We have more details about now former WTVJ anchor Joel Connable’s departure from WTVJ.
Sources tell us that Connable was let go from WTVJ for allegedly violating company policy. The violation is a trip Connable was supposed to take with two other WTVJ employees to a hotel that initially could have ended up paid for by the hotel’s public relation’s director.
According to our sources Connable had paid for the trip, and an email was sent to the hotel’s public relations director explaining WTVJ employees are not allowed to accept free gifts, and that this information was presented by Joel Connable to WTVJ bosses. Also the trip in question was canceled and did not take place. However WTVJ management ultimately made a decision to let go of Connable.
As for the two other WTVJ employees involved, one was laid off and the other is still working at the station.
We have also learned that Joel Connable has retained an attorney and is allegedly taking legal action against WTVJ for breach of contract. Connable’s attorney, thought to be one of the best employment lawyers in Florida, was asked to respond to an inquiry from the Miami Herald for an article that came out yesterday quoting an anonymous source at WTVJ who told the paper Connable was fired for violating company policy.
Some WTVJ insiders believe the firing may have more to do with how much it cost the station to keep Connable on the payroll and a way to cut costs than an alleged company policy violation. Especially considering other WTVJ employees have had public infractions. WTVJ reporter Jeff Burnside was arrested last year for driving drunk in Miami Beach. The local papers along with most local TV stations plastered his mug shot for all to see thus his arrest brought shame to the TV station and created a negative persona of the quality reporters WTVJ hires. Burnside however is still at the station reporting and his “CIU” reports can be seen every week.
Update: SFLTV has obtained the salary offering for whoever takes the place of Joel Connable. Whoever replaces Connable as the (supposedly) main co-anchor will allegedly be offered a salary in the $80,000 range. Connable’s contract with the station apparently cost the station more than 3.5 times that