Carlos Benevides
Living on the Edge

Ascent Magazine

Ask Carlos Benevides what inspired his love for radio and he’ll tell you it was his childhood fear of the dark. When this Edge 102 assistant music director and on-air personality was a child, a fear of the dark prompted his parents to give him a radio for his bedroom. He listened to the radio faithfully each nigh t to lull himself to sleep and a lifelong love of radio was born.

“I always felt a real comfort with it,” Benevides confides. “With radio, you can do so many different things. You can let your mind wander. You can close your eyes and you can create any world you want.

” With inspiration at his bedside each night, Benevides, now 33, knew he wanted a career in radio from an early age. Although he has periodically detoured from radio through the years, he has always been lured back to his first love. He spent four years at Carleton University studying psychology and English, but he never lost sight of his desire to work in radio. “While I was at Carlton I still had a passion for the radio industry, but the timing wasn’t right for me,” he says. When the timing was right, he left Ottawa to apply to Centennial College’s radio and television program. He graduated in 1998.

“I found that Centennial was the best school for me,” Benevides maintains, crediting Centennial’s four-month placement program as a big selling point. “Going into a program for four months meant that you had a chance to really learn something about the profession hands-on, and maybe get a job out of it…I felt that was really important.”

Benevides also had an interest in film and television, and liked the exposure that Centennial’s program gave to all three broadcasting mediums. He even did his placement at a film company instead of a radio station; predictably, however, he soon began to miss radio. “It was a good experience, and I’m glad I started that way because it taught me to appreciate what I do now even more,” he says.

In addition to the four-month placement program, Benevides was impressed with Centennial’s use of current radio equipment, and the way the college prepared students for the real world. “We were taught never to be arrogant, to always have a positive attitude and work as hard as you could…work hard, be prepared, have a great attitude, and you’ll get far. They just constantly drove that home for us at Centennial,” he smiles.

Benevides has heeded that advice, and has advanced quickly in his radio career. In August 1998 - two months after graduating from Centennial - he landed a job in the promotions department at Edge 102. Six months later, he took hold of the microphone on the overnight shift. Subsequently, he has been promoted to assistant music director, works on-air Monday to Wednesday evenings and weekend afternoons, and fills in on the afternoon drive and morning shows.

As for the future, Benevides says he wants to have his own afternoon drive show, and eventually, his own morning show. But in the meantime, he is enjoying all he does at Edge 102. “I grew up listening to the Edge; it’s where I always wanted to work, so I feel pretty privileged,” he enthuses. “I’m fortunate that I really love the music I’m playing, and I think that comes across when I’m doing my shows.”

Carlos Benevides is no longer afraid of the dark. In fact, he is a bright light in the Toronto night.

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