Channel 26 will examine the subject of white and black polarization in the District in a one-hour special called "Politics and Polarization" the night of Tuesday, June 26 ...

Accordingto the station, the program "will discuss the feelings of anger, frustration and sadness expressed after the arrest of the mayor," but will "go beyond Mayor Barry and focus on the mistrust that has kept white and black Washingtonians polarized for years" ...

Another in WETA's Action Series, the program will be hosted by Dave Marash ...

Panelists will include Cathy Hughes, owner and general manager of WOL and WMMJ radio; Bob Asher, editorial writer at The Washington Post and a journalism professor at Howard University; Robert Woodson, president of the National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise; Bruce Fein, syndicated columnist; the Rev. Tom Nees, executive director of the Community of Hope and the Institute for Racial Reconciliation; and Donald Addison, assistant professor of sociology at Howard ...

Ward Chamberlin, the former president and CEO of WETA-TV and -FM, yesterday was named the 1990 winner of the Ralph Lowell Award by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting ...

Chamberlin was a founding executive and the first employee of CPB and also served as an executive vice president of WNET in New York and as a senior vice president of PBS before taking over at WETA in 1975 ...

The award was presented in Dallas as public broadcasters gathered to start the annual PBS meeting ...

Since its inception in 1971, the Ralph Lowell Award has been considered the top honor in public broadcasting. Previous winners include Joan Ganz Cooney, Bill Moyers, Hartford N. Gunn, Fred Rogers, James R. Killian Jr., Newton N. Minow, Walter H. Annenberg, Lawrence K. Grossman, David O. Ives and Sens. John Pastore, Warren G. Magnuson, Barry M. Goldwater and Ernest K. Hollings. Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer were the winners last year ...

The award was created by the Lowell family to commemorate the late Boston philanthropist and banker on his 80th birthday. Lowell had a key role in the formation of the Carnegie Commission on Educational Television, which led to the establishment of public broadcasting ...

In Other News

Genie Francis, who used to wow 'em as Laura on ABC's "General Hospital," is returning to the daytime wars on ABC's "All My Children," starting June 27. She'll play Ceara Conner ...

Genie bailed out of "General Hospital" in 1981 just when her wedding to Luke set a daytime ratings record that still stands, and returned in 1983-84. After trying her luck in a couple of miniseries, she was on NBC's "Days of Our Lives" from 1987 to '89 ...

"NBC Nightly News With Tom Brokaw" has a new executive producer in Steve Friedman and the changes under the former boss of the "Today" show are already apparent ...

Steve probably set a few teeth on edge up at the Columbia Journalism School Friday when a longish piece on the financial problems of Donald Trump concluded with a "Perils of Pauline" piano riff and a tease to tune in next week for more news on The Donald's dilemma ...

Friedman also has decided on a strategy he'll institute as of the Sept. 10 broadcast, which he likes to call "the daily difference" ...

Except when a big news night interferes, each weeknight will include a special segment devoted to a broad subject that will run 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 minutes. The Monday topic will be "power," followed by "What Works" on Tuesday (a feature already periodically explored on the newscast), medical and health news on Wednesday called "Vital Signs," "Guns and Drugs" on Thursday, and "The Friday Follow," which will update news stories of interest ...

Among those contributing to the daily "difference" will be Brokaw, George Lewis, Ann Rubenstine, Mike Jensen and Mary Alice Williams ...

A permanent piano player is yet to be named ...

Incidentally, last night's appearance of Katie Couric as co-anchor with Garrick Utley on the NBC Sunday night news was only an experiment, according to an NBC spokesman. Weekend news executive producer John Terenzio has been planning some such experiment ever since Maria Shriver left the weekend anchor roster in favor of motherhood. According to Peggy Hubble, other correspondents besides Couric may join Utley on the Sunday night news in the future, but nothing is set. Couric's appearance is sure to stir talk that Jane Pauley and Tom Brokaw will soon be a twosome on "NBC Nightly News," but both Pauley and Brokaw have publicly stated recently that it ain't gonna happen ...

Faith Daniels, making her debut as a substitute for Brokaw on Friday's "Nightly News," put in a real tough day. As anchor of "NBC News at Sunrise," she got word at 5:30 that morning of the devastating floods in southeastern Ohio ...

Because she had covered the territory in the past, Daniels was able, between broadcasts, to land an exclusive interview for NBC News with the young girl who survived the flood when her babysitter (who died) placed her in a bathtub as floodwaters rose ...

Daniels, who is of course also news anchor for "Today," narrated the first film from the scene at the 8 a.m. newsbreak of the morning show ...

With solutions for scheduling problems still being hammered out yesterday among organizers of Nelson Mandela's historic visit to the United States starting this week, final word on major TV appearances of the South African leader was still pending ...

So far he is definitely scheduled for two network appearances -- a PBS special Friday night to be hosted by Charlayne Hunter-Gault, and "The Koppel Report: A Town Meeting With Nelson Mandela" on ABC Thursday night...

The PBS special, "Meeting With Mandela," will be taped earlier that day at the Council of Foreign Relations in New York, where the apartheid foe will meet with academics, policy-makers, journalists and others with a longstanding interest in South Africa ...

The program, to air at 10 p.m., will be produced by WNET in New York. Executive producer will be Steven Weinstock ...

As reported Thursday, the Koppel program, which airs at 10 p.m. Thursday and will continue in the regular "Nightline" timeslot following local news that evening, will be taped earlier that day at the City College of New York ...

The Cable News Network already has announced extensive coverage of the June 20 to June 30 Mandela visit, starting with live coverage on Wednesday of the arrival at Kennedy Airport of Mandela and his wife, Winnie ...

NBC and CBS undoubtedly are seeking interviews with Mandela but until the schedule for his tour of New York, Boston, Washington (June 24-26), Atlanta, Miami, Detroit, Los Angeles and Oakland is firmly set -- his supporters must worry about the stamina of the longtime prisoner of the South African government -- further allocations of his time are only pending ...

Former CNN political director Christine Dolan, whose company, Golden Zebra Productions, specializes in films on Africa, is a press spokeswoman for the national Mandela tour ...

Now This

Channel 5 and Channel 4 were among the winners of gold medallions at the 29th annual meeting of the Broadcast Promotion and Marketing Executives in Las Vegas last week ...

Five won for a campaign for "City Under Siege." Creative director was Lindy Spero, producer was Jack Mori and art director was Hank Zangara ...

Four won three Gold Medallions, for "We Work Well Together" in the jingle/music category and "Drug Free Zones -- Street Kid" in the In-House Event TV Announcement category and, in the radio announcement category, "The Gift of Life" ...

You think those odds aren't tough out in Vegas? There were 3,700 entries for the Golds in 77 categories ...

And, hey, what would a Monday morning TV Column be without some Ratingzzz information? CBS didn't want to tell anybody about the NBA finale numbers for Thursday night, but Channel 26 here wants us to know that its overall audience May figures were up 4 percent from a year ago while prime time audiences were up 10 percent ...

If you showed up with the following numbers for an 11 o'clock news show in this market your next stop would be the Greyhound bus station, strike or no strike, but in public TV land it's bragging rights ...

Most popular show in May was "The Living Planet," which averaged an audience of 89,000 viewers, followed by "Mysteries of Peru" at 86,000; "Mystery!" at 84,000; "Inside Gorbachev's USSR" at 76,000; the last episode of "Moyers: The Public Mind," and "NOVA," both with audiences of 75,000; and "Nature," at 63,000. These audience figures are for a TV market of 1.7 million TV homes ...