LIKE THE FRONT pages of rival newspapers, the three network-owned-and-operated stations in Los Angeles offer new stories with every edition.
And despite a seeming sameness, the lead stories of each station's newscasts often vary widely. On Oct. 28, these were the top stories for the local newscasts of the three network-owned-and-operated stations in Los Angeles:
5 p.m.: A high-ranking auditor at Northrop goes into hiding after releasing classified documents that showed substandard parts were used in Northrop's MX missile-guidance system.
6 p.m.: The search continues in Riverside County for a 3-year-old boy who disappeared from a convenience-store parking lot where he was left unattended.
7 p.m.: A Northrop executive admits that more than half of Northrop's MX missiles produced by the company are useless because of faulty guidance systems.
11 p.m.: President Reagan will announce the next U.S. Supreme Court nominee, most likely conservative U.S. Circuit Judge Anthony M. Kennedy of Sacramento.
4 p.m.: Three Mexican nationals have been arrested in a sting operation and charged with conspiring to murder a U.S. Customs official.
5 p.m.: Security is tightened around Clark Air Force base in the Philippines after two U.S. airmen are shot and killed.
6 p.m.: A spectacular light show minutes earlier was the result of the routine test launch of a Minuteman II missile from Vandenberg Air Force base near Santa Barbara.
11 p.m.: More on the 20-minute missile-launch light show, which was seen up and down the California coast.
4 p.m.: City animal-control officers will decide whether charges should be filed against the owner of a pair of Rottweiler dogs who terrorized an Encino neighborhood.
5 p.m.: The search continues for the missing 3-year-old boy from Riverside County.
6 p.m.: A concert on behalf of an American Indian activist convicted of murdering two FBI agents in 1975, enrages radio station owners, who order station personnel not to air music of participating performers Joni Mitchell, Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson.
11 p.m.: The backers of Proposition 64, an AIDS initiative that was defeated last year, have revived their efforts to get it on the November, 1988, ballot.