South Florida viewers have not seen WFOR Investigative Reporter Michele Gillen on the air for months and many are wondering where she is?
The same can be said for those working in the WFOR newsroom.
Gillen has not been seen in the newsroom for 2 months and it appears that the station isn't talking.
Gossip Extra says that the longtime Reporter walked out after a nasty, public tongue-lashing about her work from colleague Jim DeFede in mid-July — and she hasn’t been at work since.
“Apparently, nobody can get a hold of her,” said one WFOR reporter who asked not to be named because the reporter fears retaliation from station management. “So, we’re just waiting to see if she’ll come back.”
Morale at WFOR, which is sinking to the last places in the ratings and underwent deep budget cuts, has been compared to morale in the Iraqi army.
But among plenty of incidents over the past months, this one has been the most talked about.
Word is that it all went down at a meeting of investigative reporters and producers in the newsroom’s conference room.
“At one point, Jim (DeFede) went on a rant about the lack of productivity from the investigative team,” the source added. “He said something about being worried the station will do away with the team.
“Then he went off on Michele and (reporter) Brian Andrews and told them that they’re not on the air often enough and don’t pull their own weight.”
Occasional anchorman Andrews wasn’t at the meeting, the source said, but Gillen was there and defended herself.
What started out as a professional conversation degenerated into a shouting match, and Gillen eventually left.
Her last words on the way out: “Hostile work environment!”
We asked station spokesman Lee Zimmerman if Gillen is still employed by WFOR or just on an extended vacation, and he replied: “No comment!”
Always nice when the spokesperson of a TV station that demands answers from those in charge, answer with a "no comment."