dLifeTV Host Benno Schmidt
Benno Schmidt began reporting as a sixteen-year-old intern at CNN before the first Gulf War. The son of a famed first amendment scholar, Schmidt grew up listening to the best minds debate the challenges in ensuring a free press.
During his junior year of college at Wesleyan University, Benno experienced drastic weight loss but did not consider diabetes as a possible cause. In 1990, his uncle drove to Wesleyan to pick him up and found Benno nearly in a coma. After weeks in the hospital, Benno was diagnosed with type 1 and has been treating the disease and its symptoms ever since. He uses an insulin pump, regular doctor visits, exercise, and carb counting to manage his blood sugar. "I try to exercise regularly," he says, "Because I see a direct correlation between aerobic exercise and lower insulin requirements."
Benno's work has appeared on Sunday Morning, The Early Show, NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, MSNBC, CNN and elsewhere. As reporter and anchor for NBC's Miami flagship WTVJ, Benno led coverage of the defining stories of the past decade, including the Elian Gonzalez imbroglio, the voter recounts in Florida's Presidential contests, and the terrorist connections in Florida after 9/11. Benno has reported from nearly every state in the U.S. and brings experience in covering Washington after field anchoring hours of live coverage of High Definition News' coverage of President Bush's 2nd inauguration.
Benno's proven ability to take and hold air for hours makes his live coverage resonate with viewers. He led HDNews' coverage of the record Florida hurricane season of 2005, chasing storms from Key West to northern Florida. He followed hurricane Katrina from Miami to New Orleans and led the HDNews team on the ground and in the air, bringing high-definition coverage to viewers across the country. Benno rode with air-ambulance pilots as they landed on hospital rooftops rescuing premature babies from flood ravaged intensive care units, and joined National Guard and police units patrolling flooded New Orleans neighborhoods after Katrina. Benno field anchored New Year's celebrations from New Orleans' French Quarter before and after Katrina for HDNews, bringing viewers the different realities of both nights.
Benno led High Definition News' coverage of the Middle East, visiting every major city in Israel, including reporting from the West Bank and settlement areas. Benno's Middle East coverage was showcased in an hourlong special on HDNews that he produced and anchored. He also reported from the Israeli/Lebanese border during the shooting war with Hezbollah, capturing some of the first war images in high definition for a U.S. network while accompanying Israeli tank movements. Benno has won many awards, but is most proud of his ‘best-reporter' honor from Miami newspaper readers.
Benno left HDNews following the Middle East special in April 2007 after nearly three years with the network, and currently contributes as a correspondent, anchor, and producer to various networks. Benno's latest assignment is host of dLifeTV, where he brings not only a wealth of reporting and television production experience, but experience as a person living with type 1 diabetes.
In July of 2010, Benno received an Emmy nomination for his work on the PBS program Worldfocus.
Watch dLifeTV Sunday's at 7pm ET/4pm PT at www.dLifeTV.com.
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