ABC News has promoted gay correspondent Gio Benitez by naming him one of the network’s flagship weekend programs’ co-anchors.
Benitez, 37, will join Good Morning America as a permanent co-anchor on Saturdays and Sundays, ABC News President Kim Godwin announced in a statement to the network’s news division.
He joins current co-anchors Whit Johnson and Janai Norman.
ABC’s weekday afternoon news show will be co-anchored by Eva Pilgrim and DeMarco Morgan, who took over nearly four months after Amy Robach and T.J. Holmes left the show after their off-camera romantic relationship was revealed.
Since 2020, Benitez has covered transportation at ABC News, including coverage of the aviation industry during the pandemic, space during America’s private space race, and the auto industry, Godwin said.
During Benitez’s time at ABC News, he covered the Pulse nightclub shooting, El Chapo’s escape from prison in Mexico, and the Boston Marathon bombing.
His investigations have sometimes led to important safety recalls resulting from exclusive stories. Previously, he worked as a reporter at WFOR-TV in Miami.
An ABC News spokesperson told The Advocate that Benitez was unavailable for comment.
His elevation to co-anchor of the network’s flagship weekend morning program has been cheered for the representation his promotion brings to the LGBTQ+ community and will inspire queer kids and kids of color to believe they too can be successful television journalists.
GLAAD celebrated ABC’s move.
“GLAAD congratulates Gio Benitez on his new role as co-anchor of Good Morning America’s Weekend show and applaud ABC News for continuing to elevate inclusive and intersectional LGBTQ experiences at the anchor desk,” GLAAD senior director of communications Tony Morrison told The Advocate in a statement.
“As a dynamic storyteller and fearless journalist, Gio Benitez beams into millions of homes and hearts as a trusted name, source and face in a time when accurate and fair reporting in TV news has never been more critical for Americans everywhere,” Morrison continued. “Ever-embracing of his Hispanic culture with his husband, Tommy DiDario, by his side, Gio is proof that living and working as your authentic self is the ticket to happiness, success and unlocking your fullness.”
Benitez expressed his gratitude for the opportunity on Twitter.
“Grateful. Excited. Blown away. Cannot wait to spend each weekend morning with two of my dearest friends and the INCREDIBLE team at @GMA Saturday & Sunday!” he wrote.
Benitez’s husband, ExtraTV correspondent Tommy DiDario also shared a joyful photo of the moment Benitez signed the contract for his new position.
“The moment @giobenitez signed his contract to become the new Co-anchor of @GMA Saturday and Sunday. It’s been hard keeping this secret because I’ve been bursting with pride. The size of your talent is matched by the size of your heart. Congratulations, my anchorman,” he wrote.
“I am incredibly proud of the reporting Eva, DeMarco, and Gio have brought to ABC News,” Godwin said in a note to staff.