KTLA fired anchor Mark Mester days after he was suspended for going off-script and calling out how the station handled the resignation of his long-time co-anchor Lynette Romero, The Hollywood Reporter have learned.
Station general manager Janene Drafs announced that Mester had been fired during a newsroom meeting on Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Wed Sept. 14, KTLA announced that Romero had decided to move on after nearly 24 years at the station and pursue another opportunity, despite the station hoping she would spend the rest of her career with them.
“KTLA worked hard to make that happen,” anchor Sam Rubin said during a broadcast. “Lynette, we wish you luck, we miss you and we thank you for everything you’ve done for KTLA. … On behalf of everyone here, we wish you and your family nothing but the best.”
Following Romero’s exit, Mester spent a portion of his show on Sept. 17 going off-script to apologize on behalf of the station to the viewers, saying that the way it handled the resignation “was rude, it was cruel, it was inappropriate, and we are so sorry.”
“You did not deserve this,” Mester said, calling Romero his “best friend.’ “It was a mistake, and we hope you can find it in your heart to forgive us.”
KTLA did not respond to THR‘s request for comment on Mester’s exit but did share a statement about Romero leaving the show.
“After 24 years, Lynette Romero has decided to move on from anchoring our weekend morning news,” station news director Pete Saiers said. “We really wanted her to stay and KTLA Management worked hard to make that happen. Lynette decided to leave for another opportunity. We had hoped she would record a farewell message to viewers, but she declined. Lynette has been a wonderful member of the KTLA family and wish her and her family the best.”