Exclusive: why is Thomas Roberts coming back to Atlanta & broadcast TV?


The former CNN/MSNBC anchor starts at CBS46 later this month

Originally posted Monday, July 9, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Thomas Roberts, the former CNN Headline News and MSNBC anchor, said he returned to Atlanta after 11 years in part because he absolutely loves the city.

He will co-anchor the 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts for CBS46 and the 9 p.m. newscast on sister station Peachtree TV. His co-anchor will be Sharon Reed.

His husband Patrick Abner, an executive at Merck, could work anywhere that has a major airport and Atlanta qualified. Plus, he and Patrick love Atlanta, where Roberts worked from 2001 to 2007.

“We had a great quality of life when we lived here before,” Roberts said. “That hasn’t happened since we left.”

He officially started working there Monday but isn’t sure when he will debut on air. Presumably, he added, it should be before the end of the month.

This will be his first time doing broadcast news in nearly 17 years.

He hopes to “show up, do a great job, allow some consistency to be built and get to know Sharon.”

Plus, he already knows a few of the folks at the station, including Mike Dunston, Tracye Hutchins and Karyn Greer.

Roberts isn’t blind to the fact CBS46 has been a ratings laggard for virtually its entire existence. “I consider myself an underdog,” he said. “I think CBS46 is the same. Throughout my career, it’s been nice to prove people wrong.”

He is looking forward to finding a residence near CBS46, probably Midtown. He has noticed traffic has gotten worse since he last lived here, but the culinary options have multiplied. One place he is planning to go as soon as possible: Flying Biscuit.