Thomas Roberts (television journalist)

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Thomas Roberts
Thomas Roberts - MSNBC (18226913523).jpg
Roberts in Baltimore at a Baltimore Orioles game (June 15, 2015)
BornThomas Albert Roberts
(1972-10-05) October 5, 1972 (age 46)
Towson, Maryland, U.S.
Residence New Atlanta , Georgia, U.S.
Nationality American
Education Western Maryland College
Occupation Journalist
Employer NBCUniversal, Comcast
Spouse(s)
Patrick D. Abner(m. 2012)

Thomas Albert Roberts (born October 5, 1972) is an American television journalist who served as a news anchor for MSNBC, a cable-news channel. He ended his seven-year stint anchoring MSNBC Live , the daytime news platform of NBC News, on weekends from 5-7pm ET. Before that he was anchor of Way Too Early and a contributor to Morning Joe . [1] He was also an NBC News correspondent and a fill-in anchor on Today and NBC Nightly News . On November 18, 2017, it was announced that Roberts had decided to leave MSNBC for other endeavors. [2]

Journalist person who collects, writes and distributes news and other information

A journalist is a person who collects, writes, or distributes news or other current information to the public. A journalist's work is called journalism. A journalist can work with general issues or specialize in certain issues. However, most journalists tend to specialize, and by cooperating with other journalists, produce journals that span many topics. For example, a sports journalist covers news within the world of sports, but this journalist may be a part of a newspaper that covers many different topics.

A news presenter – also known as a newsreader, newscaster, anchorman or anchorwoman, news anchor or simply an anchor – is a person who presents news during a news program on the television, on the radio or on the Internet. They may also be a working journalist, assisting in the collection of news material and may, in addition, provide commentary during the program. News presenters most often work from a television studio or radio studio, but may also present the news from remote locations in the field related to a particular major news event.

MSNBC is an American pay television network that provides news coverage and political commentary from NBC News on current events. MSNBC is owned by the NBCUniversal News Group, a unit of the NBCUniversal Television Group division of NBCUniversal. MSNBC and its website were founded in 1996 under a partnership between Microsoft and General Electric's NBC unit, hence the network's naming. Although they had the same name, msnbc.com and MSNBC maintained separate corporate structures and news operations. msnbc.com was headquartered on the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington while MSNBC operated out of NBC's headquarters in New York City. Microsoft divested its stakes in the MSNBC channel in 2005 and in msnbc.com in July 2012. The general news site was rebranded as NBCNews.com, and a new msnbc.com was created as the online home of the cable channel.

Contents

Early life and education

Roberts grew up in a Roman Catholic family in Towson, Maryland, and attended Catholic schools there, graduating from Calvert Hall College High School. [3] In 1994, Roberts graduated from Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College) with a major in communication and a minor in journalism.

Towson, Maryland Census-designated place in Maryland, United States

Towson is an unincorporated community and a census-designated place in Baltimore County, Maryland. The population was 55,197 as of the 2010 census. It is the county seat and the second-most populated unincorporated county seat in the United States.

Calvert Hall College High School

Calvert Hall College High School is a Catholic college preparatory high school for boys, located in Towson, Maryland, United States. The school's mission is to make its students "men of intellect, men of faith, and men of integrity." It is located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore, the first Catholic diocese of the United States.

McDaniel College

McDaniel College is a private four-year liberal arts college in Westminster, Maryland. Established in 1867, it was known as Western Maryland College until 2002 when it was renamed McDaniel College in honor of an alumnus who gave a lifetime of service to the college. The college also has a satellite campus, McDaniel College Budapest, in Budapest, Hungary. McDaniel College is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and it is one of 40 colleges profiled in the book Colleges That Change Lives by Loren Pope.

Career

Roberts landed his first job reporting for a small cable station in Westminster, Maryland. He then moved to San Diego, California, and worked as a writer and field producer for NBC affiliate KNSD before relocating to Lincoln, Nebraska, where he worked as a general-assignment reporter with ABC affiliate KLKN-TV.

Westminster, Maryland City in Maryland, United States

Westminster is a city in northern Maryland, United States. A suburb of Baltimore, it is the seat of Carroll County. The city's population was 18,590 at the 2010 census. Westminster is an outlying community within the Baltimore-Towson, MD MSA, which is part of a greater Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia, DC-MD-VA-WV CSA.

San Diego City in California, United States

San Diego is a city in the U.S. state of California. It is in San Diego County, on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, approximately 120 miles (190 km) south of Los Angeles and immediately adjacent to the border with Mexico.

California State of the United States of America

California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second and fifth most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 8.8 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.

