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.