Longtime Radio Host Bart Ritner Dead At 76

A longtime radio talk show host, who got his broadcasting start in Greenville, has died.

Bart Ritner died of complications from abdominal cancer on Wednesday, according to his adopted son Robert Butler.

Ritner worked for 39 years at Raleigh AM radio station WPTF, where he hosted a pioneering call-in and interview program. His interviews included President Johnson, arsenic killer Velma Barfield and North Carolina Ku Klux Klan leaders.

Butler says Ritner's impartial style led to him serving as a go-between who helped resolve a 1982 standoff at Raleigh's maximum-security Central Prison.

While at ECU, Ritner got his start at WNCT-TV as a cameraman and director. He then went back to his native Rocky Mount where he worked in radio before landing a job first at WRAL-FM, and then moved to WPTF.

Services for Ritner are scheduled for Friday at Brown-Wynne Funeral Home in Raleigh. They'll be followed by burial in Rocky Mount.

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