Roberts went on to become a nightly news anchor and investigative reporter for Fox affiliate WFTX-TV in Fort Myers, Florida, and later for WAVY-TV, an NBC affiliate in Portsmouth, Virginia, which serves the Hampton Roads area. At WAVY-TV, he co-anchored an afternoon newscast and was also the station's investigative and consumer correspondent.

Investigative journalism is a form of journalism in which reporters deeply investigate a single topic of interest, such as serious crimes, political corruption, or corporate wrongdoing. An investigative journalist may spend months or years researching and preparing a report. Practitioners sometimes use the terms "watchdog reporting" or "accountability reporting".

Fox Broadcasting Company American television network

The Fox Broadcasting Company is an American commercial terrestrial television network that is a flagship property of Fox Corporation, a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox. The network is headquartered at the 20th Century Fox studio in Los Angeles, with additional major offices and production facilities at the Fox Television Center also in Los Angeles and the Fox Broadcasting Center in New York City.

WFTX-TV Fox affiliate in Cape Coral, Florida

WFTX-TV, virtual channel 36, is a Fox-affiliated television station serving Fort Myers and Naples, Florida, United States that is licensed to Cape Coral. The station is owned by the E. W. Scripps Company. WFTX-TV's studios are located on Southwest Pine Island Road in Cape Coral, and its transmitter is located near Punta Gorda near the Charlotte and Lee county line. The station is branded as Fox 4, in reference to its channel location on most cable systems in the market.

CNN and Entertainment journalism

Roberts joined CNN, [4] [5] a cable-news channel, in December 2001 and was based in Atlanta, Georgia. He was a weekday anchor on CNN Headline News, co-anchoring alongside Judy Fortin, Sophia Choi, and Kathleen Kennedy. He co-anchored the CNN Headline News coverage of the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia disaster and the channel's ongoing Iraq War coverage. [6] [7] He received an Emmy Award nomination in 2002 for his investigation into a local puppy mill that was eventually shut down due to his reporting, according to his profile at CNN. He resigned from CNN on May 1, 2007, to pursue "new journalistic opportunities" in the Washington, D.C. area and to be with his partner. [8]

CNN American news channel

Cable News Network (CNN) is an American news-based pay television channel owned by WarnerMedia News & Sports, a division of AT&T's WarnerMedia. CNN was founded in 1980 by American media proprietor Ted Turner as a 24-hour cable news channel. Upon its launch, CNN was the first television channel to provide 24-hour news coverage, and was the first all-news television channel in the United States.

Atlanta Capital of Georgia, United States

Atlanta is the capital of, and the most populous city in, the U.S. state of Georgia. With an estimated 2017 population of 486,290, it is also the 38th most-populous city in the United States. The city serves as the cultural and economic center of the Atlanta metropolitan area, home to 5.8 million people and the ninth-largest metropolitan area in the nation. Atlanta is the seat of Fulton County, the most populous county in Georgia. A small portion of the city extends eastward into neighboring DeKalb County.

Georgia (U.S. state) State of the United States of America

Georgia is a state in the Southeastern United States. It began as a British colony in 1733, the last and southernmost of the original Thirteen Colonies to be established. Named after King George II of Great Britain, the Province of Georgia covered the area from South Carolina south to Spanish Florida and west to French Louisiana at the Mississippi River. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788. In 1802–1804, western Georgia was split to the Mississippi Territory, which later split to form Alabama with part of former West Florida in 1819. Georgia declared its secession from the Union on January 19, 1861, and was one of the original seven Confederate states. It was the last state to be restored to the Union, on July 15, 1870. Georgia is the 24th largest and the 8th most populous of the 50 United States. From 2007 to 2008, 14 of Georgia's counties ranked among the nation's 100 fastest-growing, second only to Texas. Georgia is known as the Peach State and the Empire State of the South. Atlanta, the state's capital and most populous city, has been named a global city. Atlanta's metropolitan area contains about 55% of the population of the entire state.

After some time in DC, he moved to Los Angeles to work for the syndicated entertainment programs Entertainment Tonight and The Insider before determining tabloid journalism was not for him and he was dismissed. [4] [9] Roberts then was a correspondent for CBS News in LA, covering aspects of the trial of Conrad Murray.

Los Angeles City in California

Los Angeles, officially the City of Los Angeles and often known by its initials L.A., is the most populous city in California and the second most populous city in the United States, after New York. With an estimated population of four million, Los Angeles is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California. The city is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, Hollywood and the entertainment industry, and sprawling metropolis.

<i>Entertainment Tonight</i> American entertainment television news series from CBS Television Distribution

Entertainment Tonight is an American first-run syndicated entertainment television newsmagazine that is distributed by CBS Television Distribution throughout the United States.

