Did Global suspend or fire Domenic Fazioli?

Domenic Fazioli (Global News photo)

Domenic Fazioli (Global News photo)

Is Domenic Fazioli an employee of Global News? It’s a seemingly simple question, but no one I’ve asked it to (including Fazioli himself) is willing to answer yes or no.

For about a month now, Fazioli hasn’t been seen on the air on Global Montreal. He hasn’t filed any stories, he hasn’t posted anything on Twitter, and his name and photo don’t appear on the list of personalities on the station’s website, even though he’s one of their most veteran reporters.

Even his colleagues don’t know exactly what’s going on. His desk has been cleared, and employees were told that a videojournalist would be hired soon to fill a recent vacancy.

Fazioli’s disappearance coincides with news coming out that he’s facing an assault charge brought on by his wife, first reported by the Montreal Gazette and picked up by a couple of other media including Global itself. The stories are not clear about the nature of the alleged assault and threats, which makes it hard to judge their severity, even if they turn out to be true.

My attempts to get information about Fazioli’s employment status has hit dead ends. The union won’t disclose his current status. A spokesperson for Global News said the company can’t comment on “internal personnel issues.” A message to the station manager didn’t elicit a response.

Reached on the phone, Fazioli himself responded “no comment” to all my questions, refusing to speak about the legal case or his status at Global. But he did say that his father’s health has taken a turn for the worse (in 2012, his father received a kidney transplant as part of an exchange that saw Fazioli donate one of his own kidneys), and that this has been a very difficult time for Fazioli and his family. He asked for privacy during this time. He added later that the situation with his wife was a “misunderstanding”, and that she supports him, without confirming whether the case has anything to do with him being off the air. (I haven’t spoken with his wife — I’ll let the court deal with sorting out that situation.)

Fazioli was noticeably distraught when I spoke with him. Whatever is happening, it’s obviously not good.

Is this newsworthy?

I had a discussion with a colleague recently about whether the Gazette should have published the story about Fazioli in the first place, which seemed to boil down to whether a local TV news reporter is a public figure. For obvious reasons, I believe they are. But even then I can acknowledge that whether to report on it is a judgment call. Domestic violence cases that don’t result in death or serious injury don’t get reported in the media because they are unfortunately far too common. And often they can be exaggerated (such as when a couple is going through a messy divorce). Often information that is public about a known personality because of a case in a court or tribunal isn’t reported on by the media because there’s no case to be made that it’s in the public interest.

But, of course, a TV reporter mysteriously disappearing from the airwaves has a more solid case behind it. If Global did remove him from his position because of this news coming out, there are questions that can be asked about whether that’s justified, questions that themselves may become public if that decision is itself challenged in court.

UPDATE (Sept. 4): All charges against Fazioli have been dropped. But it’s unclear if this means he would be able to go back to work. His lawyer notes that he remains married.

UPDATE (Sept. 30): A story in the Suburban blames the entire affair on an “individual” who has been harassing the family.

UPDATE (Oct. 31): Fazioli has a new job as a news producer at City’s Breakfast Television.

13 thoughts on “Did Global suspend or fire Domenic Fazioli?

  1. Mr Castro

    I want to see Fazioli back on the air. He’s obviously going thru personal issues with his Dad. Support him. If Global got rid of him I will no longer watch that station.

  2. Steve W

    Just to be clear. So the Global Montreal story(BTW, with no byline(they usually do) on who wrote it) on Domenic Fazioli, was after your Montreal Gazette story was first posted online? The last update on your MG story was May 6 4:58pm, while Global Montreal posted their story May 6 at 2:16pm.

  3. Dilbert

    My take is this:

    First, he’s a public figure (personality) and as a result, the comings and goings from his public position are news worthy, at least in modern terms. In a society where what Kendall Jenner is wearing to bed is “news”, this is certainly news (without the scare quotes).

    Second, I could see a lot of reasons to take him off the air or to give him some time away. An assault charge (basically domestic violence, if brought by the wife) is a serious situation that needs attention. Players are removed from the NFL for domestic violence charges, it seems reasonable to remove a reporter from the public eye in such a case as well.

    Third, I could see where the charges and potential illness in the family could be keeping him from being an effective worker. There is considerable stress in each situation, and thus, he may not be really in a position to concentrate at work and do things right.

    Global is very wisely stepping back on their relationship with him, and taking themselves out of the line of fire if it gets worse or gets into the courts. No matter what, Mr Fazioli likely needs the time to get everything sorted out and get back on an even keel, and then we will all see from there.

  4. Albert

    Hi. I just want to say the Global newscast is not the same without Mr. Fazioli. He was the best part of that show. He is the only reporter there that actually produces exclusive stories. Their other journalists are boring and dry.

  5. Peter Rodwalski

    All I will say is that I was inspired when Dominic Fazioli shared his story about his kidney donation with his Dad. He risked his own life and helped prolong his father’s.

    Now that he is dealing with some issues Global is flushing him down the toilet? What a heartless company Global is. They should be ashamed. They proudly showcase employees when they are at their best but they offer no support when they need a short break?

    Didn’t the president of Shaw once go to a shareholder’s meeting drunk a few years ago and he began threatening people in public? Hypocrites. Pure hypocrites.

      1. Michel L.

        Just because someone is a reporter for a news station does not make him a well known public figure or even important enough to be the subject of a report. I personally found Mr. Fazioli boring and used to turn Global News off when his stories came on. Much preferred CTV and CBC because frankly speaking his style was stale and appeared disingenuous most of the time. There are a few Global reporters that are excellent, but
        I never thought Fazioli was one of them. My friends didn’t watch him either. Several didn’t even
        know who he was. I noticed CBC had nothing to say about him and maybe that’s because Mr Fazioli isn’t important enough to even mention.

        [Editor’s note: I’ve deleted the rest of this comment.]

  6. Albert

    I think you should be careful with the comments you post, Mr Fagstein. You’re convicting the guy and now dragging his family though the mud.

    1. Michel L.

      To the commentator above, comments are expressed opinions, not a conviction. One thing you may be missing is that there must be very good reason, and at least some evidence for someone to be charged with criminal conduct. In this case it’s likely that law enforcement considered those things even more carefully knowing Fazioli was in the public eye locally. But make no mistake. It’s not the opinions expressed here or elsewhere that is dragging Fazioli or his family thru the proverbial mud.

      1. Fagstein Post author

        To the commentator above, comments are expressed opinions, not a conviction.

        Saying it’s his fault because he did it is convicting him.

  7. Doreen H

    What bothers me on a personal level is that Domenic Fazioli supported me and my family through the recent parole hearing for the man who murdered my daughter. He was the only journalist that made a effort to be at the prison and be with us during the hearing. My daughter was a victim of domestic violence which lead to her death at the age of 24. Domenic, for the past 10 years followed our story. He understood what I went through and how the death of my daughter impacted the community. I just don’t understand what has happened in his life. He has gone silent and whatever the situation really is at the time now, I only wish he and his wife get the help and support they need to get through this difficult time. I am very much against violence against women, and I can only assume that there is a publication ban on this case which has been issued by the courts. Until we know the entire story, I feel we should not pass judgement.TRhat being said…there is no excuse for abuse……


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