News Anchor Criticizes Bosses On-Air, Gets Fired

Mark Mester didn't like how KTLA handled departure of co-anchor Lynette Romero
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2022 12:38 PM CDT

KTLA anchor Mark Mester didn't like how the Los Angeles station handled the departure of his weekend co-anchor Lynette Romero—and he's been fired for going off-script to talk about it. Deadline reports that Romero's departure after almost 24 years was announced by anchor Sam Rubin last week, and fans were angered that she apparently hadn't been allowed to record a goodbye message to viewers. "KTLA management had hoped she would stay here her entire career and KTLA worked hard to make that happen, but Lynette has decided to move onto another opportunity elsewhere," Rubin said. On Saturday morning, Mester said the treatment of Romero "was rude, it was cruel, it was inappropriate, and we are so sorry."

"I also want to say sorry to Lynette Romero because, Lynette, I love you so much. You really are my best friend," Mester said. "You did not deserve what happened to you on Wednesday. ... Lynette deserved to say goodbye." Mester said a plane had been hired to fly over the station with a banner reading, "We love you Lynette." During the four-minute monologue, he said his co-anchor had taught him "everything he knows" and she deserved to be treated with "dignity and grace." Sources tell the Los Angeles Times that Mester, who had co-anchored with Romero on weekends since anchor Chris Burrous died from a meth overdose in 2018, argued with management after the segment. He was suspended and the firing was announced in a newsroom meeting Thursday, the sources say.

Sources tell TMZ that Romero decided to take a job at another station because she wanted to have weekends with her family. She had been willing to stay at KTLA if she could anchor weeknights instead of weekends but the station wouldn't budge, the sources say. In a statement to Variety, KTLA news director Pete Saiers said the station "had hoped she would record a farewell message to viewers but she declined." On Twitter, Romero thanked fans and shared tweets from people who criticized KTLA's handling of her departure. "As someone who got no proper goodbye or even an acknowledgment of my departure many years ago ... I feel the disrespect and wish you the absolute best," wrote Holly Robinson Peete, who was fired after a year as co-anchor of The Talk. (Read more news anchor stories.)

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