After 14 years of soothing Washington's hearts and souls in the evening, Melvin Lindsey signed off at WKYS-FM (93.9) Friday to concentrate on his television career. Last month, Lindsey and Suzette Charles, Miss America 1983, began hosting "Screen Scene," a 30-minute weekday movie and entertainment preview show on Black Entertainment Television.

"Of course I have mixed emotions about it {leaving radio}, but the exposure level of national television is great," Lindsey said. "I'm at a point in my life that I want to spend a little more quality time with family and friends."

"I hate to see him go. I really do," said Donnie Simpson, WKYS's morning host and program director. "Melvin is one of the most professional people I've ever worked with."

Simpson recruited Lindsey in 1985 from WHUR-FM (96.3), where he had helped create and develop "The Quiet Storm," a wildly successful evening program featuring a mixture of rhythm and blues and contemporary ballads. Lindsey hosted the show for nine years before WKYS, then owned by deep-pocketed NBC, offered him a substantial contract, reportedly worth $1 million over five years. At the time, WKYS had an impressive share of the urban market in all but the evening hours, where Lindsey held a double-digit audience share.

Since the debut of "The Quiet Storm," there have been several variations on the theme, including Lindsey's show, but none that duplicated its success. In the recent summer Arbitron survey of listeners 25 to 54 years old, "The Quiet Storm," now hosted by WHUR's Mansy Pullen, was the most-listened-to evening program with an 11.3 share, or 104,000 weekly listeners, while Lindsey was a close second with a 9.3 share, or 102,400 listeners.

"There were discussions to keep him on but they didn't work out," Simpson said Friday. "Melvin presented me an opportunity to offer another minority the kind of money that only morning people normally get." However, Lindsey's contract reportedly ended Saturday and, despite negotiations, no deal developed.

Lindsey and Skip Finley, station president and general manager, declined to discuss the contract negotiations.

Simpson said Alvin Jones, who hosts the evening show on weekends, and part-time announcer Jeff Newman will take over for Lindsey until a permanent host is hired.

Lindsey, 35, said he "might get back into radio a little later. The opportunity will probably be there, it's just a matter of when the desire and opportunity can hook up."

The Romantic's Medium

Sandy LaBorde called oldies-format WXTR-FM (104.1) hoping to win the $5,000 cash prize given away Thursday morning. But she had another motive too. She had already decided to accept Norman Terrebonne's marriage proposal, although she hadn't told him yet. If she won the cash prize, LaBorde planned to use the winnings for their honeymoon.

LaBorde didn't make it on the air in time to win the money, but she stayed on the line until she finally reached morning drive host Dave Kellogg. LaBorde wanted to answer the marriage proposal with a song dedicated to Terrebonne, a chief warrant officer with the D.C. National Guard stationed at Bolling Air Force Base in Anacostia. "I knew he was listening," said LaBorde later. "We listen {to WXTR} on a daily basis and with special songs we turn it up full blast."

But radio host Kellogg was reluctant to change the show's format by taking a song request and suggested that she call Bob Duckman's "Lunchtime Oldies" request show. However, LaBorde persisted with good reason: The guard unit to which "the Chief" is assigned may be among those called for active duty in the Persian Gulf. That was all it took for Kellogg to find Johnny Ace's only hit, "Pledging My Love," a 1955 ballad.

The pair's two-year courtship reached a culmination yesterday when LaBorde took a day off from her job at Hygienetics Inc. in Alexandria and married "the Chief" at "a secret location in Virginia."

Shop Talk

WHUR will sponsor its annual "Project Harvest" to help the city's needy at Thanksgiving with a live, 12-hour broadcast next Tuesday from outside the Pavilion at the Old Post Office, 12th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW. The drive kicks off at 6 a.m. with the "Jerry Bledsoe and Candy Shannon Show" and will encourage listeners to drop by with canned food or cash donations. Last year's broadcast raised $20,000 and two trailers of food, which helped feed an estimated 30,000 residents. ... WETA-FM (90.9) evening host Dan Gawthrop last month debuted his classical composition "Four Seasonal Metaphors" at the Washington Cathedral. The 30-minute work was performed by the Cathedral Choral Society. Gawthrop is also composer-in-residence for the Fairfax Symphony. Meanwhile, noncommercial WETA-FM has instituted (just in time for Christmas) a listener service that will tell callers what classical recordings are available on compact disc. The "Allegro Line" is free and open Wednesday-Sunday, noon to 8 p.m. Call 1-800-CD4-0600.