Why did North Bend native Sydney Benter leave hometown WKRC-TVfor Austin, Texas?
Because success came too fast. Again.
She never figured she would reach one of her career goals - working for a Cincinnati TV station - in three years. Benter was hired by WKRC-TV in 2014, as Kit Andrews was leaving the station, just three years after Benter graduated from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
Then again, she didn't expect to walk out of CCM and immediately become a main evening news anchor in Terre Haute, Ind.
Things happened fast for Benter, a 2007 Taylor High School graduate who had interned at Channel 12 while at CCM. The Austin offer was "unexpected… Austin was never really on my radar until this job opportunity came along," she told me Wednesday.
She left Cincinnati (Nielsen TV market No. 35) after Friday's newscasts for a better job in a slightly smaller market (No. 39). After the November ratings "sweeps," Benter will be the primary news co-anchor at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. on KXAN-TV, and the 9 p.m. news on the sister CW station, according to CBK Media Management, where she is a client. Here she co-anchored the 10 p.m. Local 12 news on WSTR-TV with Brad Johansen.
Here's what she told me Wednesday:
"This was truly one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever had to make. Leaving home is never easy—especially when your hometown is in the midst of a glorious revival. This move is unexpected, even to me, but it's a wonderful opportunity at a top-notch station.
"I ended up back in Cincinnati much earlier in my career than I had originally anticipated. I always assumed I'd have to bounce around the country a bit before I'd be able to land a job here. No one was more surprised than me when I got the call to come back to Local 12, where I had interned just three years prior.
"And now, no one is more surprised than me that I'm saying goodbye. I feel like it's time to have that adventure I always thought I'd have before settling down in my hometown. I'm looking forward to meeting new people, experiencing life in a different part of the country, and expanding my skill set.
"Austin was never really on my radar until this job opportunity came along, but I've only ever heard glowing reviews about the city. I'm moving down there next week and my first day at KXAN is October 30. I'll be co-anchoring their evening shows beginning sometime in December. In the meantime, I'll be reporting and getting to know the city.
"My entire family is in the Greater Cincinnati area and it's been such a privilege to work in this city. It's a special place. I'm one of the lucky ones."