Roberts covering the state funeral of Jack Layton
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Leslie Roberts (born June 28, 1962) is a Canadian journalist and TV personality and was the executive editor and anchor for Global Toronto from 2001 to 2015, hosting the station's News Hour from 5:30-6:30 p.m. and co-anchoring Global and Shaw Media's The Morning Show from 2013 until 2015.
He was suspended on January 8, 2015, following a Toronto Star investigation alleging conflict of interest due to his equity stake in a PR firm whose clients were featured on his shows, and resigned from Global on January 15, 2015.
Roberts was raised in a family full of journalists. Roberts' great-grandfather John H. Roberts founded and ran a controversial reformist Montreal tabloid newspaper called The Axe, between 1922–24 and his grandfather and namesake was a writer and journalist, while his father (Bill) was a morning-man for Montreal's CJAD for 20 years and later as Vice President of programming. His mother was an assistant to a federal MP. Roberts' brother, Rob, is Toronto editor at the National Post.
At 18, Roberts interned in the newsroom at Montreal's CKGM radio, specifically covering the 1980 Quebec referendum and having the opportunity to interview René Lévesque. After finishing school, he was immediately recruited in 1985 as a medical reporter for CFCF-TV, the CTV affiliate in Montreal. At CFCF for twelve years, Roberts found himself on a variety of different segments from travel to morning talk shows.
In 1995, a tape of an interview he conducted on his morning TV show Montreal Today With Leslie Roberts landed on the desk of an agent in Los Angeles. Within six months he was offered a position with the TV tabloid show A Current Affair. A year later he moved to Fox as a reporter/anchor for WNYW in New York City. Three years later Roberts answered a call from CFCF to return home as anchor/host of several shows. In 2000, The Global Television Network came calling. He was news director and senior anchor at Global Quebec until Global offered a position on the anchor desk in Toronto.
During the 2007/2008 broadcast season he hosted the Leslie Roberts Show on CFRB Radio in Toronto in the late morning time slot. He also formerly authored a weekly column from April to October 2008 for the National Post named "The Five things I learned this week".
In September 2001, Roberts was recruited by CanWest's Toronto division to be a co-anchor with Beverly Thomson of the station's supper time news show. Roberts arrived just a week before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The news team included meteorologist Michael Kuss (now at CTV) and sports director Jim Tatti. From June 2010 until August 2013, his co-anchor was former CITY-TV anchor Anne Mroczkowski, who replaced Anne-Marie Mediwake after she moved to CBC News. Roberts was the show's sole anchor from August 2013 until his resignation. He also hosted Global Ontario's 11 pm news broadcast for several years.
Suspension and resignation
On January 8, 2015, Global Television announced that they had suspended Roberts indefinitely pending the company's investigation of alleged conflict of interest following a Toronto Star report that revealed Roberts was a secret partner of public relations firm BuzzPR which was being paid by lawyers, small businesses and other clients for media exposure and were being given interview spots or otherwise being promoted by Roberts on News Hour and The Morning Show and via his Global News Twitter account.
Roberts resigned from Global News a week later following an internal investigation by the network. He issued a statement that read: "I am resigning my position as News Anchor and Executive Editor of Global Toronto effective immediately. I regret the circumstances, specifically a failure to disclose information, which led to this outcome. Over the past 15 years, I have worked within a news organization and among colleagues who are the best in the business. For that privilege, I will always be grateful." Global News issued a memo to its staff stating that: “Leslie Roberts has resigned, effective immediately, from his position as Anchor and Executive Editor of Global Toronto, and co-host of The National Morning Show. In light of the findings of an internal investigation, conducted on the basis of our Business Conduct Standards and the Global News Journalistic Principles and Practices, Global News is satisfied with today’s outcome.”
- "Global TV anchor Leslie Roberts suspended". Toronto Star. January 8, 2015. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
- "Leslie Roberts quits Global TV after Star investigation". Toronto Star. January 15, 2015.
- "Leslie Roberts". Postmedia News. 3 July 2008. Archived from the original on 7 December 2010.
- "Former TV reporter named CBC chairwoman". Broadcaster. July 2001. Archived from the original on 7 December 2010.
- "Anchor Leslie Roberts suspended from Global TV". Newstalk 1010. January 8, 2015. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
- "Leslie Roberts resigns from Global News in wake of internal investigation". Global News. January 15, 2015. Retrieved January 15, 2015.