NBC made history Saturday night, as Thomas Roberts took to chair the at NBC Nightly News as the first out gay anchor of an evening news program on a major network. This is a huge milestone for both the 42-year-old journalist’s career and gay rights history. Until the broadcast, an openly gay person had never anchored the nightly news on network TV. Roberts told The Advocate that it was a “huge honor” to fill the role.
Roberts came out long ago, in 2006. He recently dropped out as host of the Miss USA pageant following the controversial comments made by owner Donald Trump. Ironically, during the night’s broadcast, Roberts’ lead story was about Trump, who just insulted the war record of Senator John McCain.
There are a few openly gay evening news anchors on cable –MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon– but Roberts is the first for one of the big three networks. Speaking to the Advocate, Roberts simply said it was a “huge honor” to be selected as the anchor for NBC.