Mark Haefeli, who was Cable News Network's entertainment and media correspondent in New York until November, is joining CNBC's "The Real Story," the financial-information cable network's first try at a primetime magazine show ...

"The Real Story," anchored by Cassandra Clayton and Boyd Matson, is due to premiere at the end of March. Haefeli is married to NBC News anchor Mary Alice Williams ...

Channel 26 will unveil a new set and "video open" on the Feb. 22 broadcast of "Washington Week in Review," when the grandperson of all PBS public-affairs shows marks its 24th anniversary ...

The current set, in use since 1987, is being replaced by a "streamlined, contemporary structure" designed by New York-based Mitchell Greenberg Designs and includes "a center stage round table surrounded by five chairs ... the structure features gray granite-like columns supporting flats of crystal panels sand-blasted by images of the U.S. Capitol and the words 'Washington Week in Review.' The journalists' round table has a granite-like paneled front and is finished in cool gray tones" ...

If that doesn't have you right on the edge of your breakfast nooks this morning, TV Column fans, consider that the new video open will be a "fast-moving montage of several dozen visual images representing aspects of current events -- still photographs and video footage illustrating government, media, economics, politics, technology, and foreign affairs are interspersed with seals of several branches of the U.S. government" ...

NBC and the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians (NABET) are turning the heat up on the air-conditioners in order to get a new four-year agreement. One unit -- a 20-member group that maintains air-conditioning equipment at NBC facilities in New York -- is the sole remaining holdout among 12 locals required to ratify the deal. NABET and management are trying to resolve the unit's disputes on seniority and jurisdiction ...

Tonight's "Nightline" will include video of Iraqi soldiers surrendering to Egyptian troops Sunday night somewhere on the Persian Gulf War front lines. Forrest Sawyer and a crew were on hand for the occasion, but don't ask how they got there. He'll be interviewed live by Ted Koppel on the ABC telecast ...

America's fun couple, Roseanne Barr and husband Tom Arnold, host "A Current Affair" tonight on Channel 5 at 7:30 ...

In Other News

It's called an "incentive plan" to encourage affiliates to clear network product (i.e., cut down on the preemptions that are hurting ratingzzz) but anyway CBS is taking steps to restore $6 million of the $30 million cut in compensation to its affiliates that was announced late last year ...

In November, CBS said it was cutting the amount of money paid affiliates for carrying programs by 20 percent right across the board, subject to negotiations ...

No formula has been worked out for distribution of the $6 million but it will apparently be based on network program clearance levels and ratings performance ...

As a further balm to angry affiliates, CBS told stations it will increase the late-night news window during the 1992 Winter Olympics from nine to 30 minutes, which should boost local advertising revenues ...

Francoise Simon, the wife of CBS newsman Bob Simon, said yesterday she believes he and three colleagues are still alive, even though there's been no word on them since they disappeared three weeks ago while covering the gulf war ...

Mrs. Simon, appearing on "CBS This Morning," also said she has written Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and King Hussein of Jordan, appealing for information on Simon and his CBS colleagues. She said that if her husband could hear her, she'd want him to know "that we are doing everything we can, that we have the belief they are alive somewhere" ...

It looks like NBC Entertainment will be headed back to the drawing boards. Again. The network's latest Friday and Sunday programming isn't making it ...

Last Friday -- overwhelmed by ABC's schedule -- NBC averaged a 7.7/14 for the night. "Dark Shadows" could do no better than an 8.3 national Nielsen rating and a 14 percent audience share at 9, which knocked "Midnight Caller" down to a 7.3/14 in the next hour ...

Meanwhile, ABC was having the best Friday night (15.7/28) any network has had with regular series since February 1989. The evening started well as "Full House" prepared for Jesse and Rebecca's wedding for a 17.5/30, followed by "Family Matters' " best-ever at 18.3/31 ...

CBS averaged only 9.4/17, with "Dallas" the best entry at just 11.4/19. Each national ratingzzz point represents 931,000 TV homes ...

Sunday night, the first two hours on NBC were particularly grim as an hour of "Sunday Best" did a 5.0/8 in the 25-city overnights, followed by a 5.2/7 for "Real Life With Jane Pauley" and a 7.5/11 for "Expose'" ...

