Three of Washington's black FM stations claimed their usual spots atop the most recent quarterly Arbitron ratings, released yesterday, covering the period July 1--Sept. 22.

Black-hits stations WPGC (95.5) and WKYS (93.9) and black adult-contemporary WHUR (96.3) finished 1-2-3 among all listeners 12 and older. The stations have constituted the top three for more than a year.

The summer survey, referred to as the "summer book," is often considered the least important to stations, inasmuch as many listeners are on vacation during the period and fewer ad-buying decisions are made based on this quarter's ratings. The spring book is considered the most important.

But still, pride is at stake.

Russ Parr and Olivia Fox, who run the morning-drive show at WKYS, claimed the top spot for morning shows among all listeners 12 and older, bumping Tom Joyner--last quarter's No. 1--to third. Joyner is heard on WHUR. Syndicated shock jock Howard Stern, heard locally on talk-sports WJFK (106.7 FM), was No. 2.

In the moneymaking category of men 25-54, Stern took the morning-drive top spot, with nearly twice the audience of Joyner, who finished second. WJFK again ruled afternoon drive in this demographic, as the "Don & Mike" show took top honors. (Among all listeners, Adimu Colon's show on WPGC was top-ranked for afternoon drive.)

WJFK, whose daily lineup consists of Stern, G. Gordon Liddy, Don & Mike and the Sports Junkies, claimed most male-oriented demographics.

The most noticeable climber in the survey was smooth-jazz WJZW (105.1 FM), which recovered losses it suffered in the spring book. The female-skewed station, which usually gets its biggest numbers during midday as an at-work station, rocketed from 14th to third place in afternoons for men 25-54. And it jumped from 17th into a tie for seventh place for morning drive among the same audience. It climbed among all listeners, as well.

Steve Kosbau, director of operations for WJZW and sister station WRQX-FM, credited three summer promotions for the ratings climb: the Capital Jazz Fest in June, the station's fifth-anniversary concert in September and the ongoing win-a-trip-a-day contest.

All-news WTOP (1500 AM) and news-talk WMAL (630 AM) remained stable in the top 10 for all listeners in their crucial morning-drive slots. Classic-rock WARW (94.7 FM), which has reconfigured itself since the February firing of Doug "Greaseman" Tracht, continued its ratings slide for its target audience--men 25-54--in Tracht's old morning-drive slot. Over the past five ratings periods, the station's rank in that time slot has gone from being tied for second to tied for 15th, in yesterday's report.

CAPTION: THE NUMBERS GAME (This graphic was not available)