Thomas Roberts (news anchor)
||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2010)|
|Born||Thomas Albert Roberts
October 5, 1972
|Alma mater||McDaniel College|
|Spouse(s)||Patrick D. Abner (m. 2012)|
Early life and education 
Born Thomas Albert Roberts, he grew up in Towson, Maryland, and attended Calvert Hall College High School, a Catholic high school in Towson. In 1994, Roberts graduated from Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College) with a major in communication and a minor in journalism. He was a member of Delta Pi Alpha fraternity.
Early career 
After college, his first job was 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.
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.
Roberts joined CNN, a cable-news channel, in December 2001 and was based in Atlanta, Georgia. He was a weekday anchor on CNN Headline News, one of CNN's sister channels, and provided Prime NewsBreaks. While at CNN Headline News, Roberts co-anchored with 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.
In late April 2010, Roberts began freelance anchoring for MSNBC and was named full-time anchor in December. Roberts primarily anchors daytime coverage but also has substituted as weekend anchor and overnight news update anchor on MSNBC as well as NBC News's Early Today on NBC and First Look on MSNBC.
Roberts has also anchored at the news desk on the weekday and weekend versions of Today for NBC News.
From December 2010 through February 2011 Roberts anchored the 3 p.m. (Eastern time) hour of MSNBC until he was moved to his current 11 a.m. (Eastern time) 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.
Roberts had a cameo appearance in Iron Man 3 reporting the news.
Personal life 
Victim 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 him when he was a student at Calvert Hall College High School. Toohey pled 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. Roberts discussed his abuse in a special segment on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 called "Sins of the Father" on March 12, 2007.
Sexual orientation and coming out 
Roberts publicly acknowledged he is gay while speaking at the annual convention of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) in Miami, Florida, which was held on September 8, 2006. His comments were first reported by Johnny Diaz, a Boston Globe staff reporter. 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, 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."
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."
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.
- Richdale, Andrew (undated). "Ungodly — On April 12, 2010 at 9:00 AM — A Q&A with Thomas Roberts, a Survivor of the Catholic Church". GQ. Accessed December 7, 2010.
- Associated Press (September 4, 2007). News digest. The Hollywood Reporter
- Bonko, Larry (February 22, 2204). Ex-WAVY anchor thrives in CNN hot seat. The Virginian-Pilot
- Kennedy, Sean (May 7, 2008). "The Insider Is Out". The Advocate. Accessed December 7, 2010.
- [dead link] Kusner, Daniel A. (May 10, 2007). "CNN's Roberts Signs Off". Dallas Voice. Retrieved June 20, 2007.
- [dead link] McMenamin, Jennifer (February 8, 2006). "Ex-Priest Sentenced for Sexual Abuse". The Baltimore Sun. Accessed March 13, 2007.
- Roberts, Thomas (March 9, 2007). "TV Anchor: I Was Sexually Abused by Catholic Priest". CNN. Accessed December 7, 2010.
- Beantown Cuban: Diaz, Johnny (September 8, 2006) Johnny Diaz, "Out in the Sunshine", accessed October 5, 2011
- Keith, Christie (September 15, 2006). "Life As An Openly Gay Journalist: CNN's Thomas Roberts". AfterElton.com. Accessed December 7, 2010.
- People (October 1, 2012) Julia Haskins, "Thomas Roberts Marries His Longtime Partner Patrick Abner", accessed October 1, 2012
- Thomas Roberts at the Internet Movie Database
- Staff writer (undated; circa late 2010). "Thomas Roberts: The Exclusive ATLANTAboy 'It Gets Better' Interview". Atlantaboy.com (blog). Accessed December 8, 2010.