Miami Reporter, News Director Spar over Comp Time

The battle over comp time in TV news is as old as TV news itself. News Managers expect you to work 80 hours a week to gain 5 minutes of comp time. The employee usually sees that as a little different. 

A spat over comp time at one Miami station has gone public.

WFOR Reporter Gary Nelson called out News Director Liz Roldan in an email that went out to the entire newsroom. 

Nelson claimed he had been denied requests for time off based on comp time for several 15-hour work days. Nelson was told his comp time expired before he was able to enjoy it.

Gossip Extra writes that Nelson emailed Roldan Friday to ask her to spell out comp time policy at the CBS-owned and operated station. He noted that never in his two decades at CBS did comp time expire before employees could use it.

“I have no problem working company holidays, etc.,” Nelson wrote, “but expect to be compensated without any time limit applied to using the comp time that that was earned, given that time off requests are known to be frequently denied.”

The back and forth between the two continued:

– Roldan: I’m speaking at the Florida Newspaper Editors conference

– Nelson: I’m covering a murder trial

– Roldan: Let’s talk when we’re both in the office

– Nelson: Sure, but “I would expect comp time to roll over, as it always has in my career with the company or, in the alternative, be compensated financially for unused comp time. I appreciate your attention to this, and please know that my inquiry comes with great respect and deference to your position.”

Said one newsroom insider: “It’s pretty surprising someone is calling out management so publicly. Everyone here is scared for his job! These emails are all we’ve been talking about.”

Nelson released a statement after the two met:

“Regarding the matter of the comp time issue: I met with my News Director, Liz Roldan, this morning and we had a very productive, mutually respectful conversation and I came away with all my concerns addressed to my satisfaction.”