American news anchor Mark Mester has been fired from KTLA, days after he defended his on-air co-anchor, Lynette Romero.
As per the Los Angeles Times, the decision to fire Mester was announced by KTLA general manager Janene Drafs during a newsroom meeting on September 22 at around 1:15 pm.
Mark Mester was previously suspended for criticizing the station for the way they handled his long-time co-anchor Lynette Romero’s resignation. He also apologized to Romero on-air for not being given a proper opportunity to bid farewell to her viewers after it was abruptly announced that she had left her job at KTLA for another news network.
After news of Mark Mester’s firing became public, the internet criticized the station and slammed them for being a “toxic workplace.”
In the comments section of a post shared by username u/Stock412 on Reddit, several users also called out the channel, stating it is “their loss” and hailed Mark for standing up for his friend.
The internet was not happy about Mark Mester’s firing from KTLA
It wasn’t just Reddit, but Twitter users also expressed their anger towards the channel for the way they were treating their employees. Several users claimed to boycott the channel for their actions, which led to #BoycottKTLA trend on the social media platform.
What did Mark Mester say about Lynette Romero on-air?
On September 14, KTLA’s entertainment specialist Sam Rubin announced that Romero had left the news station after 24 years of service to pursue another job.
“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.”
The statement was written by KTLA’s news director Pete Saiers, who also noted that Romero declined an offer to record a farewell message for her viewers.
During the morning show on September 17, Mark Mester went on-air to deliver a lengthy emotional speech for his “best friend” Romero.
“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. You did not deserve what happened to you on Wednesday.”
An anonymous source told The Los Angeles Times that Lynette Romero no longer wished to work weekends and asked the station for a weekday shift as an anchor, so that she could spend more time with her family. However, she was told that there were no weekday openings.
The source disclosed that Romero got a job at KNBC-TV as an anchor for one of the weekday morning shows.
Mester’s unscripted addressal of Romero’s absence from the show led to his suspension, which also drew immense backlash from KTLA viewers online.
Mark Mester’s behavior sparked concern among fellow employees
As per the publication, anonymous sources revealed that Mester had violated their trust on-air. It was reported that Mark Mester ignored a script written as a farewell to Romero, which included pictures and snippets from her time as an anchor.
The office workers claimed they saw Mark ignore the management’s request to have a meeting with them after his news segment aired. Once in for the meet-up, the local news anchor reportedly yelled obscenities loud enough for everyone to hear.
Describing his behavior as “disrespectful” towards women, sources also claimed that Mark Mester refused to leave the station building when he was asked to do so.