Music 19

Robert Miles Bittner Jr.

June 12, 1949 ~ May 26, 2023 (age 73) 73 Years Old
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Robert Miles Bittner, 73, passed away Friday, May 26 at home in West Bath, Maine.

He was born in Washington, DC on June 12, 1949, and grew up in Virginia Beach and northern New Jersey.

He graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with degrees in applied sciences and graphic arts design and photography.     He practiced these arts creatively throughout his life.

His involvement in student operated WITR led to his lifelong passion for radio broadcasting.

Bob developed a lifelong interest in the islands of the Caribbean while programming an English language radio station in San Juan, Puerto Rico in the mid-1970s.   He returned to the mainland and became a deejay and program director at several Boston radio stations.    There he began playing his unique mix of standards and pop oldies.    And it was while living in Needham that he met the love of his life Raisa.    They were married on Halloween in 1999.

In the 1980s, he established a successful dating magazine in Boston.   He continued traveling and pursuing another hobby that began at age 9: license plate collecting.    He amassed a vast collection that at its height consisted of around 100,000 rare and unusual plates.   Many were custom-made to his requests by the Motor Vehicle Departments of obscure islands in the Caribbean.    He became a noted authority on the arcana of license plates and hosted several national ALPCA conventions at home in West Bath.

In 1991, he bought a small AM radio station in Cambridge out of bankruptcy.    He reclaimed the call letters of Boston’s celebrated WJIB and devised the use of VHS hi-fi tape machines to automate his unique format of easy-listening music.    The station soon developed a loyal following.

He later added stations in Worcester and Manchester, NH, but it was with his purchase of WJTO at 730 AM in Bath that his unique blend of 15,000 carefully selected songs took hold.   And when the opportunity arose to buy the house on the road leading to WJTO’s scenic bayside headquarters, he and Raisa moved to West Bath.   Raisa, an architect, remodeled the house, and it became their permanent home.

As a Mainer, Bob later acquired station WLVP in Gorham-Portland, WLAM in Lewiston, WJYE Augusta, and eventually WBAS on Cape Cod.    WJTO, WJIB, and WBAS were linked together with his unique music mix of good music known as “The Memories Stations,” presented by Bob with his gentle persona and mellifluous voice.     He later added FM stereo frequencies to each AM station.   With no wish to play commercials, he turned to listener support.    His annual appeals raised enough to keep the stations operating with contributions from a devoted base of fans.    Once enough was collected to cover operating expenses for a year, he announced an end to the campaign and returned later checks with a personal thank you letter.   For years, Bob gave talks on the history of WJTO at the Patten Free Library to meet listeners in person.

In the annals of radio broadcasting, Bob’s approach to serving his listeners remains unique.    He always said, “I just do it to make people happy.”    Thousands of letters from listeners attest to the success of his efforts.

In addition to his beloved wife Raisa, Bob leaves behind a community of devoted listeners across

New England, and lifelong radio friends throughout the broadcast industry.    Raisa hopes to keep the

“The Memories Stations” going, as was Bob’s wish.   Contributions in Bob’s memory may be made to

the American Cancer Society or to Bob Bittner Broadcasting, PO Box 308, Bath, ME 04530 to sustain the Memories Stations.

Tributes are pouring into a “Friends And Lovers Of WJIB” Facebook page started by listeners.   

A celebration of Bob’s Life is being considered at a future date.    Bob is remembered as a kind, gentle, and generous person who brought happiness to thousands of listeners and love to all who knew him.  Condolences be sent to

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American Cancer Society
PO Box 42040, Oklahoma City OK 73123

Bob Bittner Broadcasting
P. O. Box 308, Bath ME 04530


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