Longtime WPTF announcer dies
Posted December 28, 2011
Longtime North Carolina radio personality Harry Barclay Ritner Jr. died of complications from cancer on Wednesday. He was 76.
Ritner worked for 39 years at WPTF-AM, hosting "Open Line," one of the first radio call-in and interview programs.
"Bart was a true pioneer. 'Open Line' was one of the nation's first daily two-way talk programs," Don Curtis, chairman and chief executive of WPTF owner Curtis Media Group, said in a statement. "Bart will always be remembered as one of North Carolina's most innovative and talented personalities in talk radio."
A native of Rocky Mount, Ritner first got into broadcasting as cameraman and director for WNCT-TV's local news in Greenville while attending East Carolina University. He later moved into radio at WCEC-AM in Rocky Mount and WRAL-FM in Raleigh before landing at WPTF.
During his career, Ritner's interviews included President Lyndon Johnson, North Carolina Govs. Terry Sanford, Dan Moore and Jim Hunt, state Agriculture Commissioner Jim Graham, television star Andy Griffith, U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms, civil rights leader Jesse Jackson and singer Jimmy Dean.
Funeral arrangements are being finalized by Brown Wynne in Raleigh. Services will be held in the Brown Wynne Chapel on St. Mary's Street, and he will be buried with military honors in the family plot at Pineview Cemetery in Rocky Mount.
In lieu of flowers, people are asked to donate to the North Carolina Wildlife Federation.