Published on April 18th, 2014 | by Millennium Magazine Staff1
Joe “Mr. Knozit,” Pinner; “A Lifetime of Giving”
Joe Pinner has been a part of the WIS family since 1963. Since joining WIS, Pinner has been serving the station and Columbia in a variety of ways. Currently, Pinner has taken a “reduction” from his prior duties as anchor of The 7:00 Report, weatherman for WIS Live at 5, co-host of WIS News Midday, and host of The Knozit Show. He still remains active at the station, as he can be seen on various newcasts on Friday’s, thus dubbing him “Joe Friday.”
Pinner began his career in broadcasting at radio stations in New Bern and Morehead City, North Carolina, when he was fifteen. After graduating from high school, Pinner attended the University of North Carolina and also worked at Chapel Hill radio station WCHL. He then returned home to New Bern to continue his broadcasting career.
In 1955, Pinner joined WMBR-TV/Radio (now WJXT-TV) in Jacksonville, Florida. He entered the Army for two years. During his service, he was stationed at Fort Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina, where he managed the Armed Forces Radio station WFJX. After leaving the Army, Pinner returned to Jacksonville until joining WIS in 1963.
Pinner is involved in many activities around the state and nation. Pinner serves as narrator and Master of Ceremonies for the youth concerts of the South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra and is on the Philharmonic’s Advisory Council. He serves on the board of Voice of AGAPE, Statewide Integrated Services for Senior Citizens, South Carolina Safe Kids, Blythewood Cultural Arts Association, and an ambassador of Honor Flight SC. He is a member of the Media Club, Some Legendary Old Broadcasters (SLOBS), Greater Columbia Community Relations Luncheon Club, Friday the 13th Club and Trinity United Methodist Church choir in Blythewood.
In 1967, Pinner received the national George Foster Peabody award for his work on The Knozit Show. He has also been honored by a number of state organizations. In 1976, the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce presented him the South Carolina Tourism Award for his contribution to the growth and development of the tourism industry in South Carolina. In 1982, Governor Richard Riley named him a member of the Order of the Palmetto, and in 1983, the South Carolina Parks, Recreation and Tourism department honored him with the state tourism award.
Pinner has also received the Columbia Music Festival Association’s “Lyre Award” for promoting the arts; the 1986 Columbia College Medallion for outstanding service to the college and the community; 1988 Columbia Advertising Club Person Of The Year; and was initiated into Omicron Kappa Delta at Columbia College as an honorary member in 1990. In 1982, he was appointed “Emperor” of Little Mountain. He has received the Rotary Club’s Paul Harris Award and the Department of the Army Commanders Award for Public Service.
In 1990, Pinner received the Toastmasters International District 58 Communications and Leadership Award. In 1993, to celebrate Pinner’s 30th anniversary with WIS, Governor Carroll Campbell awarded him the Order of the Palmetto for service to the state. In June 1993, Pinner’s star was added to The Celebrity Walk of Fame in Myrtle Beach, and in July 1993 he was presented the Masters Award from the South Carolina Broadcasters Association, an award which honors individuals for distinguished careers as on-air broadcasters in South Carolina. In 1995, Pinner was a finalist in the National “IRIS” Award Competition for children’s programming and voted “TV Personality for 1999” by readers of Columbia Metropolitan Magazine. In January 1997, he received the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Palmetto Society of the United Way of the Midlands. In October 1998, Pinner was inducted into the “Diamond Circle” of the USC School of Journalism and Mass Communications, then in November 1998, he was inducted into the South Carolina Entertainment Hall of Fame. Upon semi-retirement in 2000, Pinner received from Governor Jim Hodges the Order of the Palmetto for his work as “Mr. Knozit.” In 2001, Pinner received the Kirkman Finlay Cultural Council Award for Contributions to the Arts. Also in 2001, he was made an honorary Colonel of Fort Jackson and Honorary Band Master of the 282nd Army “Victory” Band and in 2007, named an honorary drill sergeant.
In May of 2007, Pinner was presented the Beach Music Association International South Carolina Media Award for support and promotion of the state’s official music and dance and renowned beach music performing artists and in June was the recipient of the Toastmasters International Region VIII 2007 Communications and Leadership Award. Pinner also received the 2007 Ambassador of the Year award from the South Carolina Philharmonic.
Pinner and his wife, Peggy, live in Longcreek Plantation in Blythewood. They have two sons, Michael and Gregg, two grandsons, Allen and Christopher, and two granddaughters, Danica Nicole and Lauren Mikela.