The report said the Los Angeles-based news anchor was fired after he criticized his own radio station on air for how it handled his former co-host’s sudden departure from the air.
Mark Mester of KTLA was suspended and then fired after unexpectedly speaking out in defense of former co-host and friend Lynette Romero, who was not given a chance to say goodbye on live television. The TV channel told the Los Angeles Times.
According to the NY Post, the station manager informed news workers of the termination during a short speech on Thursday.
The firing came after Mester said goodbye to his “best friend” Romero in a segment where he said it was “unfortunate” that the station did not say goodbye to her “properly”.
“I want to start right now by apologizing to you,” Mester told viewers on Saturday.
“What the viewers experienced was rude, cruel, inappropriate, and we are very 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 a monologue that a plane was flying over the station to give a speech of thanks to Romero. According to the LA Times, the plane was leased by Mester with a banner that read, “We love you, Lynette.”
According to the newspaper, Mester wanted to include footage of the plane in a selection of images and videos that were broadcast by the radio station during the farewell.
The producers wrote the script for Mester to read about Romero, staffers at the LA Times said, but instead the host went along, saying he was appalled that Romero wasn’t given airtime to tell the audience she was leaving.
“We are going to offer you dignity and grace, which is what this station should have done from the very beginning,” Mester said with obvious defiance.
“You didn’t deserve this, we’re sorry, it was a mistake and we just hope you find the strength in your heart to forgive us,” Mester added.
Romero, an organization that has worked at the station for 24 years, left for another station after she unsuccessfully asked her bosses if she could work weekdays instead of working weekends, according to the LA Times.
“I will always be grateful for the love and affection that the LA audience has given me,” Romero wrote last week. “Stay with us, friends, I’ll be back soon.”
Mester was troubled by Romero’s initial welcome from KTLA on September 14, when reporter Sam Rubin announced that she had “decided to retire from 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 hoped that she would record a farewell message to the audience, but she refused. Lynette was a wonderful member of the KTLA family and we wish her and her family all the best.”
This article originally appeared in the NY Post and has been reproduced here with permission.