U.S. Information Agency Director Charles Z. Wick, who for a considerable time had some of the worst personal public relations in town, has been named PR professional of the year by PR News. It marks the first time in the 40-year history of the newsletter that a government executive has received the honor. Wick, who has been USIA director since 1981, will receive his award at a black-tie dinner in New York.

Denny Griswold, the founder and editor of PR News, said yesterday that the newsletter attacked Wick when he was named to the USIA post, demanding to know "what the heck is a lawyer doing in the job?" Griswold said she had always thought the USIA director should be a public relations professional, since that office heads the largest PR operation in the world. She added that "over the years we've had some zany people in the job," naming poet Archibald MacLeish and television journalist Edward R. Murrow. Out and About

As hard as it may be for some people to accept, former first lady Jacqueline Onassis is apparently about to become a grandmother. The New York Daily News is reporting that Onassis' daughter Caroline Kennedy is expecting a baby. The Capitol Hill office of Kennedy's uncle, Sen. Edward Kennedy, offered no confirmation on the report yesterday. Caroline was photographed Monday in Manhattan wearing a roomy dress at an event where she gave a speech, substituting for her uncle. She married artist-author Edwin Schlossberg in July 1986 ...

The Kennedy Center is still looking for junk mail for its current musical "Mail." The mail, which clutters the stage, gets walked on in the course of the performance and has to be replaced. Although there is no shortage of junk mail anywhere else, the Kennedy Center has made a promotional offer for the show, which runs through March 19. Anyone showing up at the ticket window with a handful of unwanted mail will receive $10 off the price of a ticket. The center will probably take old love letters, too ...

The Los Angeles Times has reported that pornographic film star John Holmes, who starred as Johnny Wadd in a series of sex films, is suffering from AIDS. In his hospital bed, Holmes was questioned this week by Los Angeles police about the 1981 bludgeon murders of four people in the exclusive hillside community of Laurel Canyon. The 43-year-old Holmes was acquitted of the murders in 1982. Holmes did not answer any of the police questions about the murders, his lawyer said. A spokesman for Holmes would not confirm the AIDS report, but stories about his health have been circulating within the pornographic film industry. Holmes appeared in hundreds of sexually explicit films and numerous peep shows in the 1970s and 1980s ...

Former White House aide John Ehrlichman certainly should know how to cover a political crisis. Ehrlichman, a convicted Watergate felon, is in Phoenix covering Evan Mecham's impeachment trial for Rolling Stone magazine. Mecham has been impeached on charges that include misuse of public funds and thwarting an investigation into a death threat ...

It could be dangerous for restaurant critics if this ever catches on. In Hartford, a bill has been introduced in the state legislature that would require the licensing of restaurant reviewers. It seems that a restaurant owner complained bitterly after her establishment was savaged by a critic who, the owner contended, didn't know a Bolognese sauce from bottled tomato sauce...