CBS News is the news division of American television and radio service CBS. The president of CBS News is David Rhodes. On January 6, 2019, Susan Zirinsky was named President of CBS News, replacing David Rhodes. Rhodes will be leaving on March 1, 2019, and "will step down as president of CBS News amid falling ratings and the fallout from revelations from an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against CBS News figures, Rhodes and the CBS network said." Zirinsky will become the first female President of CBS News.

MSNBC and NBC News

In late April 2010, Roberts began freelance anchoring for MSNBC in New York City and was named full-time anchor in December. [4] Roberts primarily anchored Live with Thomas Roberts until its cancelation in 2016. [10] [11] The show is a recipient of an Emmy Award for its coverage of the Supreme Court decision on marriage equality. [12] Roberts also hosted Out There with Thomas Roberts, a weekly news and discussion show focused on LGBT equality issues, for Shift, an MSNBC digital live streaming network, through 2015. [13]

Roberts is seen at the end of the Marvel film The Avengers speaking about the "extraterrestrial invasion" for MSNBC. [14] [15]

Roberts was also a fill-in news anchor on the weekday and weekend versions of Today and a correspondent for NBC News. From December 2010 through February 2011 Roberts anchored the 3 p.m. ET hour of MSNBC until he was moved to the 2 p.m. ET hour. Roberts substituted for Keith Olbermann as the host of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann on November 5 and 8, 2010, when Olbermann was suspended from MSNBC for making campaign contributions to candidates in the U.S. 2010 elections. In July 2015, he became the first openly gay evening news anchor on network television when he anchored NBC Nightly News for a day. [16] [17] [18] He later anchored the program on numerous occasions. Roberts left MSNBC and NBC in November 2017. In July 2018 it was announced that Roberts will soon be evening anchor on WGCL-46, the CBS affiliate in Atlanta. [19]

Miss Universe and Miss USA pageant host

Roberts co-hosted the 2013 Miss Universe pageant along with Melanie Brown from Moscow, Russia. [20] He also co-hosted the Miss USA 2014 with Giuliana Rancic and 2014 Miss Universe pageant with Natalie Morales from Miami, Florida. [21]

Personal life

Survivor of sexual abuse

In 2005, after years of silence, Roberts came forward to testify against Jerome F. Toohey Jr., a former priest who had abused Roberts at Calvert Hall College High School. Toohey pleaded guilty to the sexual abuse charges and received a five-year jail sentence with all but eighteen months suspended in February 2006. Toohey served only ten months before his sentence was converted in December with the remaining eight months to be served in home detention. [22] Roberts discussed his abuse in a special segment on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 called "Sins of the Father" on March 12, 2007. [23]

Sexual orientation and coming out

Roberts publicly acknowledged he was gay while speaking at the annual convention of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) in Miami, Florida, held on September 8, 2006. His comments were first reported by Johnny Diaz, a Boston Globe staff reporter. [24] Along with Craig Stevens, a co-anchor of Miami's WSVN Channel 7, and other local gay anchors, Roberts was a member of a panel called "Off Camera: The Challenge of LGBT TV Anchors." He told the audience that the conference was the "biggest step" he had taken to really be out in public and that he had slowly been coming out at CNN over the past several years. Diaz reported that Roberts, who has been a member of the NLGJA since 2005, [25] said he was proud of his partner and that staying in the closet was a difficult thing for a national news anchor. "When you hold something back, that's all everyone wants to know", Diaz quoted Roberts as saying.

On September 15, 2006, Christie Keith, a reporter with the website AfterElton.com, published an interview with Roberts, who stated that he actually came out to coworkers in 1999, when he was living in Norfolk, Virginia. "I was happy, I was in a relationship, and I was very proud. I had the support of family, and of my friends. It was … about not wasting any more time. I'd wasted enough time." He further commented, on the subject of coming out, "Hopefully, everyone, gay or straight, journalists or doctors or otherwise, can overcome that obstacle, because it stands in the way of you being the best you can be, with your job, with your family, with everything, and not have to be afraid anymore." [25]

Roberts also told Keith that he had been approached in 2005 by People magazine to be one of the publication's 50 Sexiest Bachelors, but he declined. "I'm not a bachelor. I thought it would be false advertising... [And] I didn't think it was the right venue to talk about it." [25]

He has been in a relationship with Patrick D. Abner since 2000. On June 25, 2011, one day after same-sex marriage in New York was legalized, Roberts announced his engagement to Abner on his Twitter page. The couple were married on September 29, 2012. [4] [26]

See also

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References

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