Channel 7 announced yesterday that Jerry Brown has been hired as principal weathercaster, ending a search that began (albeit halfheartedly) late last summer ...

Brown, who grew up in Prince George's County and whose family now lives in Potomac, has been weekend weatherman and science reporter at WCVB in Boston, like WJLA an ABC affiliate ...

Amherst graduate Brown will handle weather on the 6 and 11 p.m. news Mondays through Fridays and will appear two days a week on the 5 p.m. newscasts ...

Nancy Russo will do the weekends. Alan Eustis, who has worked most all the shifts since Dave Sweeney departed in December for an eventual job with KUSA in Denver, will remain as a fill-in ...

News director Tom Doerr said yesterday that Eustis will get a tryout as a science reporter, joining Brown as a team in the science reporting area ...

Brown starts work in a couple of weeks. Sweeney was number one weathercaster at Seven for 2 1/2 years, but last summer management told him to start looking around, later reversing itself to ask him to stick around at least through the end of the year ...

Also on the local scene, Larry Spero has been named director of sales for Channel 4. Spero came to WRC from NBC, where he spent four years, and in 1981 was named sales manager ...

He replaces Larry Tompkins, who recently resigned ...

Ayeeyah! The green-eyed devils at ABC once again put Honorable "Nobel House" in ratings soup Tuesday night as the Winter Olympics ice-danced away with a 25.0 national Nielsen rating and a 38 percent audience share against Part III of the NBC miniseries ...

During the same two-hour competition from 9 to 11, CBS averaged an 11.8/18. For the three hours of primetime Tuesday, ABC's Olympics coverage averaged a 23.5/35, NBC a 16.3/24 and CBS an 11.3/17 ...

Ayeeyah! II

Media Tai-Pan Rupert Murdoch refused to stick around for a planned 12-minute interview Tuesday night on the "MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour" after viewing an 8 1/2-minute profile on his career that had been prepared by Hodding Carter to introduce the interview ...

Murdoch is the owner of a vast newspaper and TV empire that stretches from Australia to Great Britain and includes Fox Broadcasting and, until last week, the New York Post in this country ...

He arrived at the WNET studios in New York about 15 minutes before the 6 p.m. broadcast ...

On his arrival, Murdoch was informed by executive producer Les Crystal that the profile would introduce the segment. Murdoch responded that he was unaware a profile was to be used ...

He then agreed to watch it before the interview was to begin some 35 minutes into the program, but warned Crystal he would not appear if he didn't like it, particularly if it touched on the history of his acquisitions, according to the executive producer ...

Although much of the footage had been supplied by Murdoch's press representatives in New York, Howard Rubinstein Associates Inc., Crystal said Murdoch complained that the 8 1/2-minute film didn't "have enough about his contributions to the industry" and left the studio ...

Carter said yesterday he thought "it was a perfectly fair piece ... at least five times fairer than the average commentary in a Murdoch newspaper ...

"It was not flattering but I don't think Ted Kennedy would have liked it, either" ...

Sen. Kennedy, who has battled Murdoch's Boston Herald in his home state, recently slipped some legislation into a bill that forced Murdoch to speed up his sale of the Post, enforcing an FCC rule against newspaper and TV station cross-ownership in a market for which Murdoch had previously obtained a waiver ...

"I worked on the piece for weeks and with his publicist for some time," said Carter. "It just means to me his staff doesn't talk to him" ...

The profile included details of his battles over cross-ownership and Murdoch's controversial takeover of the Chicago Sun-Times, which Crystal characterized as "balanced; it had the good and the bad" ...

Caught with a 21-minute hole in the program after the walkout, Crystal substituted a report out of Los Angeles on the impact of new immigration laws on the garment industry in California and a Roger Rosenblatt report on the presidential campaigns ...

After announcing at the top of the hour that Murdoch would appear, MacNeil told viewers at the end of the broadcast that "we had hoped to bring you a 'Newsmaker' interview with media baron Rupert Murdoch but we are unable to at this time" ...

Crystal expressed surprise at Murdoch's departure yesterday, pointing out that in the live 12-minute interview that would have followed, the press baron could have made any comment he wanted to make on the profile or "bring up anything he chose." Crystal added that "I'm sorry he didn't do the interview but we indicated to him we'd still like to have him on the program sometime" ...

Ayeeyah! III

NBC's "Today" show has axed plans to air an "exclusive" interview with Katharine Hepburn, which was taped a couple of weeks ago by Jane Pauley ... and which was set to air next month in conjunction with the appearance March 7 of Hepburn as the star of an NBC movie, "Laura Lansing Slept Here" ...

Marty Ryan, executive producer of "Today," said yesterday he canceled the interview when rival "Good Morning America" aired a two-part Joan Lunden interview with Hepburn on Monday and Tuesday of this week ... after having been assured by Hepburn's representative that the "Today" appearance was to be an "exclusive" ...

(Considering the usual symbiotic relationship between network news and network entertainment divisions these days, this could be considered a pretty brave move in some circles) ...

Jack Reilly, GMA executive producer, said yesterday that his show's interview, taped Feb. 10 by Joan Lunden in Miss Hepburn's New York home, was done in conjunction with the March 14 award the actress is to receive from Planned Parenthood, an organization that she and her late mother, Katharine Houghton, long supported ...

Our source indicated GMA hadn't planned to ace "Today" but "just lucked into its interview. They just happened to call and she accepted" ...

In "Laura Lansing Slept Here," Hepburn will portray a world-famous novelist who sets out to prove she can lead a normal life by moving in with a typical middle-class family, which she promptly disrupts ...

Also in the News

NBC Entertainment president Brandon Tartikoff is expected to announce more primetime schedule changes today when he addresses the National Association of Television Program Executives convention in Houston ...

One hint: NBC slides "Highway to Heaven" from 8 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays for three weeks starting March 16 before it heads down the Highway to Hiatus. "Aaron's Way," starring Merlin Olsen without his whiskers, will probably move in there someplace sometime soon ...

And CBS confirmed yesterday that Pat Sajak will host a new 90-minute late-night program beginning Jan. 9, 1989, starting at 11:30 weeknights ...

The "Wheel of Fortune" host will continue with the syndicated show indefinitely but ends his relationship with the NBC version at the end of the year ...

Set to compete head-on with NBC's "The Tonight Show," Sajak told a press conference in New York yesterday it won't try to be "different" from other talk shows except in that it will be built around his own strengths and tastes, "which will set it apart" ...

Oh, and ABC Entertainment yesterday finally confirmed that, indeed, "Dynasty's" final episode of the season will air March 23 ...

And Finally

ABC News made a clean sweep of the top TV awards announced last night by the Washington Journalism Review for its "best in the business" journalism annual awards, chosen by some 1,300 readers ...

"World News Tonight" anchor Peter Jennings was named top network anchor; White House correspondent Sam Donaldson, top network TV correspondent; and "Nightline," best network TV news program ...