If T.J. Holmes gets the boot because of his extra-marital activities, ABC brass will be sorry to lose a big up-and-coming talent. But Page Six hears that some production staff will breathe a big sigh of relief.
Insiders say that while Holmes — who is “very likely” not returning to the show after his affair with “GMA3” co-anchor Amy Robach was exposed — got glowing reviews from execs for his skills both on-the-air and as a producer.
But he’s known to be a terror around production staffers on set. “He terrorizes the staff. They hate him. He yells at producers, snaps at people and people don’t want to work with him,” one source told Page Six.
Another source described him as “snooty” and “nasty” to staffers while another industry insider said he had a reputation for being “a douche… long before this scandal erupted.”
“He loves himself, and really thinks he’s a huge star. He acts like he’s hot s–t,” they said.
“He’s nicer when he’s around the top anchors, 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 his bad side because, “he holds a grudge.” (While his rep didn’t comment, a source close to Holmes called the barbs a “transparent and baseless character assassination against T.J.”)
They further warned: “ABC News talent to be prepared… you could be next!’
But it seems that when the higherups have their eye on him, Holmes is a very different character.
An insider told us his most recent performance reviews from top execs provided to head of talent Galen Gordon are full of comments that cast him as “being versatile and a go-to.”
In the reports he’s also praised for his “ability to handle the hardest of news but also light stories with heart and warmth.” The reports say that he’s unique at the network “for bringing context to difficult stories and always finding that critical nugget…. [a] Swiss army knife, if you will,” they said.
“‘GMA’ execs said each day they try to figure out where to best deploy T.J. to improve the show. The only criticism… was that… [he] can be slow to respond or non-responsive when producers reach out to him,” they added.
A fifth person told us that Holmes has to work harder than other ABC talent, and described him as “overworked and under-supported.”
“He had a heavier work load than everyone else. He wasn’t just presenting his segments. He was producing them. He did double duty for years,” they said.
“If you were on the ball, you were fine. If you dropped the ball or did mediocre work, he wasn’t one to bite his tongue, but he was always professional,” they said.
After anchoring stints at CNN and BET, Holmes found himself having to “climb his way back” to top anchor status — and it started with overnight shifts at ABC, we’re told.
“That was probably demoralizing for him, and that might have reflected in his behavior, but he’s no worse than any other television talent,” a sixth source said.
Despite differing opinions about the way he has treated staff, the general consensus, according to a sixth source, is, “T.J. is good at his job… He’s meticulous and he holds people to [high] levels of accountability. Not everyone wants to work that hard — he’s an excellent journalist and they all get pegged as being difficult because they are meticulous,” the sixth source said.
Meanwhile, we’re told that neither Holmes nor Robach expected their affair would jeopardize their jobs as hosts of “GMA3.”
Although more of Holmes’ “indiscretions” have come out since their office affair was revealed, reports suggesting Robach was blindsided by the alleged flings are laughable, according to sources familiar with the situation.
For example, Robach “was best friends with Natasha [Singh],” the woman he had a three-year affair with while married to wife Marilee Fiebig, an insider said.
Holmes was accused of yet another office affair as he and Robach skipped town on Tuesday.
Reps did not get back to us.