When Benitez landed an internship at local news affiliate CBS4 in Miami, he was only 17 years old. His bio on the station’s website stated his goal of becoming a network news correspondent. Fast-forward 12 years and the self-proclaimed workaholic is living that dream. Benitez can be seen on all five of ABC’s national news programs, including Good Morning America, Nightline, and 20/20.
“Earlier this year, we counted up all the stories I compiled in 2013,” he says. “We counted 311, which is really cool because it was my very first year with the network.”
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Though Benitez has a knack for putting a twenty-first century spin on the news—he’s deconstructed the optical illusion in a viral Vine video and then recreated his own—investigative journalism is where he shines. A recent GMA Investigates piece chronicled couples that had been swindled by suddenly shut-down wedding venues. The story inspired companies to help the soon-to-wed secure alternative spots without shelling out more cash.
Whether a video is light-hearted or heart-wrenching, one thing’s for sure: Benitez gives it plenty of promotion. “I have four social networks right now that’s I’m on,” he says. “I want to put my stuff out on every possible platform.”
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FIT FACT: “When I was younger, I was really skinny and got picked on for it, so I really started hitting the gym hard,” says Benitez. “Now, I work out pretty intensely, like five or six times a week.”