Just how far can a "productive" employee go without getting fired? Steve Bartelstein, morning and noon anchor on New York City's ABC flagship station, just found out--after he was accused of sleeping in his office when he should have been on air for a local "newsbreak" during a "Good Morning America" broadcast.
Bartelstein has found himself in trouble with the station before, including several instances of showing up late for 5 a.m. broadcasts and a previous 2-week suspension for missing another newsbreak so he could meet Samuel L. Jackson on the "Live with Regis and Kelly" set, the New York Daily News reports.
While Bartelstein was helping the station's newscasts produce top ratings in the top TV market in the country, his new contract for 2007 specifically spelled out consequences if he messed up again, the newspaper reports.
And he probably couldn't have picked a worse day to miss the newsbreak--it included live coverage of the aftermath of a terrible fire that killed 10 children.
WABC declined to comment on "personnel issues."
Source: New York Daily News