The NBC movie "The Chase" rebounded to a respectable 14.2/21 in the big cities ...

CBS won Sunday night, of course. "Lucy & Desi: Before the Laughter" survived all the mean reviews to average a 17.3/26 ...

The entertaining but overly cabled theatrical movie "Big" made its network debut on ABC and still registered a nice 15.0/23 between 9 and 11:06 p.m. Each overnight ratingzzz point represents 446,215 homes, as if you didn't know ...

ABC, by the way, could use a little help on Saturday nights. Its "Under Cover" at 9 p.m. could muster only an 8 share in the 25-city overnights, although "Twin Peaks," once the critics' darling, managed a 12 ...

The oft-viewed "Dirty Dancing," on CBS, averaged a 17 share that night which, as usual, belonged to NBC (its "Golden Girls," by comparison, earned a 31 share) ...

Locally, on Saturday night, in the very heart of the U.S. intelligence community, "Under Cover" on WJLA -- ostensibly about mom-and-pop agents working for the "National Intelligence Agency" -- averaged only a 4.5/8, compared with a 5.4/9 for "Twin Peaks" ...

On Sunday, the big movie here was "Lucy & Desi" on Channel 9 at 15.5/24, compared with a 13.1/20 for "Chase" on Four and a 12.5/19 for "Big" on Seven ...

As usual, Fox's lineup on Five performed well. Each local ratingzzz point represents 17,491 TV homes ...

CNN's Headline News went black for seven minutes yesterday when the cable network's Atlanta complex was evacuated after a bomb threat. The service ran on tape from 5 to 6 p.m. but went dark during four commercial breaks because there were no technicians in the studio to run the commercials, a Turner Broadcasting System official said ...

The first-ever $50,000 Lincoln Prize went to filmmaker Ken Burns for his PBS documentary "The Civil War." Presented Saturday night at a ceremony attended by 200 people, including WETA vice chairman Ward Chamberlin and Corporation for Public Broadcasting CEO Donald Ledwig, the award was established by the Lincoln and Soldiers Institute at Gettysburg College, Pa., for scholarship on Abraham Lincoln or the war era. The award to Burns "reflects the recognition that fine history need not be confined to books or to the academy." Burns said the money would go to the technicians, editors and photographers who helped him with "The Civil War" ...

A gossip column item out on the West Coast over the weekend predicting NBC wants to dump Johnny Carson after one more year in favor of Jay Leno (and the younger audience he attracts) prompted NBC Entertainment president Warren Littlefield to issue the following statement yesterday:

" 'The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson' is an NBC institution which remains enormously popular with viewers. We expect our long and close association with Johnny to continue. He will be the one who decides when he will leave the show, and he has given no indication that he is prepared to do so ...

"Jay Leno does an outstanding job as exclusive guest host. He is perfectly suited to the role, and we're likewise hopeful of a continued close association with him" ...

Professional Carson sidekick Ed McMahon recently told an interviewer that Johnny, who is 65 and makes $20 million a year from NBC, was retiring after the 1992 season anyway ...

And Finally

And just in time for Valentine's Day, too!! Nielsen has announced that Charlotte, N.C., the 31st largest TV market in the country, will be added to its overnight ratingzzz list of 25 big-city markets in July, boosting the total thereof to 26 cities, containing 48.5 percent of the 93.1 million TV homes in the good ole USA. That means that each overnight ratingzzz point, currently representing 446,215 TV homes, will be worth 453,557 come July!! ...

Captain Airwaves, the old softie, suggests the updated list of 26 cities would make a nice addition to that fancy Valentine's Day card. "It'll remind her in July you were thinking of her in February," Airwaves points out. And for you procrastinators, Airwaves has also come up with a ready-to-read Valentine's Day poem you might want to include with the list:

Roses are red;

Violets are blue;

Just six more, A.C.,

And there'll be 32 ...

(Cut on dotted line) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Sweetheart. Your very own 26-city Nielsen overnight list as of July '91: New York, Boston, Atlanta, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Washington, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Denver, Portland, Ore., Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Seattle, Phoenix, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Sacramento-Stockton, Milwaukee, San Francisco-Oakland, Houston, Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Hartford-New Haven, Charlotte and San Antonio ...