THR's 35 Most Powerful People in Media
Unlike most of her on-camera peers, whose personal lives and emotions are stoically guarded, Roberts, 51, is an open book about the struggles she has faced.
“My father died, my hometown was decimated by Hurricane Katrina, I had cancer, I’ve cried and ripped off my wig on the air. And hosting ABC’s Oscars’ red-carpet show was no picnic either!” says the down-to-earth anchor, a former college basketball player who has been on GMA since 2005. “It’s made me very approachable. People see me as a friend, and I really own that.”
The former ESPN anchor’s reputation as morn- ing news’ most empathetic ear helped net her an exclusive in July with Dominique Strauss-Kahn accuser Nafi Diallo, during which the hotel maid broke her silence about the former IMF head’s alleged sexual attacks on her.
“All she wanted was the chance for a jury to listen to her,” says Roberts. “It made worldwide headlines, and people kept asking, ‘Do you believe her?’ and I said, ‘It doesn’t matter!’ ”