“I’m wearing my father’s watch and my mother’s bracelet,” a teary-eyed Roberts said during a toast. “I don’t do that often, they usually just stay in my apartment, but I put them on, because this is something they wanted for me.”
“When you sometimes watch news and television and everything, you turn off the set and you’re just like, ‘oh my gosh, why should I get up in the morning?’ Roberts told TVNewser. “My ultimate goal is that if anybody sees our programming is that they’re going to feel inspired, and they’re going to feel the best is yet to come no matter what kind of situation they’re in.”
Roberts heaped praise on ABC, where she’s worked for 25 years of the 30 years she’s been in the business. “How many can say that?,” she says. “I think my loyalty has been rewarded, and it’s been a two-way street. We’ve helped each other, and they’ve stood by me in some very difficult times.”
And many of Roberts’ colleagues expressed support as she spreads her wings.
ABC News President James Goldston: “Robin is a vital part of the ABC News family. We couldn’t be more excited to support her as she embarks on this new venture, and we can’t wait to see what her and the gang come up with.”
Amy Robach: “Robin is inspiration television for all the reasons you can imagine and more. So, for her to have a platform to be able to bring stories of other inspirational people to motivate people to have a more positive outlook on life, to know you can overcome, that you can succeed, that you can even fight your way through tough times and become a better person on the other end; we’ve all seen Robin do that. I do believe, through Robin’s personal experience, and through my experience, I have seen the power of positivity. When I went through my darkest days, feeling the positive energy that came from Robin and from our viewers, that was all inspired by something fairly tragic, changed who I am as a person, changed who I am as a journalist. And I know Robin has been to hell and back twice now…and to use that for good, how can that not be inspirational?”
Ginger Zee: “She knows what she loves, she knows what we’re not able to expand upon on ‘GMA,’ and this is that next step. She is the best at hooking people up with thankfulness, gratitude, love, respect; all of these words that encompass who she is is going to come out of this, and I know that’s the type of production we’re going to see. Television is transparent, and you’re getting a full on X-ray of this women, and see only that little bit. She is the most generous, wonderful woman, and I know this is going to be great.”
Michael Strahan: “I expect to see something that is true to who she is, which is stories about hope, about love, about encouragement, about the human spirit, and I feel what she can do is make a difference. She can make people think, she can make people better, she can make this country better. Every day [in news] is like death, and destruction, and tragedy, and terror. We all need something that makes us feel good, something that’s enlightening, something that gives us hope that we’re not going down the drain. So, we’re counting on Robin to give us all of that.”
David Muir: “Robin Roberts is the heart of ABC News. There’s a reason why millions watch her every morning because they can see the kindness; it’s not something you can fake on television. With the production company, I think it’s going to be an extension of this incredible generosity, this unmatchable spirit that she has. I just can’t wait to see what she produces. This is going to be a gift for all of us, having Robin championing what people are doing out there every day in our communities because Robin will find a way to spotlight them in ways we can only dream of in 22 minutes on the evening news.”
“Rock’n Robin Productions” has also made some additional hires. John Palacio, a veteran ABC News producer, and alum of “Entertainment Tonight”/”The Insider,” has been named Creative Director and Nicole Angel joins as Director of Operations. As we told you yesterday, John Green is the executive in charge.