Donald "Cerphe" Colwell, a popular disc jockey at progressive rock station WHFS-FM, was fired on Tuesday over what station owner and manager Jake Einstien said was a lont-term programming dispute.

Einstein said the dismissal is "very definite" and occurred over a "difference of opinion between the station's idea of programming and Cerphe's. It has been coming for a year. It was inevitable."

"He wouldn't tell me why he fired me," Colwell, 29, said yesterday. "After seven years at the station, I think I deserve more than that."

Sources said yesterday that Einstein and Colwell had been arguing over a proposed Tuesday night broadcast of a Grateful Dead radio special. Einstein told Colwell he could not do the broadcast because it was too close to a concert date the band has tonight in Baltimore and would appear to be inappropriate promotion.

Colwell said Einstein "always accused me of hyping things, promoting. I don't consider that hyping an artist, I consider it helping them."

Colwell said he was going to "hang out for awhile. I have plans, but I can't discuss them now."

Larry Harris has replaced Colwell on the 5-to-9 p.m. radio show.