Spotlight: Jeff Behnke, Turner Sports7/13/2003 8:00 PM Eastern
Most never come to have their childhood dreams of being on television realized, but Jeff Benkhe is an evident exception.
"When I was 17 years old, my grandmother asked me what I wanted to be, and I said that I wanted to be a sports television broadcaster," Benkhe said. And that's just what he did.
Now in his 18th year with Turner Sports, Behnke was recently promoted to senior vice president/coordinating producer. For the past two years, he served as the coordinating producer for Turner's National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing, National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, college football and golf coverage.
"I've stayed with Turner so long because the people have always been the most loyal, dependable, best people in television. It's also given me incredible opportunities to be part of events all over the world," said Behnke, who succeeded Mike Pearl, now heading production at ABC Sports. "And the properties are challenging and intriguing."
The first show that Benkhe ever produced on his own was a 1990 World Cup soccer match in Milan, Italy. The announcers didn't call the game from the usual TV production truck, but from the stands.
He has since produced the National Football League on TNT, several award shows and NBA games for 10 years. His pro hoops responsibilities have also extended to the NBA Draft and its All-Star Weekend.
Benkhe earned his bachelor's degree in communications and broadcasting from the University of Tennessee. Attending football games at his alma mater remains among his favorite things to do.
Benkhe also spends down time with his wife and three sons on a family farm in Missouri, fishing, hunting and relaxing.