"I wondered what it would be like to uncover stories about the neighborhoods where we lived and share them, so I decided to become a reporter. I got a rush of excitement when my first story aired and I thought this is what it must be like."
Born in Buffalo New York, Benton moved to the Chicago suburbs at the age of five, where he lived in Addison, Illinois. Benton then went onto Northern Illinois University where he received his bachelor's degree in Broadcast News and a minor in Political Science.
Benton says the thing that he enjoys most about his career is that he gets a front row seat to events that shape lives and he gets to meet fascinating people everyday.
"My goal as an anchor is to give our viewers a clear and concise, fair and accurate look at our community. I hope to offer them information they can use everyday. I want viewers to get an accurate look at the day's events and understand what they mean to them. I don't want them to watch a newscast and feel like they missed something."
Benton's been doing that here at WCIA3 for several years. He came to the station in 2005. He says the station's heritage was hard to ignore.
"The station has a long tradition of being a news leader and has a team of professionals in the newsroom that work hard everyday to live up to that tradition. And I will continue the long tradition WCIA3 has for covering the news and being a vital part of the community."
Benton's experience includes anchoring evening newscasts in Cedar Rapids, IA and Wausau, WI. He was also a News Director and Anchor at KMOT in Minot, North Dakota. Benton has won a number of awards that include being voted "Most Beloved TV Personality" in 1999, a NBNA first place documentary award in 2003, and a NBNA Eric Sevareid Award of Merit for general reporting. He's also anchored and produced the Best Medium Market Public Affairs Program according to the Illinois Broadcasters Association for three years in a row. WCIA3 Reports: A Crime Watch Specials have featured cold cases and wanted fugitives from Central Illinois.
When Benton isn't working, he is spending time with his wife of 27 years and his 23-year-old daughter and 19-year-old son. "As my kids move on to their own lives, I know Champaign with its education and community values has prepared them for what's next. I love to be with my wife and kids. They make everything I do worthwhile."