Naomi Robson (born 31 August 1963) is an Australian television presenter who is best known as the former presenter of the east coast edition of Today Tonight, an Australian current affairs program which was broadcast on weeknights on the Seven Network, from 1997 to 2006. She now presents an internet chat show offering relationship and dating advice.
Robson was born in Los Angeles, California in the United States, but as a child she travelled around the world due to her father's work, spending most of her time between Australia and Britain. She eventually settled in Australia and began a Bachelor of Arts degree at La Trobe University in Melbourne, planning on majoring in archaeology and modern art. After two years Robson dropped out of university to pursue her passion for photojournalism.
Over the next few years Robson worked in numerous positions, including being an assistant to photojournalists and a copywriter for an advertising agency. She then took a working trip to London, during which she worked as a journalist and as an editorial assistant for a magazine publishing house. After three years in London she returned to Australia and, in 1989, became an assistant editor and feature writer for Personal Success magazine.
In 1990 Robson joined Seven News, initially as a general news reporter but three weeks later she was promoted to presenting news on Tonight Live fronted by comedian Steve Vizard. She also presented Seven's Late News as well as Seven's weekend news bulletins and also reported for the current affairs program Real Life. She was also the summer presenter for the program.
Robson went to the United States in 1995 but shortly returned to Australia to present Our Victoria, a travel show for the Victorian market. She also co-hosted Seven's News at Five with Peter Ford in Melbourne. In 1997 she became the presenter of the Melbourne version of Today Tonight. The program was later extended to Sydney and Brisbane, with Robson as presenter. Figures from the ratings research firm OzTAM indicate that she had a nightly audience of more than one million people across the three capital cities.
Suggestions surfaced on 22 November 2006 that she would leave Today Tonight at the end of the year. She confirmed this on 27 November, saying she would pursue her career in other areas of television. She said "2006 hasn't been the easiest of years". She presented her last show on 1 December 2006. Her replacement, Anna Coren, was named six weeks later.
In January 2007 it was reported that Robson had persuaded Channel Seven executives to extend her contract with the network so that she could compete in the sixth series of Dancing with the Stars. On 13 March 2007 she was part of the third couple voted off the program. Later in the year, Seven executives were reported in the press saying that Robson would be given her own "Oprah Winfrey" style program where she would have an "opportunity to show off the caring side of her personality". Robson was then sacked after the network refused to pick up her pilot, however she returned to narrate Seven's factual series Surf Patrol in mid-2008.
In September 2009, Robson appeared as a presenter with Larry Emdur on Seven's The Morning Show, standing in for Kylie Gillies, who was taking a week off. In December 2014 Naomi was a guest on Network Tens Studio 10, this was the first time she had been seen on another Network other than Seven.
Robson has been the subject of a number of unfavourable media reports and controversies.
A number of critical descriptions of Robson have been dismissed by her or her representatives as distortions or fabrications by rival journalists. In particular, when The Daily Telegraph alleged that other reporters called her a "princess" overly concerned with her appearance, Robson herself denied the allegations. When The Australian cited a source describing her as a "cold, waspish, punishment-oriented, dominatrix", Today Tonight producer Neil Mooney described the story as "attempted character assassination ... based on fiction". However, an off-air outburst that was recorded and later broadcast by the Triple J radio station, did provoke a public apology by Robson.
In March 2006 information surfaced that Robson had a brief relationship with a drug dealer and the primary informant in the Tony Mokbel drug trial. Mokbel's counsel, Con Heliotis, QC, spoke during pre-trial submissions of evidence that Robson was supplied cocaine though this was never discussed during the trial. Robson refuted these claims stating that they had a "short-lived association" and that he "had totally misrepresented himself". She referred to the drug allegations as "a pack of lies" and stated that she was "extremely anti-drugs".
In September 2006 while reporting on the death of Steve Irwin she appeared on air wearing khaki and with a lizard on her shoulder. Several months later Robson described the incident as a mistake, but that it was not her idea to wear the shirt or the reptile and she was not comfortable with it at the time.
In September 2006, Robson and her crew were detained in Indonesia after arriving in the country with tourist visas to film a story on a boy they believed was in danger of being killed by cannibals. They were later deported.
In early 2010, Robson's manager, Max Markson, made several attempts to remove comments about these controversies from Wikipedia, describing the article on Robson as "libellous". Wikipedia editors responded with concerns that Markson's edits were biased and in contravention of Wikipedia guidelines. The incident attracted media coverage, drawing further attention to the controversies (the so-called Streisand effect).
In August 2010, Robson appeared in a promotion for pay-TV screenings of The Chaser's War on Everything, her former critics, in the form of a mock interview.Trojan Warrior (2002)