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Somerville City Councilman Ben Ewen-Kampen. Reports Bob Bittner, owner of WJIB, 740 AM and four other ad-free stations on the Cape and Maine, passed away today.

I was very saddened to learn of the passing of Bob Bittner. He ran the indescribably great local radio station WJIB AM740, “The Station of Remembrance.” What a beautiful life that brings this great music into our homes, doesn’t play commercials and reads its own PSA’s. Thanks Bob.

Not only did Bittner own the stations, but he was also a music director and DJ, easily listening to songs from the 1930s to the 1960s. Instead of accepting advertising, it relies on unreduced contributions from listeners.

In the year In 2012, the Boston Phoenix profiled him as follows:

Bob Bittner, the ultimate author of Terrestrial Radio, runs an 11-by-11-foot room in a Cambridge warehouse near Fresh Pond Mall. The U-shaped table is strewn with hundreds of hand-addressed envelopes — the fruit of the annual summer fund — in thick, uneven bundles held together with rubber bands. …

It’s the only station where an ostensibly progressive DJ supports the Occupy movement or rails against the evils of the credit card industry and panders to an audience of mostly aging Republicans, followed by an Andy Williams cover of “The Impossible Dream.”

H/T Ron Newman