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February 03, 1989 - Image 56

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-02-03

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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56

JN

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 1989

J

say, 'Sure, I remember. I used
to run home from
kindergarten to watch.' They
used to love that . . . aged
them rapidly."
His first on-air experience
at WXYZ was signing on the
station one morning. Pinter
says his finger shok a little bit
as he "opened" the
microphone and began to
read his script, but after 15
seconds, "it was comfortable.
It's been that way ever since.
Sort of like second nature
now."

Broadcasting isn't as
glamorous as people on the
outside might think, says
Pinter. He spent 14 years
working nights and
weekends. "I used to put
people to sleep with the
`Saturday Night Movie? "
Pinter says he knows he's
lucky to have kept a stable
job, at a prominent station,
in a top market, in an in-
dustry known to be a giant
revolving door. Pinter has
been a witness to the cons-
tant changes — stations
covnverting from film to
video, cutting back person-
nel, streamlining operations
and shifting from live to
automation.
One of the net results has
been the almost total
elimination of live staff
booth announcers — the
"almost" being Pinter.
Everything, with the excep-
tion of the early newscast in-
tros and select programm-
ing is pre-recorded at Chan-
nel 7.
"Now, it's like, I'm the on-
ly one left;' he says. "And I
hate to tell the people that
there's nobody there . . . that
little voice that says, 'one
moment please' is no longer
sitting there, live."
Pinter, who saw some of
those changes coming, opted
to expand his horizons. He
also does industrial and
commercial voice-overs, and
works as a travel agent.
"I started that in 1984;'
says Pinter, "after AFTRA
(the American Federationof
TV and Radio Artists) was
decertified (at WXYZ). I
knew they (WXYZ) would
automate. I knew I had to
change careers. So, I went to
travel school."
WXYZ kept Pinter on
staff, even after the station
was sold in 1985, but he
knows his position could be
eliminated at any time.
Pinter's other professional
sideline is free-lance voice
work. He landed a plum

In addition to announcing, Pinter also does commercials and is a travel
agent.

position in 1987 as one of
the voices for Jeep-Eagle
dealers nationwide. "I enjoy
using my voice to sell the
product," he says. "You take
what the writers have done
and use it. It's not as easy as
it looks."
In fact, Pinter prefers
voice-over to on-camera
work. "I've had the oppor-
tunity to work on camera. I
like working voice-over .. .
the anonymity of it. If I'm on
camera, for a week or two,
people will stare. I guess my
ego doesn't need the
gratification of seeing my
kisser on camera."

"I really wanted to
be a lawyer. (But)
broadcasting kind
of gets into your
blood. It's hard to
get out."

Besides, says Pinter, for
the time involved, voice
work is more lucrative, since
he can make more money re-
cording voice tracks than
spending all day on a shoot.
That's important right now,
because his wife, Tina is
staying home with their two
boys: Tony, age 6 and Simon,
13 months.
Pinter's three jobs keep
him running, so any time off
he has, he likes to spend
with his family.
At one time, Pinter had
considered being a lawyer,
and attended the Universi-
ty of Detroit Law School
after graduating from MSU.
It was a bad fit. He recalls
the dean told him he ought
to be doing something other
than practicing law. "I lov-
ed the law," says Pinter. "I
hated law school."

Pinter says he sometimes
feels he was destined to be
a broadcaster.
As a child growing up in
Detroit, Pinter says he was
"the kind of kid who used to
sit in front of the TV set,
because I am from the era
when television didn't start
until noon, sometimes. I us-
ed to watch the test pattern
in the morning till they put
the music on. I loved tape
recorders and talking, but
. . . it never really crossed
my mind that I would be do-
ing this for a living. And
even in college, I never
dreamed I'd be working in
Detroit, at a place like
'XYZ, with the history that
it's had."
Looking-back, Pinter says
he's had a wealth of ex-
periences, meeting
celebrities and working
with what he calls some of
the best broadcasters in the
business — Bill Bonds, John
Kelly and Marilyn Turner.
And then there were the
not-so-famous behind the
scenes who made the work
special. "I used to work with
people who had 25-30 years
TV experience — guys who
worked on 'The Lone
Ranger' . . . worked on 'The
Green Hornet' and in the
old days of radio. The stories
they used to tell were
wonderful. I learned a lot."
In spite of the changes and
the fewer opportunities for
new talent to "break in" to
the business, Pinter still
feels broadcasting is a good
business in which to work,
one that has been good to
him. "You know," says
Pinter, "I really wanted to
be a lawyer. (But) broad-
casting kind of gets into
your blood. It's hard to get
out."



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