As Henry and I consider the many wonderful people who came alongside us during those early years of starting Columbia Metropolitan, Joe Pinner with WISTV is certainly at the top of the list. He repeatedly invited us on as guests of Today in Carolina, his live daytime television show, to talk about CMM. He wanted to know why we had moved here and why we were passionate about wrapping up the city of Columbia in the pages of a magazine.
Joe first joined WIS in 1963, with The Knozit Show going on air soon after. In the late ’60s, he was asked to give the weather on the 7 o’clock report, and a love affair was launched. “I did the weather for about 40 years and was 100 percent correct with every forecast,” Joe says with his contagious laugh. “Absolutely accurate!” Although he was the weatherman for WIS for some 40 years, he is certainly as well known in the community as Mr. Knozit.
“I can go out now at 84, and people will say, ‘Hey Mr. Knozit! I was on your show when I was 5 years old,’” he says. “You talk about lives touching lives — those lives have touched mine and they continue to. It’s a Hallmark gift card that keeps on giving.”
Joe shares a humorous Mr. Knozit memory from his traditional closing of the show when he would pull a winning number for a large Tootsie Roll. “This particular day, I called out the number eight, and this little 5-year-old kindergartner from one of the churches let out an explicative! The parents and teachers gasped, but I turned to him and said, ‘Son, don’t take it so hard.’”
When Henry and I arrived in Columbia in 1990, Joe’s support to help us launch the magazine gave lift to our young fluttering wings. Why did he take such an interest? “There’s a feeling about Columbia that I can’t describe other than embracing,” he says. “This really is a beautiful city with more than 150 nationalities represented here. It’s an international city, which is why I became a fan of Columbia Metropolitan Magazine. You were telling the story of everybody. Those of us who live here want the world to know about this place.”
Despite spending 68 years in the public eye, winning The Peabody Award (one of the most prestigious national awards given to broadcasters), and receiving the Order of the Palmetto from three different governors, his priorities are elsewhere. “People are my addiction,” Joe confesses. “I have never been into alcohol, but now I do like peanuts. People are my addiction. I love people.”
As Joe picks up the first issue of CMM from 1990, he nods his head. “One thing I surely wanted to say is BRAVO on 30 years of always presenting a world-class magazine and showcasing the increasingly varied, wonderful life that abounds in your readers as well as in your and my metropolitan Columbia. Harrumph!” Joe smiles as he taps the cover. “Here’s to 30 more, and to my losing 30 pounds!”