On Saturday, Los Angeles based News outlet KTLA reportedly fired anchor Mark Mester after he went off script, criticizing the station in a four-minute monologue after the sudden exit of his longtime co-host and friend Lynette Romero from the station.
Sources claim Janene Drafs, KTLA’s general manager, announced Mester’s firing in a brief speech to staffers on Thursday afternoon, saying “[Mester] is no longer at KTLA5,” the Los Angeles Times reported. Mester’s headshot has been removed from the KTLA website.
The firing comes after Romero left the station suddenly, not being given an opportunity to say farewell to viewers. Romero left to work for another local station, according to the LA Times. The station’s handling of Romero’s abrupt exit drew widespread criticism from viewers, and apparently Mester as well, who went on a four-minute, off-script monologue about the situation. The clip quickly gained traction on social media and YouTube, garnering over 100,000 views.
During his speech, Mester apologized to viewers, saying, “the network’s handling of Romero’s departure “was rude, it was cruel, it was inappropriate, and we are so sorry,” to the viewers. “You did not deserve this, it was a mistake, and we hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive us.”
Mester thanked Romero for the many years they had anchored together, then told audiences that a plane with a banner reading “We love you Lynette!” was flying above the station.
He continued, saying, “Here’s the thing, you’ve taught me everything that I know, and you always talk about two things, dignity, and grace. That is how we’re going to say goodbye to you today; we’re going to offer you dignity and grace, which is what this station should have done from the beginning.”
Mester continued, giving a touching tribute to Romero for her many years working for the station and recapping some of the many major events that occurred while she was both an anchor and a reporter. Alongside were images and clips of some of Romero’s coverage and life events.
Mester posted to his Instagram ahead of the broadcast, telling followers that he planned to share some words about Romero. He also shared a video of the plane flying overhead.
Both Mester and Romero are fan favorites at KTLA. Mester was recently given a segment known as “Mester’s Meals,” a cooking series that gained sponsorship from Mother’s Market & Kitchen in early August.
See the full clip below:
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.