In next week's Advocate, editor Sean Kennedy really digs into one of our favorite subjects in the entire media world: gay news anchors! But if you're having Anderson Cooper fatigue (is he or isn't he? Did he date a dolphin trainer or a marine biologist? With arms like that, whom can't he date?), never fear — this story is all about other gay anchors. The out ones, the in ones, and the ones who are struggling to decide. To begin with, Kennedy sat down with openly gay former CNN and Insider anchor Thomas Roberts and got him to talk candidly, for the first time, about those nude photographs that showed up on the gay-dating Website Manhunt.com. This is what Thomas has to say:
"I never put inappropriate pictures of myself on a public website. For me it was really hurtful, for [my boyfriend] Patrick and I it was terribly painful, and I'm sure anyone reading this will realize that what happened was something that we needed to deal with on a personal level. And we've dealt with it — we've closed the book on that issue and moved on."
The pictures surfaced right around the same time that Roberts moved to the entertainment-news show. While he was at The Insider, Kennedy tried to speak with him for the story, but producers would not let him talk about being gay (even though he wanted to). Then, in February, Roberts was unexpectedly let go from the program. No! Thomas, you can anchor our broadcast anytime!
According to The Advocate, who spoke with many television-news sources, it's easier to be a gay morning host, weatherman, or reporter. But for evening anchors, it's still frowned upon. "They love gay reporters now, because they're so animated; they're not stiff," explains agent Mendes J. Napoli. "But a primary male anchor who's gay? It's an issue." In fact, there are only two openly homosexual anchors in the top-twenty markets. As for ones in the closet, there are many more. One such secretly gay newsreader talked to Kennedy:
"Maybe I should have the attitude of 'I am gay — take it or leave it.' But in the back of your mind, there's always that
thing: the culture of the industry," the anonymous anchor said. "It's OK if they know within the company, but you wouldn't do a cover story with The Advocate without warning your media-relations person."
The article is a good read; you should click on over. But we'll tell you our favorite part already. Kennedy reached out to America's anchor emeritus, Tom Brokaw, and asked whether there was any reason there can't be an openly gay newscaster. His answer? "No."
The Insider Is Out [Advocate]
Earlier: New ‘Insider’ Anchor Accused of Having Hot, Naked Body