And the winner is ... perennial favorite WGAY-FM (99.5), which took top honors in the fall 1987 Arbitron ratings book with a 7.4 rating among listeners age 12 and older. Close on the heels of the easy-listening station was WMZQ-FM (98.7) with a 7.1 (and if you combine that number with WMZQ-AM's .2, you get a whopping 7.3 rating, MZQ's best ever). Third was WMAL-AM (630), which garnered a 6.5 share of the audience.

But none of that is surprising. What is surprising is that WAVA-FM (105.1) fell from No. 3 in the summer ratings period to No. 8 and WDJY-FM (100.3) from No. 4 to No. 11.

Gary Gross, general manager of urban contemporary DJY, said this fall book was like "a bad report card. So you get a 'D' in math. That doesn't mean high school is over yet." Gross said he isn't about to make radical changes or fire people. He thinks that WPGC-FM, WKYS-FM and WHUR-FM -- all with urban formats -- probably each picked up some of WDJY's old listeners.

WAVA's Alan Goodman was a bit more perplexed. "I asked my program director, 'Have we gone Spanish {language format}?' It's the weirdest thing. Listen, we're the same station we were three months ago. We're not going to make any changes -- to solve a problem, you have to identify the problem, and we can't identify one." One theory Goodman offered explains the ratings gains by WTOP-AM (1500) and WMAL-AM, but doesn't necessarily account for WAVA's drop. "There was a stock market crash and a snowstorm during this ratings book," Goodman said. "A lot of listeners would be going to the news and talk stations."

The way Arbitron structures the ratings (and bombards stations with figures and breakdowns), each station, no matter where it's ranked, can find something to sing about. For example, though WDJY and WAVA were ranked No. 11 and No. 8 among all listeners 12 and up (12-plus in radio talk), the stations tied for the No. 2 spot in a narrower, younger age group.

Here are the Arbitron 12-plus ratings for October-December, compared with the results from the previous quarter:

------------------------------------------Fall----------Summer

1. WGAY-FM (99.5) ...................7.4 ...........6.7

2. WMZQ-AM/FM (1390/98.7) ...........7.3 ...........5.2

3. WMAL-AM (630) ....................6.5 ...........6.6

WKYS-FM (93.9) .....................6.5 ...........5.1

4. WWDC-FM (101.1) ..................5.6 ...........4.7

5. WPGC-AM/FM (1580/95.5)............5.1 ...........4.5

6. WHUR-FM (96.3) ...................5.0 ...........5.3

7. WTOP-AM (1500) ...................4.7 ...........4.3

8. WAVA-FM (105.1) ..................4.5 ...........6.1

9. WRQX-FM (107.3) ..................4.3 ...........4.8

10. WCXR-FM (105.9) .................4.0 ...........3.8

11. WDJY-FM (100.3) .................3.6 ...........5.7

12. WLTT-FM (94.7) ..................3.4 ...........3.0

13. WASH-FM (97.1) ..................2.9 ...........2.6

14. WGMS-AM/FM (570/103.5) ..........2.7 ...........2.3

15. WXTR-FM (104.1) .................2.3 ...........3.0

16. WBMW-FM (106.7) .................1.7 ...........1.3

WOL-AM (1450) ..................... 1.7 ...........1.5

17. WYCB-AM (1340) ..................1.5 ...........1.6

18. WMMJ-FM (102.3) .................1.2 ...........1.3

19. WWDC-AM (1260) ....................9 .............7

WHFS-FM (99.1) .......................9 ...........1.5

20. WCPT-AM (730) .....................8 .............7

Opera et Cetera

Okay, on to other stuff: Fred Calland, WETA-FM's (90.9) resident opera expert, will be the featured speaker at the station's Elizabeth P. Campbell Lecture Series on Saturday at 11 a.m., at WETA's studios in Arlington. Calland will speak on the similarities in epic tradition of such works as Wagner's "Ring" cycle and George Lucas' "Star Wars" cycle.

Share the Warmth

Charity is not confined to the holidays: WMZQ has started a clothing drive for the homeless, and is asking listeners to bring warm clothing -- thermal underwear, hats and other items -- and blankets to the station. MZQ will then make deliveries to shelters throughout the city. Call 362-8330 for more information.

Remembering King

And lest we forget, Friday is the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. That morning from 7 to 8, WDJY will air "Martin Luther King, From Montgomery to Memphis," an hour-long documentary produced by Brute Bailey, the station's program director. The show is a chronological account of the civil rights leader's life, and includes presentations by various actors, as well as tapes of King's speeches. And on Monday, from 9 a.m. till noon, the station will air the award-winning docudrama "Martin Luther King, From Atlanta to the Mountaintop." In addition, DJY will start each newscast Friday through Monday with an excerpt from a King speech.

On Monday from 4 to 7 p.m., WKYS-FM (93.9) will air "Martin Luther King: A Musical Tribute," featuring the music of Stevie Wonder, George Benson, Quincy Jones, Diana Ross and others. The program, hosted by actor Brock Peters, will also feature segments with Jesse Jackson, Andrew Young, Bill Cosby and members of King's family.

Dudley Named WOL News Director

Ben Dudley, the producer of Cathy Hughes' morning show on WOL-AM (1450), has been named the new full-time news director at WOL-AM/WMMJ-FM. Dudley was previously a correspondent for UPI radio in New York and Washington.