Longtime veteran broadcaster happy with his own station
As Pingree neared retirement, the Walt Disney Co. announced attractive buyouts to employees of its ESPN sports programming network. Pingree had been with ESPN since it started operations in 1979, providing voice announcements for its programs and promotional announcements.
"I felt like I won the lotto," Pingree said. "I couldn't get out of the business, no way,"
A Concord native, he started his career in the mid-1950s, resisting Elvis Presley and playing Frank Sinatra records over hometown WKXL. Pingree planned to retire to the North Country, and he took Disney's check and his love of broadcasting back home with him.
But he also lends to the daily mix a voice cultivated by decades announcing for some of the country's legendary broadcasters. Once heard by millions, he is now satisfied speaking with his neighbors and the occasional tourist about local fund drives and bean suppers.
- Bill Smith