Michael Benner

  • Michael Benner
Michael Benner at TED.

About Michael Benner

Michael Benner is best known for his popular talk radio programs originating in Southern California. Since 1977, he has hosted news, commentary, and talk shows in Los Angeles on KABC-AM, KLOS-FM, KLSX-FM, KCBS-FM (Arrow 93.1), KRLA-AM, KWST-FM, KNAC-FM and KPFK-FM.

In 1987 Michael left broadcasting as a full-time profession to begin his own business. Personal Development Strategies (PDS) provides counseling, training, and mentoring to individuals, couples, and businesses. As presented by Michael, the strategies include stress and anger management, relationship management, motivation (élan & esprit), goal-setting, problem-solving, accelerated learning, leadership & teamwork, continuous improvement, and character-building modules.


If you were in love with the idea of writing a nostalgic story about an idyllic boyhood in average town USA, highly regarded Los Angeles radio broadcaster Michael Benner could tell you his. Picture this — Michael grew up in St. Joseph, a small town in southwestern Michigan (population 9,000) bounded on three sides by endless miles of fruit orchards and on the west by the sand dunes and broad beaches of Lake Michigan.

As a boy, his greatest love was baseball. He and his friends played constantly when there was no snow on the ground, and, occasionally, even when there was. There were also countless adventures in the deep ravines and along the St. Joseph River where Michael and his boyhood pals acted-out their secret Huck Finn fantasies. Shades of the All American Boy.

And high school? A standup, standout kid. From age 14 until he left for college, he worked part-time in a small, local grocery store (Schneck's Market) as a bag and carryout boy. In his Junior Year, Michael was elected Class President as well as President of the school's Hi-Y Club (a YMCA program). He played bass clarinet in the high school band and also lettered in both Junior Varsity and Varsity football. A smart student, athlete, musician, and a popular leader among his peers.

Michael graduated from St. Joseph High School in 1966 and from Michigan State University in 1970 with a BA in Television and Radio Management. Shortly thereafter he moved to Detroit where he worked in radio doing news, talk shows, and progressive rock DJ work (WDRQ-FM, WRIF-FM, WWWW-FM).

If the story were to continue in typical All American boy-to-man stages, Michael might have stayed in Detroit, married his college sweetheart and had 2.5 children. But that's not how this story ends.

Mind Science
In 1974, Michael took a 40-hour training called Silva Mind Control — essentially a class in meditation and self-hypnosis. He'd long been interested in such things, especially after reading in college about Edgar Cayce. Now he became fascinated with developing his hidden potential and teaching others to do the same.

One year later, Michael moved to Los Angeles intent on finding a way to use his impressive broadcasting skills to pursue his new passion — helping people open their minds and hearts to discover their true selves.

He did just that, which is possibly the most All-American accomplishment of all. As stated in the California Institute of Technology "Tech" newspaper: "Benner is known both for his very non-conventional, independent politics and his authoritative views on human potential development. Both of these subjects he discusses and argues for in an extremely articulate manner, which makes listening to him an experience in itself."

Michael Benner is best known throughout Southern California for his popular talk radio programs. Since 1975, he has hosted news and talk shows on KABC-AM, KLOS-FM, KNAC-FM, KLSX-FM, and KCBS-FM (Arrow 93.1). Currently he's heard on KPFK (90.7-FM) Thursdays at 11 P.M. and on KRLA (870-AM) and KRLH (590-AM) each Saturday evening from 10 P.M. to Midnight.

Career Change
In 1987 Michael left broadcasting as a full-time profession to begin his own business, Personal Development Strategies. With offices in Glendale, he provides consulting and training to individuals, couples and businesses. As presented by Michael, Personal Development Strategies include stress and anger management, conflict resolution and sensitivity, motivation, goal-setting, problem-solving, accelerated learning, leadership, teamwork, and character-building modules. Michael hosts public seminars such as: Creativity, Confidence and Courage; The Power of Self-Respect; Through the Looking Glass, and Integrity, Adventures in Personal Truth. He has also served as the Sports Psychology Consultant for the U.S.C. Women's Tennis team and Burbank Burroughs High School Baseball Team.

The California Community Colleges Board of Governors has granted Michael a permanent, lifetime certification as an instructor of Communication Arts. He has served as a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Education's Radio Broadcast Advisory Committee and the Pasadena City College Broadcast Advisory Committee.

Michael is a federally-licensed amateur radio operator, N6IJR, and the Deputy City Radio Officer for the Glendale Emergency Amateur Radio Service (GEARS). He is the past Chairman of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce Disaster Preparedness Committee, a past member of the Board of Directors for the Glendale Family YMCA, and currently volunteers as a Community Development Educator and Public Affairs Officer for the Glendale-Crescenta Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross where he is also a member of the Board of Directors.

Michael has received formal accolades and awards from the United Nations Association, the American Red Cross, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the Live and Learn Foundation, the National Leukemia Broadcasters Council, the Glendale Family YMCA, and the Glendale Jaycees. His biography can be found in Marquis Who's Who in the West, 27th edition.