THOMAS ROBERTS 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. Before that he was anchor of Way Too Early and a contributor to Morning Joe. He was also an NBC News correspondent and a fill-in anchor on Today and NBC Nightly News. In November 2017, it was announced that Roberts had decided to leave MSNBC for other endeavors. In August 2020, it was announced that Roberts will be the host of season four of DailyMailTV.
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. Roberts discussed his abuse in a special segment on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 called “Sins of the Father” in March 2007.
Roberts publicly acknowledged he was gay while speaking at the annual convention of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) in Miami, Florida in September 2006. His comments were first reported by Johnny Diaz, a Boston Globe staff and 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.
In September 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. In June 2011, one day after marriage equality in New York was legalized, Roberts announced his engagement to Abner on his Twitter page. The couple was married in September 2012.