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KTLA anchor Mark Mester fired after on-air outburst over Lynette Romero’s departure

Lynette Romero (left) and Mark Mester of KTLA

Lynette Romero (left) and Mark Mester were co-hosts at KTLA. (CTLA)

KTLA news anchor Mark Mester was fired Thursday afternoon, days after he was suspended following an unscheduled segment about the sudden departure of his co-host Lynette Romero, according to several station staffers.

Newsroom general manager Janine Drafs announced the termination in a brief speech during a newsroom meeting around 1:15 p.m., saying, “[Mester] is no longer in KTLA5,” staff members who were present at the announcement told The Times on Thursday.

The KTLA website no longer lists Mester as a reporter and anchor.

Last week, KTLA announced that Romero, longtime host of KTLA’s popular weekend morning show, left the station without saying goodbye to viewers, prompting widespread outrage and criticism.

“After 24 years, Lynette Romero has decided to retire our weekend morning news,” Pete Sayers, the station’s director of news, wrote in a statement that was read by entertainment reporter Sam Rubin. during segment on September 14.

“We really wanted her to stay and KTLA management worked hard to make that happen,” Rubin added. “Lynette decided to leave to take another opportunity. We hoped that she would record a farewell message to the audience, but she refused. Lynette was a wonderful member of the KTLA family and we wish her and her family all the best.”

According to the station’s sources, who asked not to be named, Romero no longer wanted to work weekends and asked management to work the weekday anchor shift so she could spend more time with her family, but she was told there were no vacancies. According to sources, she was hired by another local news TV station.

During the weekend’s Saturday morning show, Mester, Romero’s co-host, spoke out against the script with an emotional speech. He apologized on behalf of the station to viewers, stating that Romero’s departure “was rude, cruel, inappropriate, and we’re so sorry.”

He then apologized to Romero, whom he called “his best friend”.

“You didn’t deserve this, it was a mistake and we hope you find the strength in your heart to forgive us,” Mester said in a cracked voice at times in a monologue that lasted over four minutes along with three of his co-workers.

Mester’s impromptu message was applauded by many in the audience, but shortly after his defense, Romero Mester was suspended, sparking more criticism of how the KTLA handled the situation.

However, the news staff spoke of a different scenario and claimed that Mester had abused their trust.

The staff said the producers wrote a script for Mester to read to send to Romero, accompanied by photos and clips from her broadcasts. He also hired a plane with a banner to fly over the station with the sign “We love you, Lynette.” Mester suggested that the producers include the aircraft footage in this segment, but was rebuffed.

Mester did not immediately respond to The Times’ request for comment.

This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

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