In the Washington of professional speechmakers and quote-creators, all-talk radio stations have had a rough history. Only a year ago WRC-AM, a news/talk station owned by NBC and regularly ranked by broadcasting trade magazines as a leader in the market, folded amid enormous financial losses. The station that has tried to fill the void, WNTR-AM (1050), a 1,000-watt outlet in Silver Spring, is now struggling for survival.

One of the reasons given for the failure of all-talk formats in Washington "is that people here are involved in the news, are making the news, and don't listen to what they already know," says Brad Woodward, news/talk editor for Radio and Records, an industry newspaper.

"My own theory is that Washington is full of transient people who don't care about local issues. When you have three jurisdictions, you don't have unified local issues." In addition, Washington is a concentrated FM market and talk radio remains for some reason largely an AM specialty.

All-talk and news/talk formats rank among the most expensive in the industry to produce, requiring not only high-salaried on-the-air personalities but a support staff of researchers and phone answerers as well. Yet they continue to boom in several markets, including Miami, where four English news/talk stations coexist with three broadcasting in Spanish. In New York three news/talk and two all-news stations prosper. According to the the National Radio Broadcasters Association, 364 of the 9,700 stations in the country have a talk format. NRBA says the numbers have decreased in the past two years.

WNTR, which stands for Washington News Talk Radio, has had a rough first year attracting advertisers and listeners. WNTR broadcasts only in the daytime. Gary Portmess, the owner, has had about 25 inquiries lately about selling the station. He says he would sell it for $1.5 million, but wouldn't expect a talk format to be continued. "WRC's immense losses scared people," says Portmess. NBC was reportedly losing $2.5 million a year. "We have taken the low-budget approach and have done moderately well. We don't have any promotion budget, we have a small sales staff and a weak signal," says Portmess.

If all-talk formats are an iffy proposition in Washington, individual talk shows are easy to find on almost every station. Station managers continue to tinker with combinations of personalities hoping to come up with shows to rival such strong regular call-ins as Ken Beatrice's Sportscall on WMAL, Dr. Gabe Mirkin on Sportsmedicine over WNTR and Fred Fiske's show on WAMU.

New shows are being planned all the time. WHFS-FM (99.1) will be featuring Marvin Mandel, the former governor of Maryland, from 10 to 11 each Sunday morning beginning Aug. 11. Starting next month WMDO-AM (1540) is planning a monthly political discussion at 11 a.m. on Saturdays.

Experimental talk and teaching formats are also being tried by religious stations. WDCT-AM (1310), which stands for Washington D.C. Talk, broke ground a few months ago by trying an inspirational music/news/talk schedule. Steve Kovach, the general manager, says despite a weak signal the listener response has been good, "because we talk about subjects from the biblical perspective. And we seem to be doing well with advertisers." The station was chosen to test the pilot of Pat Robertson's radio version of the "700 Club," which is airing 3:30 to 4 every weekday until September.

The local talk lineup, with call-ins: AM

WMAL (630): Monday through Friday, 7 to 9 p.m. and after every Redskins game, "Sportscall" with Ken Beatrice.

WABS (780): Monday through Friday, 1 to 2 p.m., "Contact America" with Peter Waldron.

WLMD (900): Sunday, 2 to 3 p.m., "The Irish Show" with Pat Troy.

WCTN (950): Monday through Friday, 12:30 to 2 p.m., "Contact" with the Rev. Richard Kline.

WWRC (980): Monday through Friday, 8 to 11 p.m., Bruce Williams. -- 11 p.m. to 2 a.m., Sally Jessy Raphael. -- 2 to 5 a.m., Bruce Williams. -- Saturday and Sunday, 8 p.m. to midnight, Bernard Meltzer. -- Midnight to 3 a.m., Dr. Harvey Rubin. -- 3 to 5 a.m., Bernard Meltzer. -- Sunday, 7 to 8 p.m. "Sundays at 7 p.m." with Ron Amadon.

WNTR (1050): Monday through Friday, 9 to 10 a.m., Ed Graham. -- 10 a.m. to noon, Dr. Susan Forward. -- Noon to 2 p.m., Owen Spann. -- 2 to 4 p.m., Michael Jackson. -- 4 to 5 p.m., Rudy Maxa. -- 5 to 6 p.m., Dr. Gabe Mirkin. -- Tuesday and Thursday, 6 to 7 p.m., Dr. David Charney and Jerilyn Ross. -- Friday, 9 to 10 a.m., Linda Levenberg. -- Saturday, 6 to 9 a.m., Ray Briem. -- 9 to 11 a.m., Marc Cathey. -- 11 a.m to 1 p.m., Mike Lennon. -- 1 to 3 p.m., Lawrence Balter. -- 3 to 4 p.m., Bob Fitzsimmons. -- 4 to 6 p.m., Dean Edell. -- Sunday, 11 a.m. to noon, Richmond Davis. -- Noon to 1 p.m., Malcolm Kram. -- 1 to 2 p.m., Al Ubell. -- 2 to 4 p.m., Robert Atkins. -- 4 to 6 p.m., Bill Bresnan.

