Jake Einstein, who gave Washington its first and only progressive-format station, last week sold Annapolis-based WHFS-FM (99.1) and middle-of-the-road WNAV-AM (1430) to Duchossois Communications Co. for $8.24 million cash. Duchossois, based in Elmhurst, Ill., is one of several companies owned by Arlington Park race track owner Richard Duchossois. The purchaser is not expected to change the station's format, which has been a showcase for new music and new performers since 1967.

"Our intent would be to operate it along the lines it has been operated, with the progressive format on the FM and the full service on the AM. They both make money," Rolland Johnson, Duchossois Communications president, said yesterday.

Einstein's son David is expected to continue programming WHFS and to remain operations director for both stations. The air staff, which includes such veterans as "Weasel," a k a Jonathan Gilbert, and Einstein's other son, Damian, is also expected to stay intact.

Johnson, who had been talking with Einstein for nearly a year, predicted that the only changes would be "improved equipment and perhaps a little more promotions." He said Duchossois was attracted to Annapolis because "basically it's the kind of market we like -- a diverse economy, a magnet of colleges with the {U.S. Naval} Academy and a state university, and we like the growing market."

Duchossois Communications, a four-year-old company, also owns a television station and nine other radio stations around the country.

Einstein, who paid $2.8 million for the stations nearly four years ago, yesterday said that all the papers have been signed and the transfer will be completed in mid-January, pending approval by the Federal Communications Commission.

"That {profit from the sale} is a nice centerpiece for a guy that's 70 years old," acknowledges Einstein. "It's been a good trip -- a lot of good friends and a lot of good fights."

But reportedly they are not over. The veteran broadcaster is negotiating to buy a station in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and another in Pennsylvania. However, he says he doesn't expect to buy a station in the Washington market.

The original WHFS was in Bethesda when Einstein and several partners began broadcasting in stereo at 102.3 FM in 1961. The station's middle-of-the-road format lost money for six years before Einstein sold the 4-to-7 p.m. show for $160 a day to three young disc jockeys who called themselves "Spiritus Cheese." The trio played cuts by such then-unknowns as Joe Cocker, the Mothers of Invention, Ten Years After, Richie Havens and Country Joe and the Fish. Although the jock trio broke up 2 1/2 years later, it set the stage for WHFS' switch to a 24-hour progressive format in 1971, a programming niche that has never brought the station impressive ratings but has consistently delivered a positive cash flow, according to Einstein.

In 1982 Einstein sold the 1,200-watt Bethesda station to Outlet Communications for $2.1 million, only to pay $2.8 million for the new 50,000-watt WHFS-FM signal and the 5,000-watt WNAV-AM. Described as cantankerous and quarrelsome by some, imaginative and innovative by others, Einstein has been gutsy, relentless and successful in his attempt to avoid the beaten path of rigidly programmed, follow-the-leader radio that's so popular today.

"I don't believe in the numbers," says Einstein. "If you live by them, you die by them. I don't believe in surveys."

Einstein's renegade attitude is part of what attracted Duchossois to the deal.

"Jake is a delightful guy, a unique personality," said Johnson, "and I think that's part of what we're getting."

Around the Dial Asher Benrubi, better known to WWDC-FM (101.1) listeners as Adam Smasher, apparently didn't see eye to eye with station brass. The rock station "just didn't exercise our option for two {more} years" says Programming Vice President Dave Brown. Philadelphia's Steve Sutton has moved into the 2-to-6 p.m. slot. Since his Sept. 4 departure, Smash has gotten a part-time gig hosting the morning show on MTV ... Speaking of DC-101: The rocker celebrates its 12th birthday tonight with Lynyrd Skynyrd in concert at Capital Centre at 8 . . . WKYS-FM (93.9) program director and morning man Donnie Simpson will represent Washington jocks on TV's "Geraldo" next Monday at midnight, when Rivera looks at the nation's "Wild and Crazy Deejays." The show will be seen on Channel 7 ... WWRC-AM's (980) health expert Dr. Gabe Mirkin discusses "Behavior Modification for Weight Reduction" tonight beginning at 6 . . . ABC's Tom Synder joined the WMAL-AM (630) evening lineup last night. His live, two-hour show from the Big Apple is heard weeknights at 11.