Kevin Benz, Media and Marketing Strategist, and current Chair of the LSS Board of Directors, joined host Dr. Donald Christian, dean of the College of Business at Concordia University, as the March featured speaker in Concordia’s Conversations With…Speaker Series. The Speaker Series gives students and staff of Concordia University Texas and the greater Austin community an opportunity to learn from a variety of professionals who model Christian leadership.
While the conversation centered on the “media as storyteller,” it also evolved into discussion of how radically the news world has changed – with significantly fewer people watching newscasts today – and the power of today’s media to tell stories that help people navigate through their culture.
Benz, who spent the early part of his career as a photojournalist, has been a media trailblazer and innovator in Austin-area news, with three decades of experience in launching and running broadcast, cable, and online newsrooms. He helped launch 24-hour news station News 8 Austin (now YNN) in 1999, the online lifestyle magazine CultureMap Austin in 2011, and most recently I-Media Strategies, a consulting firm specializing in multi-platform content distribution.
It is clear that Benz is not averse to risk, and he encouraged students to “Take risks, and chase what you passionately believe in.” His advice to consumers: “Be more skeptical about what you see, hear, and read. Polarization is caused by a lack of skepticism; it’s important to recognize and put your own bias aside.”
On a subject dear to our hearts, Benz emphasized his belief that “nonprofits are the thread that holds communities together.”
Benz is married to Olga Campos, the former news anchor at KVUE-Austin (who also happens to be our Foster In Texas spokesperson on TV and radio) and has been an LSS board member since 2005.