Robert D. Ditmer, who was an integral part of radio broadcasting in St. Johns and Clinton county over the course of four decades, passed away Tuesday (6/21) at the age of 75. Mr. Ditmer purchased WRBJ-AM 1580 in the 1960's, and launched WRBJ-FM 92.1 in 1972. The stations, with studios and transmitters located on Parks Road south of St. Johns, provided Clinton county listeners with various music formats, local news and talk, agricultural information, and local high school and college sports, and were part of a dying breed of small-market, community radio stations with a truly local flavor.
Ditmer originally sold WRBJ-AM/FM in 1981, but repurchased the AM side in 1986, relaunching it as WWSJ. The format of WWSJ was similar to that of WRBJ, offering a variety of local programming to Clinton county, along with a mix of Country music and syndicated talk programs. Ditmer sold WWSJ in 1995. The station currently programs an Urban Christian format.
In addition to his interest in radio broadcasting, Mr. Ditmer also served as Pastor of the Eureka Christian Church, and his son, Robert Ditmer Jr., is a correspondent for Focus On the Family Ministries. The younger Ditmer also served as general manager of both WRBJ and WWSJ.