SHORT TAKES : MacNeil-Lehrer History to Air

From Times Staff and Wire Service Reports

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 MacNeil 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."

A spokesman for MacNeil-Lehrer said Thursday 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 humor."

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