Openly gay MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts
will be the new host of the network's Way Too Early, the
half-hour show which airs at 5:30 AM.
Roberts will leave his current 11 AM
slot to replace current host Brian Shactman, who has occupied the
post since he replaced Willie Geist earlier last year. Roberts will
also be seen on Morning Joe, which follows Way Too Early.
“This is a very exciting opportunity
and right in line with my career goals and aspirations,” Roberts
said in a statement. “I really admire what Joe, Mika, Willie
and Brian have built with Morning Joe and Way Too Early.
I am flattered to join this morning family. I also appreciate
Phil's faith in me and can't wait to get started.”
Roberts was one of the first television
news personalities to come out gay, doing so in 2006. He married
Patrick D. Abner in the fall of 2012 in New York City.
Roberts was criticized last year for
agreeing to host the Miss Universe pageant in Russia. But he spoke
out against the nation's anti-gay law from the event's red carpet.
Roberts: Russian anti-gay law is discrimination.)