WUST (1120): Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 9 a.m., Lou Hankins. -- Tuesday and Thursday, 1:30 to 2 p.m., "Community Report" with Lavern Jackson.

WDCT (1310): Monday through Friday, 2 to 3:30 p.m., "Point of View" with Marlin Maddoux. -- 4 to 6 p.m., Bob Larson. -- 9 to 10 p.m., "Open Line" with Donald Cole. -- Saturday, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., "Kids of God's Kingdom" with John Tracy. -- 1:30 to 3 p.m., Hal Lindsey. -- 10 to 11 p.m., "Let's Talk" with Franklin Hudgins.

WYCB (1340): Monday through Wednesday, 9:30 to 10 p.m., "Destiny '85" with John Raye. -- Tuesday through Thursday, Saturday, 10 p.m.-midnight, "Soundoff" with Calvin Rolark. -- Tuesday, 9:30 a.m. to noon, "Career Call" with Johnnie Griffin.

WNAV (1430): Tuesday/Thursday, 9:30-10 a.m., Marvin Mandel.

WOL (1450): Monday through Friday, 7 to 9 a.m., with the Rev. Willie Wilson and Cathy Hughes.

WTOP (1500): Monday through Saturday, 12:06 a.m., Larry King. -- Sunday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., "Over the Garden Fence" with Jack Eden. -- 12:06 a.m., Jim Bohannon.

WMDO (1540): Wednesday through Friday, noon to 12:05 p.m., "Mundo Opina" with Mia Cara. -- Sunday, 10-10:30 a.m., "Voices of the Community" with Mia Cara. FM

WAMU (88.5): Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to noon, Diane Rehm. -- 8 to 11 p.m., Fred Fiske.

WPFW (89.3): Monday, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., Hazel Cassell on the first Monday of the month, "Buyer Beware" on consecutive Mondays. -- Monday, 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., "Listening Post" with Darla Davenport Powell. -- Tuesday/Thursday, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., "Dialogue" with Kojo Olohun-Iyo. -- Tuesday, 12:30-1:30 p.m., Dorothy Healey. -- Wednesday, 9:30 a.m., "Public Notice" with Lorne Cress Love. -- 12:30 p.m., "Puentes" with Frank Schaeffer-Corona. -- Thursday, 12:30 p.m., "Speak Easy" with Ken Rothschild. -- 11 a.m., "Dial a Poem" with Olohun-Iyo. -- Alternate Fridays, 7:30 p.m., "Living for the City" with Saleen Hylton.

WETA (90.9): First Saturday of the month, 10 a.m., "Arts Call" with Martin Goldsmith.

WGTS (91.9): Monday, 10 a.m., "Talk It Over" with Linda Jessup and Dr. Jim Gormally. -- 6:30-7:30 p.m., "Here's to Your Health" with Dr. Gerry Fuller. -- Tuesday, 10 a.m., "Plant Talk" with Terry Pogue. -- 6:30-7:30 p.m., "Straight Talk" with Bill Burns. -- Wednesday, 10 a.m., "Generations Together" with Beverly Warran. -- 6:30-7:30 p.m., "Focus on Life" with Dr. Dale Hannah. -- Thursday, 10 a.m., "Perspectives on Health" with Franki Engelking and Dr. Alfred Munzer. -- Friday, 10 a.m., "Consumer Aware" with Shirley Wagener and Peggy Walton.

WQRA (94.3): Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to noon, Dr. Susan Forward; 12:30 to 2 p.m., Owen Spann. -- 2 to 4 p.m., Michael Jackson. -- Tuesday through Sunday, 12:07 to 5 a.m., Larry King.

WHUR (96.3): Monday through Friday, 6:30 p.m., "Insight" with Kojo Nnamdi. -- Thursday, 9:30 a.m., open lines with Audrey Chapman. -- Sunday, 6 p.m., "Let's Talk Sports" with Glenn Harris. -- First Sunday of the month, 2 p.m., "Relating" with Audrey Chapman. -- Alternating Sundays, Talmadge Roberts on finance and "Health Line" with Tyrone Barksdale.

WRQX (107.3): Sunday, 11 p.m. to 2 a.m., "Live Line" with Steve Palmer.