Former MSNBC and CNN anchor Thomas Roberts has left WGCL in Atlanta after just 14 months on the job, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- He jumped back to local news: Roberts had sought another network job after leaving MSNBC, but nothing came through.
- Last day on air: His last day at the anchor desk was Aug. 16, 2019. He then took a two week vacation but never returned.
- As an anchor team: His co-anchor, Sharon Reed, is reportedly a divisive figure in the newsroom, though Roberts reportedly got along with her.
- Why did he leave? According to both Roberts and the station, the parting is amicable and mutual — and seems to stem from the role not being a good fit.
- Bad omen? On his first day at the station, Roberts ripped his pants.
However, in the short time Roberts was at WGCL, there was turmoil in the newsroom.
- A leak: Some notes Roberts and Reed reportedly wrote filled with newsroom gossip leaked in December 2018.
- One target of the note: Then chief meteorologist Paul Ossmann was mentioned in the notes.
- Roberts’ defense: Roberts, meanwhile, said many of the comments were taken out of context.
- An apology: Roberts apologized to Ossmann.
- Ossmann out: The meteorologist abruptly left the station in April — without any reason given.
- Then Reed: A few weeks after that, Reed’s contract ran out and she announced she was leaving.
Ossmann then sued the station in July.
- His claim: Ossmann claimed a work environment there was discriminatory against him.
- The station responded: WGCL shot back saying he had made inappropriate statements about female coworkers.
Roberts’ path to WGCL includes stops at two networks:
- This is CNN: He previously was based in Atlanta from 2001 to 2007 when working for CNN.
- Peacock time: He moved to MSNBC and NBC from 2010 to 2018. During that period, he became the first openly gay man to anchor a network evening newscast when he filled in on “NBC Nightly News.”
- Hotlanta homecoming: He then signed on to anchor after WGCL fired Ben Swann, who relaunched a conspiracy-oriented site “Reality Check” without approval from station management.
- Swann after WGCL: Swann now contributed to RT, a network available around the world that is funded by the Russian government.