CHICAGO (AP) _ A columnist and TV commentator who reports on financial news says there is no ethical conflict between her work and her appointment to the McDonald's Corp. board of directors.

''This won't be a problem,'' said Terry Savage, who writes a weekly financial news column for the Chicago Sun-Times and Dallas Times Herald and who appears regularly on Chicago station WBBM, which is owned by CBS.

Savage, 46, the first woman named to the company's board in 20 years, will receive $24,000 a year from McDonald's plus $2,000 for each board meeting attended.

Officials at the newspapers and TV station said Savage promised to stay away from any issues that could be construed as conflicting with her role on the McDonald's board.

''We will make sure she does not write about the food industry, and McDonald's in particular,'' said Times Herald Business Editor Jim Frisinger. But George Harmon, who teaches business writing at Northwestern University's graduate school of journalism, said it would be hard to avoid the apperance of a conflict because McDonald's influences so much of the business world.

He said Savage could be restricted from reporting on the beef, potato and recycling industries and even the stock market because McDonald's is among the 30 companies whose performances are reflected in the Dow Jones industrials average.

''If somebody wanted to restrict Terry from reporting on McDonald's and be very strict about that, it would restrain her considerably,'' he said.