we had a group that was distressed and that has lessened by several measures since {Tuesday}. I think part of it was Rather's handling of the situation on the 'Evening News' Tuesday night" ...

The 11-member board held a conference call yesterday. Tucker, who is executive vice president of Retlaw Broadcasting, said about half of the 20-minute call was devoted to the Rather situation. Retlaw owns three West Coast CBS affiliates and a fourth station that is due to join CBS next week ... The DuPont Awards

"Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965," a six-part documentary that aired on PBS, last night won the Gold Baton Award, the highest honor of the annual Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards in Broadcast Journalism ...

The series, produced by Blackside Inc., of Boston, also won the $10,000 Trustees Prize for best independent production ...

Roberta Baskin and WJLA took one of the 13 Silver Batons also awarded last night for her "investigative reporting on such topics as preemployment drug testing or the dangerously high rate of alcoholism among pilots" ...

Baskin was cited for "well-constructed, informative and instructive stories" which "bring much-deserved attention to the Target 7 investigative unit and well-earned praise to WJLA for its commitment to serious consumer reporting." Baskin accepted the award ...

The 46th annual awards for 1986-87 were announced during ceremonies at Columbia University last night and were seen on PBS. Other winners included:

In network television: ABC News for "20/20: By His Father's Hand, The Zumwalts"; CBS News for "48 Hours on Crack Street"; and NBC News for coverage of the AIDS epidemic by Robert Bazell ...

Winners in the major market television category, besides Baskin and WJLA, were WFAA in Dallas for "SMU Investigation" and Pam Zekman and WBBM Chicago for investigative reporting ...

Winners in medium market television were KMOV in St. Louis for "Sauget: City of Shame"; WPLG in Miami for "Florida: State of Neglect"; and WCCO in Minneapolis for its investigative I-Team, that station's ninth such win ...

The small market television winner was WJXT in Jacksonville, for "Jacksonville's Roads: The Deadly Drive Home" ...

In the independent production category, besides "Eyes on the Prize," the winner was the Florentine Films documentary about Huey Long, presented by WETA here and Louisiana Public Broadcasting ...

The sole radio winner was WLAP in Lexington, Ky., for "Passing on the Secret of Sexual Abuse" ... Also in the News

In case you haven't heard (perhaps you didn't care?) CBS News has decided to postpone its Democratic and Republican candidate debates that were scheduled for March 3-4. In an internal memo earlier this month, CBS News president Howard Stringer said, "CBS News has concluded there are too many debates clogging the time period" between the New Hampshire primary (Feb. 16) and Super Tuesday (March 8) but expressed the hope the debates could be rescheduled later "when their impact will be greater." ...

Four other candidate debates are still on the books for the first week of March ...

Dan Cohen, executive producer of Channel 5's 10 o'clock news, returns to Channel 4 Feb. 15 -- after an absence of 10 years -- to become weekend news producer and special projects producer ...

He replaces Lisa Rasmussen, who stays at WRC as a writer. Cohen broke into the business at WRC as a production assistant and was told to go out and get some experience in smaller markets. After stints in Orlando and Miami, he came to WTTG five years ago ...

Bret Marcus, news director at Four, said yesterday he's "excited" by Cohen's return ...

Speaking of Four, anchor Dave Marash is sporting a fever blister after a brief stay in the Caribbean sun ... And Finally

A fond tip of the ole rabbit ears to CBS "Sunday Morning," which begins its 10th year on the air Sunday, and which, despite its occasional political spin, continues to be the most civilized series on commercial TV ...