A Los Angeles news anchor was canned after going off-script on-air and criticizing management for how they dealt with his former colleague’s departure – and viewers are not too happy about it!
In case you didn’t know, KTLA announced last week that Lynette Romero — a beloved longtime anchor of the popular weekend morning show — had left the station. Entertainment reporter Sam Rubin addressed her sudden exit during a September 14 segment. Reading a statement written by news director Pete Saiers, he said at the time:
“After nearly 24 years, Lynette Romero, our friend Lynette, has decided to move on from anchoring our weekend morning news. 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 to another opportunity elsewhere. 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.”
Why did she leave? Well, sources told The Los Angeles Times that the Emmy award-winning anchor no longer wanted to work on the weekends and asked management to allow her to switch to a weekday anchor shift in order to spend more time with her family. However, they apparently told her there were no openings at the time, so she left to go to another station. Pete later claimed that management wanted Lynette to say goodbye and record a message to viewers before her departure, but she declined to do so.
But Mark Mester, who co-anchored the newscast with Lynette, says that wasn’t the case! In fact, he claimed management did not even allow her to have a proper send-off on air and decided to call them out for it. During the weekend show on Saturday, producers had written a script for him to read as a tribute to Lynette, but he went rogue with an emotional speech of his own. Mark expressed:
“I’m going to take some time and ask to speak directly to you at this hour, to tell you, what it is that happened here on Wednesday. I want to start off right now by offering up an apology to you. What the viewers experienced 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, and you really are my best friend, you did not deserve what happened to you on Wednesday.”
He then added:
“Lynette deserved to say goodbye, it didn’t happen, I don’t know who wrote the script, I don’t know who handed it to Sam Rubin, regardless, this was a mistake. We owe you an apology, and we owe Lynette an apology.”
The send-off message was not the only thing Mark did for Lynette! He also told viewers a plane was flying over Hollywood with a banner that read:
“We love you Lynette.”
Shortly after the incident, Mark initially had been suspended earlier this week from KTLA. However, the news station later decided to just cut ties with him. According to The Los Angeles Times, general manager Janene Drafs announced to staffers that he was fired during a meeting in the newsroom on Thursday afternoon. Mark is also no longer listed as a staff member on the website anymore.
When news broke of his termination from the station, many social media users stormed Twitter to blast them for letting the journalist go just because he was defending his friend. See what people had to say online (below):
“Wait a f**king suspended @mester_mark?!?! Y’all can f**k all the way off for how you treated Lynette & her departure. Mark was 100% in the right. It’s like you guys are begging to lose all your viewers with this kind of behavior.”
“Hey @KTLA. I’ve been a loyal watcher since birth. Today I am DONE! How dare you punish Lynette for taking an opportunity with another network by not letting her say goodbye to viewers & then FIRING Mark for giving her a send off that you didn’t ‘approve’? #boycottKTLA #SadDayinLA”
“Wow, this is shocking coming from KTLA. What a childish way to handle this by the station. I fully support Mark Mester defending Lynette and speaking out on the poor handling of the entire thing.”
“MAN F**K @KTLA FOR THAT! I am not watching it anymore! Mark did a good thing for speaking g up on the shitty way they let @LynetteRomero go.”
“#KTLA Extremely disappointed and dismayed at the handling of the sudden departure of Lynnette Romero and the subsequent treatment of Mark Mester.. #KTLA you not only owe your loyal viewers an explanation,, you owe a lengthy apology!”
“This is some supreme bulls**t. You fired one of your best anchors for standing up for their friend. F**k @KTLA.”
Mark has not reacted to his firing from the news station yet, but something tells us he might have a lot to say on the matter! Thoughts on the drama, Perezcious readers? Do you think Mark should have been fired for going off-script and defending Lynette on-air? Sound OFF in the comments!
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