Peter Ferrara, executive vice president of the National Radio Broadcasters Association, takes over Monday as vice president and general manager of WBMW-FM (106.7).

"The reason for the change was the opportunity to get Peter Ferrara," said Alan Box, president of EZ Communications Inc., the owner of the Top 40 station in Fairfax. "He has been around Washington a long time. I thought it was important we have a local management team and someone who knows where the bones are buried. The NRBA works heavily in sales, sales training and program development for the entire industry. He was a prime person in all that."

Ferrara's local experience includes his 14 months at the NRBA, six years as general sales manager of WGAY-FM (99.5) and a time as account executive at WASH-FM (97.1). Ferrara replaces Bonnie Brooks Reich, who had managed the station since October 1984 and has left the company, according to Box. Afternoon Status

For a long time the morning drive standings of a radio station were its bread and butter, guaranteeing solvency and popularity for the rest of the day, but slowly that standard has begun to change. The afternoon (3 to 7 p.m.) and evening (7 to midnight) ratings might also solidify a station's reputation, even if the highest advertising rates continue to be in the morning.

"From a historical point of view, morning drive has been considered the premium time. What has happened is that the marketing people have come to realize that different stations are stronger at different times," said Ted Dorf, general manager of WWRC-AM (980) and WGAY-FM (99.5), the leader in afternoon drive time. WGAY is a good example of how there is no set rule. "We are even stronger from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., when we have more listeners than some stations do in the morning. In the afternoon it is out-of-home listening and we seem to be giving what people want for their frame of mind at that time," Dorf said.

In Washington, 2,560,400 people listen to radio in the morning. The number drops 4 percent to 2,434,200 in the afternoon. The afternoons have stiff competition from good weather, after-work and after-school activities and television, according to the local experts. "One of the unique things about Washington is that people tend to go to work in the morning with a more rigid schedule than they tend to have going home. In the afternoon they want to be entertained, relax and listen to the music," said Jeff Hedges, vice president of sales at WWDC-FM. For example, in the last book WTOP-AM (1500) lost 30 percent of its audience during afternoon drive time, an occurrence station manager Michael Douglass said often occurs "in the spring" and when there isn't late-breaking news.

The trend toward bigger numbers at other parts of the day was underscored by the popularity of "The Quiet Storm" on WHUR-FM (96.3), which had the largest audience during the evenings, but at times, according to program director Jesse Fax, had an even larger audience in the morning. Another factor in this shift might be a strong personality or a popular feature. Don Geronimo of WAVA-FM (105.1) only took one year to make an impact. The station's afternoon ratings rose a full share between the summer and fall book. "He went from a 2 share to a 10 share with men aged 25 to 34 and with women aged 18 to 24 from a 4.2 share to a 10.8 share," said Alan Goodman, general manager of WAVA. The station, however, has moved Geronimo to the mornings, and Loo Katz is now doing the afternoon shift. In the feature corner, Chris Barry of WDJY-FM (100.3) has started a request line to capture the after-school and after-work crowd.

The following are the afternoon Top 10 preferences Monday through Friday for the 12-years-old-and-up audience, according to the fall 1985 survey of Arbitron Ratings. One caution: While WGAY has the largest share, based on the number of different listeners and the time they spend listening, WKYS-FM (93.9) has more actual listeners. The audience tunes into WGAY longer, which gives them the overall edge.

1. WGAY-FM (Dave DeForest/ Terry Johnston) 8.4

2. WKYS-FM (Candy Shannon) 7.5

3. WHUR-FM (Linda Reynolds/ news) 7.1

4. WWDC-FM (Adam Smasher/ Cerphe Colwell) 6.6

5. WMAL-AM (Bill Trumbull and Chris Core) 5.8

6. WAVA-FM (Don Geronimo/ Loo Katz) 5.2

7. WLTT-FM (Bill Hamlin) 4.7

8. WRQX-FM (Shadow Smith/ Chris Jagger) 4.5

9. WDJY-FM (Chris Barry) 4.1

10. WTOP-AM (John Lynker/ Jamie Bragg/ Wendy Rieger) 3.7 Money Matters

WPFW-FM (89.3) is winding up its winter membership drive this weekend. Today it plans a daylong salute to James Brown, following by an extended version of Gene Miller's soul sounds program. The goal of the drive, which ends Sunday, is $50,000 . . . WETA-FM (90.9) kicks off its second annual auction Monday from 6:30 to 11 p.m. It continues every night through Thursday and the goal is $75,000 . . .