Thomas Roberts’ New Digital Series “Gay Good News”

News anchor Thomas Roberts (via Facebook)

America’s first openly gay national news anchor, Thomas Roberts, has launched a new digital series focusing on upbeat stories for the LGBTQ community.

Titled ‘Gay Good News,’ the series streams on Thomas’ new Facebook page, Thomas Roberts LIVE at 5.

Thomas told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently that with so many Pride Month celebrations canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic he wanted to provide upbeat content to help fill the gap.

Roberts says the streaming series is inspired by The Office star John Krasinski’s YouTube video series ‘Some Good News.’

“Imitation is the greatest form of flattery,” Roberts shared with the Journal-Constitution. “There are so many good things happening in the world and it’s easy to lose sight of that. We need more good news!”

The plan is three Facebook Live shows a week for the month of June, although he has left the door open to continuing past Pride Month.

“We can take this platform and celebrate things,” Thomas shared during his first episode on June 8. “We want your voice to be amplified… We hope to do something really fun and really special because we’ve been through a weird moment with isolation. For me, it’s deeply personal.”

That first episode streamed from Thomas’ home in Atlanta, Georgia, featured a chat with Emmy Award-winner Leslie Jordan of Will & Grace fame.

During the pandemic, the actor has seen his Instagram account swell from 80k followers to over 4.7 million thanks to his hysterical daily observations of life while sheltering at home. Celebrating Jordan’s success, Roberts declared, “He is the best thing to come out of COVID!”

Part of the charm of the series has been Roberts coping with his lack of tech skills. 

That first show opened with the veteran newsman holding his iPad up to the camera of his laptop to play the intro sequence. And for his interview with Jordan, he sat next to his laptop computer on a plexiglass stand with the actor streaming through.

In the second episode, Roberts moved to Zoom technology but still struggled a bit to play his intro. But all done with a sense of humor.

His most recent installment covered the landmark ruling on LGBTQ protections in the workplace by the U.S. Supreme Court and a chat with comedienne Kathy Griffin.

After ending his seven-year run as anchor of MSNBC Live, Thomas relocated to Atlanta where he became the evening anchor of the local CBS News affiliate WGCL.

Podcast: Billy Porter, Thomas Roberts, Pride Month, Coming Out, The Village People

In this episode: the NFL's homophobic email scandal, Pete Buttigieg claps back, and new music from out singer/songwriter Michael Lazar.

The Randy Report podcast delivers the week's top stories in a quick, convenient podcast - 'the 60 Minutes of gay news - only shorter'

In this week’s podcast:

• Billy Porter shares his ‘Message to America’ Link to full video here (warning – strong language)

• A federal judge issued an important ruling for same-sex married couples

• Audible produces a free series of coming out stories titled, Coming Out Party: A Pride CelebrationClick here for more info.

• Veteran gay journalist Thomas Roberts has announced a free daily news show featuring ‘gay good news’ titled, Thomas Roberts Live at 5

• The Village People have had enough of Donald Trump

• The co-writer/producer of Diana Ross’s “I’m Coming Out” shares a revealing story about the song’s iconic queer history

All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report.

Thomas Roberts Leaves MSNBC

(image via Instagram)

MSNBC has announced that out news anchor Thomas Roberts will be parting ways with the news network.

A spokesperson for MSNBC issued this statement:

“Thomas Roberts has decided to leave MSNBC for other endeavors. He’s been a valued member of the NBC News and MSNBC family since 2010, and we’re thankful for his contributions and Emmy Award-winning coverage for the news division. We wish him success in his new adventure.”

I’ve been surprised at Roberts’ journey at MSNBC as it seems he just couldn’t find the right fit in the network’s range of programming.

In December of 2016, “Live with Thomas Robert” which aired weekdays at 2PM was canceled. He then took on anchor duties for MSNBC Live on weekends from 5-7 PM.

Prior to that he had hosted “Out There with Thomas Roberts,” a weekly program which focused on LGBT topics for MSNBC’s online digital platform.

Roberts and his team won the network an Emmy in September 2016 for their extensive coverage of the Obergefell decision at the U.S. Supreme Court which made same-sex marriage the law of the land.

MSNBC Pulls Plug On “Live With Thomas Roberts”

Sad to hear that out news anchor Thomas Roberts shared via Facebook that his afternoon show “Live with Thomas Roberts” on MSNBC has been cancelled.

Friends,

I wanted you to hear directly from me…it is true I won’t be keeping my current show weekdays on MSNBC. My last show was Thursday.

My colleagues are incredible people…and I am so proud of our team and our accomplishments. It is always a special blessing when co-workers become close friends and family. We achieved that bond and our hard work was recently honored by winning an Emmy in 2016 for Breaking News coverage of last year’s Supreme Court decision on Marriage Equality. I can’t thank my colleagues enough for years of their dedication to me and our show.

Also, a BIG thanks to the viewers who’ve been supporters of our coverage at MSNBC. Hearing from you (whether positive or negative) is always an important thing for me.
So what’s next? Stay tuned!

In the meantime, I am going to be spending the holidays with my husband and family.
From our family to yours…

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays & Happy New Year,

-Thomas

In truth, that particular time slot has been very difficult for the news network to find solid footing.

For the past few years many hosts and anchors have shifted around as MSNBC tried to figure out how to program the middle of the afternoon.

Roberts took over the two-hour show last year replacing the low-rated “Ronan Farrow Daily,” which, in my opinion, never worked.

The New York Post reports that Roberts will continue with MSNBC in a new role, while the network will rotate several of their on-staff anchors in the time slot.

News Round-Up: October 6, 2015

Some news stories you may have missed:

• Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis offered $500,000 to do interracial lesbian porn scene.

• What do you do when Tinder matches you with “the most hated man in America?”

• Tennessee’s Blount County commissioners hold a real hearing to vote on formally asking God to spare them from His wrath because of gay marriage. Seriously.

• Showtime’s The Affair has no qualms about male full-frontal nudity.

• Dr. Ben Carson told Fox and Friends today that he would have encouraged those present to charge at the Oregon shooter –“Hey, guys, everybody attack him! He may shoot me but he can’t get us all.”

• Happy belated birthday to MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts who turned 43 yesterday! Roberts made history a few months ago when he became the first openly gay man to anchor a network newscast.

A shirtless 43 year old Thomas Roberts is quite the view to behold

Out News Anchor Thomas Roberts Improves MSNBC Daytime Ratings

As we begin the third week of MSNBC news anchor Thomas Roberts’ run as the host of the network’s 1-3PM slot (previously held by Joy Reid and Ronan Farrow), a look at the ratings shows the left-leaning news network made the right decision.

Ad Week reports:

“Roberts at 1pm ET has increased the hour by +20% in viewers and +37% in the A25-54 demo vs. the final two weeks of Farrow’s show.

“At 2pm ET, Roberts has increased viewership +2% and has grown the demo by +14% compared to the final two weeks of Reid’s show.”

MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts Counts Down Top 5 LGBT Stories Of The Week

From MSNBC – In this week’s LGBT news wrap-up, Thomas Roberts counts down the top 5 LGBT news stories of the week:

• New statistics on divorce rates for married same-sex couples
• How LGBT characters are taking this year’s Golden Globes noms by storm
• A senator’s plan to introduce a broad equality bill in 2015
• Why one billboard in Virginia is getting a lot of attention
• How New York state is better serving its transgender community