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.”
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.”
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.”