CBS, which is watching the nickels these days, has decided to scale back the once-lavish early summer affiliates convention -- moving it from Los Angeles to New York next June, while reducing its length from three days to 1 1/2 ...

The June meet will concentrate on business, according to CBS executive George Schweitzer. Spouses of station executives will not be included ...

In the good old days, when CBS dominated television, the affiliates conventions -- designed as pep rallies for the just-chosen upcoming fall schedules -- mixed self-congratulatory business meetings with major parties, crowded with the network's TV stars, that could cost more than $1 million ...

NBC, which last year brought its affiliates to Washington as part of a lobbying effort on behalf of relaxed syndication rules for the networks, is reviewing its convention plans but has made no decision yet. ABC says its late spring convention will be scaled back somewhat ...

"We've substantially scaled it back and changed the venue," said Schweitzer. The usual convention business, including the screening of new series, still will go on but "minus the embellishments," he said. "It will be more of a business meeting than a three-day adventure" ...

Of more immediate importance to CBS affiliates, the Wall Street Journal on Friday reported that the network plans to reduce the amount of money it pays its 200-plus affiliates to air the network's shows ...

The reduction of compensation would hit the smaller affiliates hardest since the network payment contributes a larger share of those stations' annual revenues. The affiliate board of governors meets in New York today to consider the payment plan. CBS currently pays about $160 million annually to its affiliates, compared to NBC's $130 million and ABC's $110 million ...

NBC recently cut its total compensation 10 percent and adopted a formula to pay stations based on their performance. ABC tried to cut compensation a couple of years ago but backed down in the face of affiliate resistance ...

Time magazine will provide correspondents both here and abroad for "The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour" in an experiment that could lead to an "ongoing relationship between the two organizations" ...

Starting tonight, Time has agreed to supply "occasional reports from correspondents around the world" produced in conjunction with the "NewsHour" as well as making available correspondents for live interviews when breaking news warrants ...

The developmental project will immediately expand the "NewsHour's" overseas coverage. The PBS series -- a joint production of WETA here and WNET in New York -- already has 11 correspondents worldwide, along with contributing reporters from PBS stations around the country. For foreign footage, the "NewsHour" currently relies mostly on footage from two British organizations, ITN (International Television News of London Ltd.) and the BBC ...

The project is being coordinated by Gregg Ramshaw, the Washington-based managing producer of the "NewsHour," and Barrett Seaman, deputy chief of correspondents for Time ...

Channel 7's revamped news shows seem to have lost a step between 5:30 and 6:30 since Nov. 1 but are otherwise holding their own during the November ratings sweeps ...

In weekday figures from Nov. 1 through last Thursday, the half-hour 5 p.m. news averaged a 7 Nielsen rating and a 17 percent audience share, compared with a 7/16 in November 1989 ...

Last year, a one-hour news show between 5:30 and 6:30 averaged an 8/16 in November. By comparison, the new half-hour news show at 5:30 has averaged a 7/14 and the half-hour at 6 a 7/13 ...

At 11, there's no change from a year ago, as Renee and Susan average a 6/14 ...

Each ratings point represents 17,491 TV homes ...

In Other News

ABC News Friday confirmed details of a reorganization of its overseas bureaus. The Moscow bureau will add nine people, and two more will be assigned to Berlin ...

With transfers, about 20 positions will be affected by the changes, with a net loss of nine jobs, according to ABC News sources ...

The News division will close offices in El Salvador, Honduras and Panama, but freelance relationships with reporters and crews will be continued and the office in Managua, Nicaragua, will be kept ...

Less costly office space will be found for bureaus in Manila, Hong Kong and Seoul as part of the cost-cutting moves, while bureaus in Warsaw, Frankfurt, Prague and Budapest will eventually be eliminated by further consolidation ...

"Korea: The Unknown War," which aired over three nights on PBS last week, averaged a 2.4 rating in 23 of Nielsen's 25 major city overnight markets. Locally, the series averaged a 3.0 on Channel 26 here. The Tuesday broadcasts did best both here and in other markets ...

Public Broadcasting Service stations around the country will participate in a teleconference today to discuss plans for the National Program Service sent to the stations last week by superprogram boss Jennifer Lawson ... amid signs that several longtime programs aimed at young audiences are facing difficult futures ...

The funding plans for fiscal 1992 are the first to take into consideration the formal suspension of the Station Programming Cooperative -- the annual auctions in which stations voted to contribute to their favorite national programs -- and the proposed consolidation of more than $100 million in funding authority under Lawson ...

Programming aimed at young audiences received warning flags from Lawson in her Nov. 14 advisory to the stations summarizing funding decisions regarding the 30-plus series that were still in contention in the concluding rounds of the final SPC ...

"Newton's Apple," which provides science for teens, will get no funding next year. Children's Television Workshop's "Square One TV" and "3-2-1 Contact" will both be funded in FY '92 but Lawson asks that producers join PBS to "evaluate the significance and implications of declining audiences for these and other school-aged series" ...

And the award-winning "Wonderworks Family Movie," which previously got help from CPB, will not be funded in FY '92 but will continue for at least one more year because of previous SPC funding ...

Amid the familiar SPC faces ("Austin City Limits" "Great Performances," "Mister Rogers Neighborhood" etc.) that survived, there were a few more jolts, however, suggesting some old-timers will have to renew efforts to find outside funding:

"American Playhouse" will be funded for FY '92 but the recommendation is to change this expensive series from a weekly show to monthly specials starting next fall, and Maryland Public TV's "Motorweek" will be funded only through FY '92 ...

CBS Entertainment on Friday said the future of "Wiseguy" on the air pretty much depended on its performance this past Saturday night ...

In its debut a week ago, the returning series, with Steven Bauer replacing Ken Wahl as Head Hunk, fashioned a 6.8/13 to finish 78th among 92 shows that week. A couple of days later, the network stopped production short of the 13 episodes originally ordered ...

CBS will also drop "The Hogan Family" when its current order of 13 runs out (if not sooner) ...

The NBC series retread has been another Saturday night flop, ranking 79th among 101 series in the season-to-date standings before Saturday's play ("Wiseguy" is 83rd on that list) ...

"We'll eventually air all 13 episodes" of "The Hogan Family," a spokesperson said Friday, "but we haven't got firm dates yet" ...

CBS has also ordered four more scripts for "WIOU" -- some of which presumably could be as steamy as last Wednesday's, in which anchorman Harris Yulin received a demonstration from reporter Kate McNeil using postage stamps on how to test whether his impotence was physical in origin, which sailed right by the network censors, its suggestions of oral sex on primetime notwithstanding. "WIOU" had ranked 59th in season-to-date standings in three tries before that eye opener ...

CBS has also increased its order to 16 episodes for "Lenny," which had aired just three times before it was sent to Hiatus a few weeks back (82nd so far) ...

NBC has now ordered a full season for "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air," the Monday night entry that got a Saturday test this past weekend but otherwise has ranked 34th so far, making it the network's second most-successful series to date (right behind "Law & Order") ...

Ron Reagan, son of the former president, is getting his own syndicated late-night talk show. It will be based in Los Angeles and produced by MCA-TV and Fox Television Stations Inc. The still-untitled show will air on the seven TV stations owned by Fox, including WTTG here, and be syndicated to other stations. Each one-hour program will feature talk, comedy and contemporary music. Reagan, 32, left ABC's "Good Morning America" last summer after four years as a contributing reporter.