Thomas Roberts
2 min read

Another major step forward over the weekend when an openly gay newsreader hosted a major US network television news service for the first time.

For America this was another movement towards inclusiveness following on from the the Supreme Court decision a month ago for marriage equality but those of us in other parts of the world, seeing openly gay newsreaders on our screens each night has become somewhat of a regular occurrence.

With millions watching, Thomas Roberts, 42, took the chair of NBC’s Night News on Saturday night and in turn made history.


Roberts came out when he was 27, at the time it was still considered career suicide, but has since blazed a trail that has led him to this stage.

Hes obviously not the first host of a news program in the states to be openly gay.

Everyone knows the most famous host, Anderson Cooper, who has fronted a number of news shows for CNN over the years and heads up most of the big breaking news stories for the channel. He came out three years ago and since then his career has flourished.

Just last week former BBC newsreader now Scottish National Party MP in the UK parliament John Nicolson said when he was a newsreader at BBC he came out publicly in 1999 and the BBC were horrified.

Speaking to a parliamentary debate on diversity last week, he said: “When I came out as gay when I was presenting BBC Breakfast on BBC One, which I did for a number of years, I found that I was the first mainstream TV news presenter to do so.

“When I told the press office staff that I had given an interview to the Daily Mail, and that when asked about my home life I had been honest, they were aghast and told me that no BBC presenter had ever been openly gay before.

In Australia one of the most notable out gay newsreaders, who is also still on air, is Channel Nine’s Peter Hitchener who anchors the news in Melbourne.

In a piece for the Herald Sun newspaper celebrating ten years as chief newsreader, Hitchener declared he was gay. He since continues to host the news broadcast dominating the ratings for the past five years.

In Sydney Ian Ross, who was a stalwart of the industry hosting news services on both Seven and Nine, was openly gay and with his partner for 22 years before he contracted pancreatic cancer and passed away in 2014 aged 73.

Ian Ross at Seven
Ian Ross at Seven

Ross or Roscoe as he was affectionately known actually retired with his partner following his stint at Nine before returning to host Seven’s revamped news in 2003 and took the station to Number 1.

He was known as the hard man of news with a soft centre but never went out of his way to ‘beta the drum’ about his sexuality.

Last Updated on Jul 21, 2015

The news team for Gay Nation love tips from our readers. Got tips or a news story that you would like published? Go here to tell us something.
Visit the Gay Nation store Now