If TJ Holmes gets the boot because of his extramarital activities, the ABC brass will be sorry to lose a great up-and-coming talent. But Page Six learns that some of the production staff are going to breathe a big sigh of relief.
Insiders say that while Holmes — who is “most likely” not returning to the show after his affair with “GMA3” co-anchor Amy Robach came to light — has received rave reviews from executives for his skills both live and as a producer.
But he is known to be a terror around the production staff on set. “He terrorizes the staff. They hate him. He yells at producers, picks on people, and people don’t want to work with him,” a source told Page Six.
Another source described him as “puffy” and “mean” towards staff members while another industry insider said he had a reputation for being “an asshole… long before this scandal does not break out”.
“He loves himself and really thinks he’s a big star. He acts like he’s hot,” they said.
“He’s nicer when he’s with the best presenters, but if he’s not with them he acts like he runs the place and isn’t as nice,” the source added.
The first source advised not to get on the wrong side because “he has a grudge”. (Although his rep didn’t comment, a source close to Holmes called the Barbs a “transparent and baseless character assassination against TJ”)
They further warned, “ABC News talent needs to be prepared…you could be next!”
But it seems that when superiors have their eye on him, Holmes is a very different character.
An insider tells us that his latest top executive performance reviews provided to talent chief Galen Gordon are full of comments calling him “versatile and a go-to.”
In news reports, he is also praised for his “ability to handle the toughest news but also light-hearted stories with heart and warmth”. Reports say he is unique within the network “for putting difficult stories into context and always finding that critical nugget…. [a] Swiss army knife, if you will,” they said.
“The ‘GMA’ executives have said every day that they are trying to figure out where best to deploy TJ to make the show better. The only criticism…is that… [he] may be slow to respond or unresponsive when producers contact him,” they added.
A fifth person told us Holmes had to work harder than other ABC talent and described him as “overworked and undersupported.”
“He had a heavier workload than everyone else. He didn’t just present his segments. He produced them. It duplicated for years,” they said.
“If you were on the ball, everything was fine. If you dropped the ball or did a poor job, he wasn’t one to bite his tongue, but he was still professional,” they said.
After anchoring stints at PKBNEWS and BET, Holmes found himself having to “work his way up” to top anchor status — and it started with night shifts at ABC, we’re told.
“It was probably demoralizing for him, and it could have reflected in his behavior, but he’s no worse than any other TV talent,” a sixth source said.
Despite differing opinions on how he treated staff, the general consensus, according to a sixth source, is: “TJ does his job well… He is meticulous and he forces people to [high] levels of responsibility. Not everyone wants to work that hard – he’s a great reporter and they’re all considered difficult because they’re meticulous,” the sixth source said.
Meanwhile, we’re told neither Holmes nor Robach expected their affair to jeopardize their jobs as “GMA3” hosts.
Although other “indiscretions” by Holmes have come to light since their office affair came to light, reports suggesting Robach was blindsided by the alleged flings are laughable, according to people familiar with the matter.
For example, Robach “was Natasha’s best friend [Singh]”, the woman he had a three-year affair with while married to his wife Marilee Fiebig, an insider said.
Holmes was charged with another office matter as he and Robach left town on Tuesday.
The representatives did not respond to us.