Venton Blandin, a two-time Emmy-nominated reporter, joined WHNT News 19 in January 2009 after reporting in Charleston, South Carolina. He leads the station's 'Fighting for You' team.
Venton was born in Chicago, Illinois and became interested in television news as a child after watching Chicago's WMAQ-TV cover a shooting in his neighborhood in 1992. He spent a lot of time as a child chasing trucks from all the Chicago stations, riding the 'L' after school to visit the stations and attending tapings of TV shows based in Chicago. Venton spent an 'unhealthy' amount of time hanging out inside the NBC Chicago newsroom. A few of the anchors there saw something and gave him a chance. Venton's passion for news grew after an internship at WYFF-TV in Greenville, SC a year later. He was eventually able to work behind the scenes in the newsroom and production offices during his high school years.
Venton joined the United States Marine Corps in 1998 and has done tours in Australia, Japan, Korea, Thailand and in the Philippines before receiving an "honorable discharge" as a Corporal. He attended Bowie State University, while continuing to work in television, after getting out of the military.
Venton has worked as a reporter at WCIV-TV in Charleston, SC. He broke the national story of two Florida college students traveling through the Charleston with bomb-making materials. Venton did hourly LIVE reports on the story for CNN for two days.
Venton reported for more than two years at WCAV-TV in Charlottesville, VA. He also has worked as an assignment editor at WRC-TV in Washington, DC. Venton was able to play a big part in news-gathering during the attacks of September 11, 2001.
Venton spent three years working at WBAL-TV in Baltimore, MD as an assignment editor. He was a big part of Beltway Sniper Attacks coverage in our nation's Capital region.
Venton spent his first three years at WHNT NEWS 19 reporting LIVE during the 5:00 pm, 6:00 pm, 9:00 pm and 10:00 pm newscasts. You can now see his 'Fighting for You' reports during the 5:00 pm newscast Monday through Friday.
The Midsouth Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in Nashville has honored Venton with two Emmy nominations. One nomination was for the story he broke on an accused killer's escape from Madison County to Dallas, TX. The other was for his story about a Decatur soldier killed while serving our country in Afghanistan.
Venton is the oldest of six children, enjoys spending time with his family and friends, going to church, volunteering, listening and playing music, playing some sports, dancing, attending comedy shows, flying in helicopters, riding roller coasters, acting and speaking to groups.
Venton is a member of True Light Church of God In Christ where he works with a couple of ministries. He serves as a board member for Madison County's Court Appointed Juvenile Advocates, works with the Semper Fi Community Task Force, volunteers with the Special Olympics and American Cancer Society.