The hottest sound on radio last summer was up-tempo urban music. Dance-music WPGC-FM (95.5) showed the way with a 7.5 percent share of the listening audience 12 years and older, according to the Arbitron Ratings Survey released Thursday. Its ratings were up seven-tenths of a share from spring's second-place 6.8, which then trailed easy-listening WGAY-FM (99.5). WPGC's cross-town rival WKYS-FM (93.9) moved up sharply to second place -- from a 1.8 share to 6.6 -- while the area's most consistent ratings-getter, country combo WMZQ-AM/FM (1390/98.7), was up two-tenths to a 6.5 share for third. WGAY dropped hard from 7.1 to 5.9 for fourth place.

The survey, a random sampling of more than 3.1 million listeners 12 and older in the metropolitan area, was taken from June 21 to Sept. 12.

The movers and shakers of the year's least important rating period (summer listening habits are disrupted by vacations) were adult contemporary WASH-FM (97.1), up nine-tenths to 5.1, tying WMAL-AM (630) for fifth place, and rocker WWDC-FM (101.1) with a 4.3 share, up from spring's 2.9 to tie with classic rock WCXR-FM (105.9) for seventh place. DC-101 rebounded from the previous summer's 2.8 share and winter's worst-ever report card, a 2.5. That's amid increasingly tough competition from invading Baltimore rocker WIYY-FM (97.9), or "98 Rock," which scored its highest Washington rating ever, a whopping 1.8 share.

An exception to the hot urban music winners was WAVA-FM (105.1), a Top 40 station whose summertime menu featured more than 50 percent urban tunes "because that was the product being released {by record companies} during the summer," said General Manager Alan Goodman. What worked for WPGC and WKYS didn't for WAVA, which fell hard, from 5.1 to 3.6 and 10th place. The news across the board was bad for the Emmis Broadcasting's Arlington outlet.

"The good news is that it's so bad that it's unbelievable. It's crazy," Goodman said. "Prince George's County has more police calls than we have listeners!"

After a moment's thought, he added, "We'll be back."

Almic Broadcasting's urban combo, soul WOL-AM (1450) and urban adult contemporary WMMJ-FM (102.3), each fell hard to 1.3 and 2.5, respectively, from 2.0 and 3.3. Another loser was WTOP-AM (1500), turning in a less-than-stunning showing in a summer filled with Marion Barry and Persian Gulf news. The Chase Communications-owned station, described on air as "all news" but known to hold back breaking news until the conclusion of a Baltimore Orioles game, dropped to a 3.3 share from 3.6 throughout the day among targeted adults, and to 4.9 from 5.4 during the all-important morning drive period. In 12-plus, the news wasn't as bad, a one-tenth share slip to 3.7.

Here are the commercial stations' ratings of listeners 12 and older:

.............................Summer............Spring

1...WPGC-FM (95.5)............7.5.............6.8

2...WKYS-FM (93.9)............6.6.............4.8

3...WMZQ-AM/FM (1390/98.7)....6.5.............6.3 4...AY-FM (99.5)..............5.9.............7.1

5...WASH-FM (971).............5.1.............4.2

....WMAL-AM (630).............5.1.............5.1

7...WWDC-FM (101.1)...........4.3.............2.9

....WCXR-FM (105.9)...........4.3.............3.9

9...WTOP-AM (1500)............3.7.............3.8

10..WAVA-FM...................3.6.............5.1

....WHUR-FM (96.3)............3.6.............3.9

12..T-FM (94.7)...............3.5.............3.3

13..WRQX-FM (107.3)...........3.3.............3.2

14..WGMS-FM (103.5)...........3.1.............3.3

15..FS-FM (99.1)..............2.6.............2.9

16..WMMJ-FM (102.3)...........2.5.............3.3

17..WXTR-FM (104.1)...........2.4.............2.8

18..WRC-AM (980)..............2.1.............2.2

19..WJFK-FM (980).............2.0.............1.9

20..WIYY-FM (97.9).............1.8.............0.8

WAVA's Quick Cash Backlash

WAVA's "the phrase that pays" promotion handed $10,000 to John Martin of Rockville on Friday during the O'Meara and Geronimo "Morning Zoo" show. The embarrassing thing was that it's the same John Martin who works at WINX-AM (1600) as the Top 40 station's promotions manager and afternoon-drive host. On weekends, he is John Martin of WRQX-FM (107.3), now "Mix 107." Martin's phone number was selected at random. Although he was not listening to WAVA at the time -- his mother called him away from brushing his teeth to answer the phone -- he was able to recite the winning phrase. But he almost lost out because he hung up on the "Zoo" boys the first time when he realized who was calling.

"They have a history of ragging on WINX. I hung up, turned on the radio, realized it wasn't a joke and picked up the phone. They were still there," Martin said.

"Jesus. You know I'm just going to die today. I'm just going die," Geronimo said on the air. "I going to end my life today."

But the "Zoo" team stressed that their competitor must have been listening to be able to recite the necessary words. Martin said, "Just being in the business, you know what promotions the other stations are doing."

Within minutes of winning, Martin received a congratulatory call from WINX's parent company headquarters in Bethesda. At "Mix 107," General Manager Maureen Lesourd spent a good part of the morning laughing at her competitors and said, "I think it's great."

Danny Glover at WHUR

Actor Danny Glover is scheduled to be in the studio with Gerry Bledsoe and Candy Shannon at WHUR-FM (96.3) Thursday at 8 a.m.