News Producer Ben Gorenstein '09
Ben Gorenstein got his first taste of television production as a teenager, working on his school’s morning program and a news show broadcast on public access throughout his community. He and his student-colleagues even earned a JP Morgan Chase Award for interviews they conducted at the World Trade Center site that were used in a documentary.
He knew he wanted a career in television news – and that he’d need technical aptitude and business acumen as well as powerful communication skills to succeed in today’s converged-media environment.
At Sage, he took advantage of the interdisciplinary academic program, excelled in competitive internships, and landed his first paid position in television news shortly after graduating.
As WNYT News Channel 13’s weekend morning news producer, Gorenstein picks and writes the stories for the 8 a.m. weekend morning show. That means his workday starts at 1:30 am, when he begins reviewing press releases and monitoring newswires and emergency scanners.
“I have to figure out which stories are the most ‘newsworthy,’ which stories affect the most people,” he said. “News can change at a moment. Since it’s a live TV show, I have to think on my feet if something goes wrong. Luckily, things go right more often.”
His most dramatic workday occurred when he had to fill in for a weekend assignment editor. “It was the only day I have ever done a 12 hour shift. It also turned out to be an extremely unusual weekend morning,” he said, with both breaking news and a tornado watch.
Gorenstein expanded his professional network while he was still a college student, thanks to Sage’s comprehensive internship program. “My first internship was at Capital News 9, now called YNN,” he said. “A lot of my writing as an intern there actually appeared on the air!” Gorenstein followed that experience with an internship at Albany public relations firm Sawchuk Brown Associates, then an internship in WNYT’s newsroom. “Those connections helped get me the job I have now,” he said.
“My favorite part about the job is putting together a new and interesting show, twice a week,” he said. "I wouldn't get up in the middle of the night on the weekends to do this if I didn't love what I do," he said.