WAVA AM-FM radio stations owned by Arthur W. Arundel who announced their sale last April, filed an application with the FCC July 29 to announce the transfer of ownership and a format change.

Pending Federal Communications Commission approval, Alexander W. Sheftell, a former executive of the Washington Star broadcasting propoerties, will purchase the FM station and change the format to adult contemporary music. A group called Radio 780 Inc., headed by Edwin Tornberg, will buy the AM station and the focus will switch to religious music pending approval. Tornberg's group is also going to change the AM call letters.

WAVA pioneered the all-news format in the early '60s and enjoyed no competition until 1969 when WTOP AM adopted an all-news format followed by WRC-AM. Arundel said he was selling the station not because of the compeition but to pursue other interests and "new directions in journalism and public affairs." He owns several Virginia newspapers.

The application for the transfer and format change must now undergo a 30-day public approval or objection period. If there are no major objections, the application will be processed by the FCC within 45-60 days, according to a FCC spokesman. And it there is no negative community reaction as was the case of the impending format change of WGMS in 1972 the sale will be official no later than November.