For the past two weeks, traffic through the front door at WAVA-FM (105.1) has been almost as heavy as on the slick streets outside.

Following recent ratings reports that found WAVA third among the Washington market's three album-oriented rock (AOR) stations (trailing DC101 and WRQX-FM, in that order), station owner Alex Sheftell says he has replaced his entire 6 a.m.-to-midnight staff with new -- but familiar -- manes.

Gary Chase, formerly the 10-to-3 man at DC101, starts Tuesday in the 3-to-7 slot at WAVA, where he's the new music director. WWDC-AM disc jockey Jim Herron is WAVA's new morning-drive man and program director, to be followed by Kelly Saunders at 10. The schedule is filled out by Cerph, the local radio personality noted for his numerous free-form years at progressive WHFS-FM. (Sheftell says Cerph has agreed, reputation notwithstanding, to go along happily with what Sheftell calls "a tightening of our format" -- that is -- stricter control over what music gets played.)

DC101 general manager Eddie Sacks says part-timer Chris Montgomery has been hired full-time to fill Chase's slot, but that on-the-air shifts have yet to be permanently rearranged.