“GMA3” co-anchors TJ Holmes and Amy Robach will “remain off-air pending the completion of an internal review,” ABC News President Kim Godwin disclosed to network employees in a memo Monday morning.
The memo is the first time Godwin has acknowledged to the company the existence of a formal internal probe targeting the hosts of the channel’s morning show after photos surfaced of the pair engaged in an apparent romantic relationship. Godwin’s note did not specify what the probe is looking at.
CNN reported last week that the network’s legal department was conducting a review, news first broken by Semafor.
A person familiar with the matter told CNN that the probe focuses, in part, on whether the company’s morality rules might have been violated. Hosts and correspondents at news networks are generally subject to morality clauses that forbid them from behaving in a way that may cause harm to the reputation of the company.
Godwin first said last Monday that Holmes and Robach had been taken off the air following the public disclosure of their romantic relationship. At the time, she referred to the matter as an “internal and external distraction” and requested staffers not “gossip” about the matter while at work.
In her latest memo, Godwin again acknowledged the “continuing coverage” of the matter “can be distracting.”
Godwin said a rotating cast of hosts will continue to fill in for Robach and Holmes on the program.
People familiar with the matter previously told CNN that when the Daily Mail first reached out to ABC News for comment about the relationship between Robach and Holmes, a surprised network spokesperson tried to determine whether the allegation was true. The spokesperson contacted Holmes, who poured cold water on the tabloid’s reporting.
That resulted in the spokesperson trying to push back against the outlet’s reporting. The Daily Mail wasn’t unearthed and published its explosive story. When ABC representatives later saw the images included in the Daily Mail’s story, they were taken back, the people familiar with the matter said.
ABC News declined to provide a comment on the matter.
Following reports of the relationship, Robach and Holmes continued to anchor the program. But the pair have been off the air since Dec. 5.