Patrick Joseph Gmiter passed away Friday after an illness. He was 77. Gmiter was knwon in the local broadcast world as a successful salesman at KQV radio (1410) and at WPXI-TV (11) before rising to be the vice president of marketing at Cox Communications. But his friends knew him for his parties and pig roasts as the South Side’s “Polish Prince.”
Mr. Gmiter’s start in media was at the Post-Gazette as a copyboy and messenger. He would attend Youngstown State University and was drafted into the Korean War. His position at KQV began after his service in Korea and around the time he married his childhood friend – Jeanne Melczak. In 1964, he joined WIIC-TV (11) and moved from local sales manager to general sales manager. He became the director of TV sales for Cox in 1973 and he served the company in New York at Atlanta. It was in 1978 that he became the vice president of broadcast sales.
Gmiter returned to Pittsburgh and Channel 11 in 1979 when he took the station manager position, soon became the vice president and general manager of WPXI and the executive vice president of the station. In the late 80s he was VP of marketing at Cox. He retired in 1995. It was around that time that he married his second wife and WPXI collegue, Marti Vautier. His first wife had died in 1990.
He was also known for his passion for cooking. Mr. Gmiter is remembered for the pig roast parties he held for friends, co-workers and family at his farm. He is also remembered for being a great friend and counselor and a strong father who made sure that his children were polite.
Patrick Gmiter is survived by his wife, two sons, a daughter, step-daughter, a brother and sister and six grandchildren. Funeral arrangements are in the Post-Gazette.