THE MAN who dismissed a plethora of presenters at Scotland's newest

radio station was out of the door himself yesterday.

Scot FM announced that its managing director Tom Hunter had resigned

''for personal reasons'' but the alacrity of his departure suggests

deeper disagreements with its new owner Grampian Television.

The Herald understands his leaving was prompted by a meeting in

Aberdeen on Tuesday between Mr Hunter and Scot FM chairman Donald

Waters, also chief executive of Grampian TV.

In a brief statement, Mr Waters said: ''We are grateful to Tom for all

his hard work in establishing Scot FM. We wish him all the very best in

his future career.''

The station was launched in September last year with Mr Hunter at the

helm of operations. He hired many personalities, including Margo

MacDonald, Kaye Adams, Donnie Munro, Bruce Findlay, and most recently

Alison Craig.

They and others all left soon after their appointments. Although Mr

Hunter exuded considerable charm, there were many who objected to his

managerial style and the manner in which he sacked people. This prompted

some letters to the Scot FM board.

The arrival of the controversial disc jockey Scottie McClue helped

boost weekly listening figures to 350,000 in May this year and were

praised by chairman Sir David Steel.

However, Sir David was replaced by Mr Waters soon afterwards after

Grampian acquired the 35% stake in Scot FM.

Heavy start-up costs at the radio station cast a shadow over

Grampian's annual profits and there were further ructions in the

North-east when Scot FM won the commercial radio franchise for live

reports from Scottish matches. Unfortunately, its broadcast area does

not extend to the North-east and its rival NorthSound is a sponsor of

Aberdeen FC.

Grampian's director of television, Mr Bob Christie, was brought in

yesterday to act as temporary replacement, pending the appointment of a

new managing director.

Mr Richard Findlay, managing director of Radio Forth, one of the main

rivals to Scot FM, said yesterday: ''Despite all the difficulties with

the station, we always had a good personal relationship. Tom is a

talented man and I am sure he will get another job.''

Mr Hunter was not available for comment yesterday at his rented home

at Sandport, Leith, nor at the executive flat nearby which he had

recently purchased.