He went on to become a nightly news anchor and investigative reporter for FOX affiliate WFTX-TV in Fort Myers, Florida and later for NBC affiliate WAVY-TV in Portsmouth-Norfolk-Virginia Beach, Virginia. At WAVY-TV, he co-anchored an afternoon newscast and was also the station's investigative/consumer correspondent.
Shortly after Roberts joined The Insider, reports surfaced that several nude photographs, reportedly of the anchor, were posted in a profile on the gay dating website Manhunt.net. Though Roberts did not publicly acknowledge the incident at the time, in a May 2008 interview in The Advocate, the former anchor stated, “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.”
Along with Craig Stevens, a co-anchor of Miami's Channel 7, and other local gay anchors, Roberts was a member of a panel called "Off Camera: The Challenge of LGBT TV Anchors." He told the audience that the conference was the "biggest step" he had taken to really be out in public and that he had slowly been coming out at CNN over the past several years. Diaz reported that Roberts, who has been a member of NLGJA since 2005, said he was proud of his partner, who was apparently unnamed, and that staying in the closet was a difficult thing for a national news anchor. "When you hold something back, that's all everyone wants to know", Diaz quoted Roberts as saying.
On 15 September 2006, Christie Keith, a reporter with the website AfterElton.com, published an interview with Roberts, who stated that he actually came out to coworkers in 1999, when he was living in Norfolk, Virginia. "I was happy, I was in a relationship, and I was very proud. I had the support of family, and of my friends. It was … about not wasting any more time. I'd wasted enough time." He further commented, on the subject of coming out, "Hopefully, everyone, gay or straight, journalists or doctors or otherwise, can overcome that obstacle, because it stands in the way of you being the best you can be, with your job, with your family, with everything, and not have to be afraid anymore."
Roberts also told Keith that he had been approached in 2005 by People magazine to be one of the publication's 50 Sexiest Bachelors, but he declined. "I'm not a bachelor. I thought it would be false advertising... [And] I didn't think it was the right venue to talk about it."
"I FEEL SO LUCKY." -SHELLEY HARRELL, NOW CO-ANCHOR AT WAVY-TV, WHO BEAT OUT HUNDREDS OF OTHER CANDIDATES FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY.(DAILY BREAK)
Oct 22, 1996; Byline: Larry Bonko MORE THAN 100 men and women from throughout the country practically begged to anchor WAVY's weekend newscasts...