City of West Columbia presents longtime broadcaster Joe Pinner Key to the City

West Columbia City Council with Joe Pinner and mayor.

Longtime Columbia broadcaster Joe Pinner, of WIS-TV, said he was “speechless” Tuesday night. Then he said he was “honored.” West Columbia Mayor Bobby Horton said Pinner was lured to the West Columbia City Council meeting to get West Columbia’s “Key to the City.”

Horton also said the presentation of the Key to the City is rare, but he said, Pinner, who lives in West Columbia, was certainly deserving for his enduring service to the city. The city also approved a resolution (a copy below) detailing Pinner’s  professional accomplishments over the years. Pinner’s son Gregg, and his wife Paula, were on hand for the presentation. Joe Pinner’s grandsons were in attendance, too.

Resolution to Award Joe Pinner a Key to the City

Joe Pinner, Mayor Bobby Horton. Kelli Ricard photo.

WHEREAS, Joe Pinner is currently employed on a part-time basis by WIS TV. Before his semi-retirement in 2000, he was the anchor and host for a variety of TV shows including the Mr. Knozit Show which ran for 37 years. He serves as a board member on the weatherboards, the Voice of AGAPE, Statewide Integrated Services for Senior Citizens, South Carolina Safe Kids, and Blythewood Cultural Arts Association. He also acts as a narrator and Master of Ceremonies for many events, and is 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, and Friday the 13th Club. Mr. Pinner is a long-time member of Trinity United Methodist Church in Blythewood and sang in the choir for many years; and

WHEREAS, Joe Pinner began his career in broadcasting at radio stations in New Bern and Morehead City, North Carolina. After graduating from high school, he attended the University of North Carolina and also worked at Chapel Hill radio station WCHL. In 1955, Joe 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, he returned to Jacksonville until 1963 when he joined WIS TV in Columbia; and

Joe Pinner with family members. Kelli Ricard photo.

WHEREAS, Joe Pinner has received national awards and been honored by state organizations throughout his career. These awards and honors include the National George Peabody Award, South Carolina Tourism Awards, the Columbia Music Festival Association’s “Lyre Award”, the 1986 Columbia College Medallion, 1988 Columbia Advertising Club Person Of The Year, Rotary Club’s Paul Harris Award, the Department of the Army Commanders Award for Public Service, Toastmasters International District 58 Communications and Leadership Award, Masters Award from the South Carolina Broadcasters Association, Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Palmetto Society of the United Way of the Midlands, Kirkman Finlay Cultural Council Award, Beach Music Association International South Carolina Media Award, and the Greater Cayce West Columbia Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award. Also, Joe Pinner received three Order of the Palmetto Awards from Governor Richard Riley, Governor Carroll Campbell and Governor Jim Hodges; and

WHEREAS, Joe Pinner has been serving the West Columbia community in a variety of ways for more than fifty years. He has gone above and beyond his civic duty to promote, improve, and serve our community and state; and NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Mayor and City Council of the City of West Columbia, South Carolina hereby express sincere appreciation for his service and dedication to the City of West Columbia by awarding him a Key to the City. Adopted by the Council of the City of West Columbia, SC this 9th day of January 2018.

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