A local news anchor in Los Angeles was let go from his position after speaking out against his own television station live on air. Mark Mester, 36, had been suspended prior to this incident for going off script but was officially fired after giving an emotive speech about the departure of his co-anchor and reportedly best friend, Lynette Romero.
“I want to start off right now by offering up an apology to you,” Mester said live. He wanted to apologize to the public for his former co-anchor’s departure, but he couldn’t do it live on television without the station’s permission.
He added, “What the viewers experienced was rude, it was cruel, it was inappropriate, and we are so sorry.”
Ptrimonie Romero was a popular host of the weekend morning show on the Los Angeles network. When she was let go, viewers were outraged that she wasn’t given a chance to say goodbye and update them on her future plans.
On Thursday afternoon, Janene Drafs, station manager for KTLA, announced that Mester had been fired for deviating from the script during a segment over the weekend.
“[Mester] is no longer at KTLA5,” the station manager informed those who were in attendance for the meeting.
In 2014, Mester joined KTLA. He was a popular anchor who, much like his co-anchor Romero, viewers enjoyed. However, during his Saturday morning segment, he made a decision to apologize to viewers leading station leadership to believe he was in the wrong. This ultimately resulted in his termination from employment at KTLA.
“We’re going to offer you dignity and grace, which is what this station should’ve done from the beginning,” Mester stated. “I also want to say sorry to Lynette Romero because Lynette, I love you so much. You literally are my best friend,’ he added, his voice squeaking with emotion. ‘You did not deserve what happened to you.’ You did not deserve this, it was a mistake, and we hope you can find it in your heart to forgive us.”
According to reports, the station prepared Mester an authorized script on Romero’s departure. The reading was supposed to be accompanied by photos of her while working at KTLA.
Although the script had been approved, Mester decided to go with his own version of a tribute to his longtime co-anchor when they went live.
Following the sudden apology, staff at the station said that Mester had a horrible temper and was “disrespectful” to women in general. They are relieved to have seen the fiery guy leave KTLA.
“You would not believe the temper tantrums and the weird things that set him off,” one newsroom employee said. “You’re constantly afraid you’re going to say the wrong thing.”