ABC officially welcomed Gio Benitez to Good Morning America as a weekend co-anchor in an emotional segment that elicited tears from Benitiez and his co-anchors whom he considers "family."
Benitez launched his career in 2009 as a local reporter in Miami. He made TV history as the first to shoot an entire news segment on his iPhone.
He joined GMA in 2013 and made a name for himself by covering a wide variety of breaking news and serving as the show's transportation correspondent.
On Saturday, the show presented Benitez with a film montage retrospective of his journalism career so far that concluded with a surprise clip of his family congratulating him.
Seeing his proud mother and sister celebrating his promotion elicited tears from Benitez while listening to their heartfelt messages.
You can watch GMA welcoming Benitez into his new position, here.
Benitez was born in Miami to Cuban American parents.
"My family. That's all I can think about at this moment," said the emotional 37-year-old as he showed viewers his grandfather's pocket watch he'd been carrying as a reminder of his ancestors' journey immigrating to America.
Through tears, Benitez said:
"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.”
He also acknowledged his friend and now fellow GMA co-anchor, Whit Johnson, to whom he reached out when Benitez was 23 and Johnson was 27.
"We've been friends and family for 14 years," he said.
Benitez recalled the first time he noticed Johnson:
"I was an anxious local reporter and I was a mess."
"I didn't know what I was doing and then I see this guy on TV. He was 27 I was 23, and I was like, 'How does he do it?'"
He said he reached out to Johnson, who called him back and they've remained friends ever since.
Benitez's husband, fellow TV host Tommy DiDario, was also overcome with emotion and posted a photo of him in the studio observing the exciting moment.
DiDario was invited onto the set during the celebratory segment and embraced his husband in an emotional hug, telling Benitez how proud he was of him.
The internet also cheered alongside DiDario.
Kim Godwin, the president of ABC News, shared the exciting update in a statement.
“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."
“I look forward to Gio’s unique energy and to Gio bringing more enterprise and feature reporting to the program.”