To get the really important news out of the way first, TV Column fans, Turner Broadcasting System Inc. board chairman Ted Turner gave main squeeze Jane Fonda a personal tour of the Cable News Network newsroom here yesterday before they headed for the Gorbachev lunch at the Soviet Embassy ...

In Other News

CNN today will offer live coverage of the commencement addresses at Wellesley this morning by Barbara Bush and Raisa Gorbachev, starting at 10:45. Mrs. Bush's commencement address is slated to begin at 11:12 a.m., with Mrs. Gorbachev scheduled for approximately 11:25 ...

On Sunday, C-SPAN will have taped coverage of the event -- announcement of which drew international headlines when a group of Wellesley seniors protested the choice of Mrs. Bush as commencement speaker -- starting at 7:30 p.m... .

Channel 5 revealed yesterday it will finally launch its "Fox Morning News" show on Monday, June 25, starting at 6:30 a.m. The only on-air talent announced so far for the 2 1/2-hour weekday program is ABC White House correspondent Lark McCarthy (although we do know Five made an unsuccessful try for WJLA weekend weatherperson Ruth Todd) ...

Although talk of a possible plea bargain was still rampant around town yesterday, local TV stations are nevertheless geared up for coverage of Mayor Marion Barry's drug and perjury trial, which begins jury selection at U.S. District Court here on Monday ...

Channel Four has assigned Pat Collins, Jack Cloherty, Joe Johns, Joe Krebs and Tom Sherwood to daily coverage, with reports from Don Williams and Barbara Harrison also expected. Courtroom artist: Betty Wells ...

Five is dispatching two full-time reporters, David Burnett and Jan Smith, with other staffers standing by as the trial, which courthouse experts predict could last anywhere between three weeks and two months, progresses. Courtroom artist: Judy Lineberger ...

Seven will have Gary Reals in the courtroom along with Del Walters. Renee Poussaint will prepare a daily trial segment for the 11 p.m. newscast. Courtroom artist: William Hennessy Jr... .

But Seven's major effort is being directed at the in-depth coverage that will be seen nightly on its "Marion Barry: His Day in Court" specials weeknights at midnight, anchored by Dale Solly, over the course of the trial ...

Nine will have three reporters in the courtroom -- Chris Gordon (an attorney), Bruce Johnson and Bob Strickland. The station plans a live report every day at the 8:25 a.m. local break of "CBS This Morning" as well as regular reports on all major newscasts (like the other stations) ...

All stations will have equipment vans down at the courthouse, of course, but Nine has even outfitted a newsroom in an RV, complete with computer terminals, a fax machine etc. Nine will rely on courtroom art from CNN and CBS News for its broadcasts ...

Moving Right Along

In a most uncharacteristic move -- for both sober-sides MacNeil/Lehrer and PBS -- the public network is going to air a 90-minute special in December marking the 15th anniversary of the partnership in broadcast news of Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer ...

The two first actually appeared together in 1973, co-anchoring coverage on PBS of the Senate Watergate hearings for the National Public Affairs Center for Television (NPACT) here. But PBS has chosen to look back only as far as Oct. 25, 1975, when Lehrer, as Washington correspondent, was teamed with Robin on what was then called "The Robert MacNeil Report" ...

In September 1976, the show became the "MacNeil/Lehrer Report" and then, as it was expanded to a full hour, the "MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour" ...

The December program will be co-hosted by David Gergen and Mark Shields and will be aimed at PBS pre-holiday pledge week audiences around the country. Funded by PBS, the still-untitled special will be produced by MacNeil/Lehrer Productions in association with WNET in New York and WETA here ...

A spokesman for "MacNeil/Lehrer" said yesterday the show will offer "a glimpse of the little-known backgrounds of the private persons behind the nearly 4,000 nightly newscasts and 10,000 interviews" and will include snippets from "their best and worst interviews, their poignant moments, blunders and {well, that's what the man said} humor." Captain Airwaves said he hopes somebody will sing too ...

Tomorrow night's broadcast of CBS News's "Saturday Night With Connie Chung" will be its last in that time slot. The program will be preempted through July and will return to the air in August on Monday nights, where it is due to air as "Face to Face With Connie Chung" when the fall schedule begins in September. No word on exactly when the name change, which emphasizes the new accent on celebrity interviews by Chung, takes effect, however ...

ABC anchor Peter Jennings will appear on NBC's "The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson" the night of June 13 ...

And Vice President Dan Quayle will be interviewed by Bryant Gumbel Monday morning in the first half-hour of "Today," which will be broadcasting from Washington ...

Milestones

Capital Cities/ABC Inc. chairman and chief executive officer Thomas S. Murphy turned 65 yesterday, and today Cap Cities/ABC president and chief operating officer Daniel B. Burke takes over his title as CEO ...

Burke has been president and chief operating officer since 1972. While Murphy, Cap Cities' first employee in 1954, continues as chairman, Burke will also continue as COO. The two have run the company together for 18 years ...

Cap Cities and ABC merged in 1986 ...

Two veterans of Channel 7, sound man Clyde Roller and audio technician Paul Edmonds, retired yesterday ...

Roller, winner of numerous local Emmys for his work in documentaries, started in radio 34 years ago. Edmonds, who has specialized in audio and master control operations, started with WMAL radio 40 years ago ...

At the ABC News bureau here, Dan Woo has been promoted from associate producer to full producer for Weekend News and "This Week With David Brinkley" ...

And at Channel 4, Julia Mitchell, press coordinator for the past four years, has been promoted to manager, press and publicity ...

CBS News correspondent Richard Roth moves from the Northeast bureau to Los Angeles in mid-summer ...

NBC News has named Tracey Carruthers to be the Chicago bureau chief. Most recently she has been management field producer at the network's Burbank bureau ...

Now This

Reflecting the uneasiness at all the networks these days about current Nielsen ratings figures -- which have reflected a decline that network researchers question -- the ABC television network yesterday told advertisers it is changing the rules for its billion-dollar-plus up-front sales for the 1990-91 primetime season ...

Major advertisers buy time for an entire season based on specific demographic targets. In the past, networks have routinely adjusted the costs of those early purchases based on whether audience targets have been met according to regular Nielsen figures, usually by offering "make goods" (additional commercial time) if audiences fall short ...

ABC told advertisers yesterday it has developed a formula, based on people-using-television figures (PUT levels) for the past three years and henceforth will review ratings results on a monthly basis, making "equitable" adjustments, up or down, taking into account "the unexplained volatility of the Nielsen measurement system" ...

In Moscow, Cable News Network already provides microwave broadcasts of its daily coverage to two major hotels -- the Savoy and the Mezhdunarodnaya (the Mezh, for short) -- and the Soviet Foreign Ministry ...

What's not generally known is that CNN has equipment in place but not yet working in Moscow for scrambled, over-the-air broadcasts that will be supplied directly to the U.S. Embassy, the newsrooms at Izvestia and Pravda, the U.S.-Soviet Institute and the apartment block in Moscow where the CNN bureau and CNN employees have apartments ...

Moreover, once the scrambled signal becomes available (enabling the Soviets to sell decoders to the hotels and other users) the Soviets will also produce a weekly half-hour highlighting CNN coverage of news from around the world ...

The program will be in Russian and eventually be made available for general Soviet audiences, according to a CNN spokesman ...

The U.S. CNN broadcasts, via satellite, are down-linked to Gostelradio in Moscow ...