A Los Angeles anchor was fired after he put his own station on the air for his handling of his former co-anchor’s abrupt departure from the airwaves, a report said.
KTLA’s Mark Mester was suspended and expelled after making a surprise and off-screen defense by former co-anchor and friend Lynette Romero – who didn’t get a chance to say goodbye on air, several employees of the television station told Los Angeles Times.
The station manager reportedly told newsroom staff about the termination during a brief speech on Thursday.
The dismissal comes after Mester said goodbye to his “best friend” Romero in a segment where he said he was “unhappy” as the station didn’t give him a “proper goodbye”.
“I want to start now by offering an apology to you,” Mester told viewers on Saturday. “What viewers experienced was rude, it was cruel, it was inappropriate and we are sorry.
“I also want to apologize to Lynette Romero because Lynette, I love you so much, you are literally my best friend. You didn’t deserve what happened to you.”
Mester also mentioned during the monologue that a plane was flying over the station with a message of gratitude to Romero. According to the LA Times, the plane was hired by Mester with a banner that read, “We love you Lynette.”
Mester wanted to include footage from the plane in a compilation of images and videos that the station aired during the farewell, the paper reported.
The producers wrote a script for Mester to read about Romero, officials told the LA Times, but instead, the anchor went dishonest, saying he was shocked that Romero didn’t have airtime to tell the audience she was leaving.
“We’re going to offer you dignity and grace, which is what this station should have done from the start,” Mester said in apparent defiance.
“You didn’t deserve this, we’re sorry it was a mistake and we hope you find your heart to forgive us,” added Mester.
Romero, an institution who has been with the network for 24 years, left for another network after she unsuccessfully asked her bosses if she could work as an anchor during the week instead of working on the weekends, the LA Times reported.
“I will always be grateful for the love and affection that LA viewers have given me” Romero tweeted Last week. “Stay tuned my friends, I’ll be right back.”
Mester was annoyed by KTLA’s original salute to Romero on September 14, when the reporter Sam Rubin said Romero “decided to stop anchoring our weekend morning news.”
“We really wanted her to stay, and KTLA management worked hard to make that happen,” Rubin said, according to the LA Times. “Lynette decided to leave for another opportunity.
“We expected her to record a farewell message for viewers, but she declined. Lynette has been a wonderful member of the KTLA family and we wish her and her family the best.”
Source : nypost.com