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Thursday, March 12, 2009

John Roberts: Hall of Fame Inductee

If you caught American Morning this morning you would have seen Rob Marciano sitting in for John Roberts. Here is the opening of American Morning where Rob and Kiran explain where John was.

Well how excited was I to hear that John was back here in my backyard. I was so happy to learn yesterday that John was in Canada because he was being honored with an induction to the Canadian Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame.

John has been making the rounds in the local media up here in Toronto. In the local transit magazine Metro News Brian Towie wrote a wonderful article about John and it was in the paper today.

From the fury of Hurricane Katrina to the chaos of Iraq to the pulse-pounding energy of Live Aid – John Roberts has seen it all.

The co-anchor of CNN’s American Morning and Toronto native will be lauded for his work today at Canadian Music Week. The veteran broadcaster of 34 years will be inducted into the Broadcast Industry Awards Gala at the Fairmont Royal York. Roberts looks back fondly on his comparatively more peaceful home and native land.

“I miss my family and Canada’s wide open spaces,” says Roberts. “I suffered a bit of culture shock when I first started working in the U.S. It gets said down here that Canadians are a kind of decaffeinated American. Things can move much faster, especially in New York where I am.”

Canadians may recognize Roberts, 52, from his earlier days as host of Canada AM from 1990 to 1992 and as a MuchMusic personality during its infancy, when he co-hosted The New Music from 1979 to 1985.

“The bulk of my career has been in news, but because of the exposure people do remember the MuchMusic days,” he said. “We were launching something brand new that was exciting for people. No one really remembers me from radio though. I suppose it’s because that happened during the cretaceous period.”

They were not so humble beginnings to a career that reads like a chronicle of the past 17 years of world history. As a reporter and anchor for both CBS and CNN for that time, Roberts was embedded with U.S. Marines during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. He reported on the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict of 2006, the Oklahoma City, Atlanta Olympics and London bombings, the death of Pope John Paul II and Princess Diana and Hurricane Katrina. He’s also interviewed some of the most influential worlds leaders of our time, including former U.S. presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton

Through objectivity is the cardinal rule of good journalism, Roberts can’t deny that seeing humanity at its best and worst affects him personally. He points to the aftermath of Katrina as an event that shocked, saddened and inspired him.

“You’re there as an observer, but you wouldn’t be human if it didn’t affect you in some way,” he says. “Now unlike them, at the end of the story, you get on an airplane and you go back home. But you take with you a prospective of the story that you wouldn’t have unless you immersed yourself in it.”

As always All Things CNN love sharing with the JR fans out there some video from the good ol’ days of J.D. Roberts.

John stopped by for a visit to his old stomping ground here in Toronto for an interview with CityTV. You can watch the interview by clicking here.

John also visited CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) for an interview and the accompanying article can be seen here.

John’s induction to the Hall of Fame is also making the rounds on the internet with articles on Yahoo and the Canadian Press.

John paid a visit to a show which airs in Canada called “The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos”. George and John both worked as VJ’s at MuchMusic and hosted The New Music (at different times). I am a huge fan of both JR and George so this interview was a real treat. This was a terrific interview and I loved the stories JR shared and how laid back and relaxed JR was.

During the interview John talked about working for Mississauga News. Well John was featured on their website today. You can see JR go full circle by clicking here. Thanks to Book Asylum for the great find.

Part 1

Part 2

I had the opportunity to meet John last year at CNN and we had a wonderful but brief conversation about Canada when he learned that is where I am from and I could not think of a better person to receive this terrific honor. All Things CNN sends it heartfelt congratulations to John on this wonderful achievement.

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HotJR said...

Congratulations to John! He has always done a great job and is very worthy of this honor. As I have said before.....HE IS HOT!!!

Anonymous said...

Way to go John,could not happen to a better guy,congrats.
I may be dating myself here,but I remember all too well a certain Mr JD Roberts when I tuned into Muchmusic,way back when.

I enjoy watching THE HOUR as well,George is great,and has some interesting guests from all walks of life.