Tommy DiDario and husband Gio Benitez on GMA
Tommy DiDario and husband Gio Benitez on GMA (Photo: ABC/YouTube)

This is so sweet. Good Morning America recently promoted Gio Benitez. He joined the show in 2013 and has enjoyed stints as its transportation correspondent.

ABC recently announced Benitez was rising to co-anchor over the weekends. He officially took up the role, alongside current co-anchors Whit Johnson and Janai Norman, on Saturday.

Watch below to see them welcome Benitez to his new position. They play a video montage of some of his work, which makes Benitez emotional. By the time a video message from his mom appears, Benitez needs tissues to wipe away the tears.

Benitez, 37, was born in Miami to parents who emigrated from Cuba. He told his colleagues that part of the reason he felt so emotional was to find himself sitting as co-anchor on a show with the word “America” in its title – a country that has given his family so much.

“I’m actually carrying with me my grandfather’s pocket watch,” Benitez revealed. “Because I keep thinking about their journey to this country from Cuba, leaving everything behind. And the idea that we get to sit on this set, bearing the name of the country that gave them so much hope, is just everything to me.”

Benitez has known Johnson for 14 years. Benitez revealed that when he was 23, trying to get a foothold in the industry, he wrote to Johnson, then 27, for advice. Johnson responded and the two have stayed in touch over the years. They now sit alongside each other as co-anchors.

Benitez wasn’t the only one in tears. His husband, fellow TV host Tommy DiDario, was also overcome with emotion. DiDario joined Benitez on the set. He gave his husband a big hug and told him how proud he was of him.

“Space geek”

“Gio is an intrepid journalist and talented anchor, and his addition marks an exciting, new chapter for the best weekend morning program in the business fueled by the tireless work and dedication of co-anchors Whit and Janai, Simone and the team,” Kim Godwin, the president of ABC News, said in a statement. “I look forward to Gio’s unique energy and to Gio bringing more enterprise and feature reporting to the program.”

As transportation correspondent, Benitez particularly enjoyed covering space missions. As a self-confessed “space geek”, he’s looking forward to continuing to do that in his co-anchor capacity.

“I’ll tell you what he’s pitching,” Simone Swink, the executive producer of ABC’s morning flagship told Variety last week. “He wants to be the first civilian and journalist on whatever the first mission to Mars is. That will be our ongoing conversation for the next five years.”

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