A Los Angeles television station parted ways with a popular anchorman after he went on air for criticizing management of a colleague’s departure, officials said Friday.
Mark Meester will not be in the anchor’s chair when KTLA’s “Weekend Morning News” Aired Saturday, a week after going off-script to rip the station off for not saying a more grand goodbye to her longtime co-anchor Lynette Romero.
According to a statement based in Irving, Texas, “Mark Meester is no longer employed by KTLA,” Nexstar Media Group Inc., which owns CW affiliate Channel 5 in Southern California. “Since this is a personnel matter, we will decline further comment.”
Last Saturday, Meester brought viewers to tears, saying that the station should be ashamed of itself for not giving Romero a famous farewell.
“I want to start now by apologizing to you. What the audience experienced was harsh, it was cruel, it was unfair and we’re sorry,” Meester said in an emotional testament of about four minutes to the audience. former coworker. “I also want to say sorry to Lynette Romero. I love you so much, you really are my best friend. You didn’t deserve what happened to you on Wednesday.”
Meester’s monologue was given with three colleagues and included reels of Romero’s work and photographs of his personal life.
Three days earlier, KTLA weekday morning anchor Sam Rubin announced that Romero had left the station.
The words Rubin read off the air last week mirrored a statement from Nexstar, which master The station, created Friday for NBC News, is credited with KTLA Vice President and General Manager Jayne Drafts,
According to the drafts statement, “After 24 years, Lynette Romero has decided to move on from anchoring our weekend morning news stories. We really wanted her to be there, and KTLA management worked hard to make that happen.” “
“Lynnette decided to leave for another occasion. We expected her to record a farewell message for the audience, but she declined,” the statement said. “Lynnette has been a wonderful member of the KTLA family and we wish her and her family the very best.”
The barebones sendoff, however, did not satisfy Meester.
Although he praised the drafts on Saturday in the air, he took issue with unknown owners over the way Romero’s exit came. Meester said Romero had left KTLA to pursue another “opportunity”.
“It was unfortunate … it was unfair and we are sorry for that,” he said of KTLA management. “Lynette deserved to say goodbye. It didn’t happen. I don’t know who wrote the script. I don’t know who handed it to Sam Rubin. Regardless, it was a mistake. We apologize to you, and we to Lynette Pardon.”
Meester did not respond to messages seeking comment on Friday.
Longtime TV reporters and anchors often receive loving, on-air sendoffs when they retire or leave their jobs.
But when those on-air personalities leave for a competing network or station, the separation is often immediate with little or no mention by the soon-to-be former employer.
KTLA did not say whether Romero had secured a second job, and could not be reached for comment on Friday.
TV news contracts typically include no-competition clauses, which prohibit a reporter or anchor from working at a rival station for a set period, often six months.
Meester thanked Romero for his advice and said that he had learned that “dignity and grace” were the keys to success.
“And that’s how we’re going to say goodbye to you today,” said Meester on air. “We’re going to offer you the dignity and grace that the station should have done from the start.”
Meester told the audience that an airplane “We love you Lynette!” At that very moment a message was flying at the station. He shared a video Prop Plain pulled up the banner on her Instagram, writing: “Now is the perfect time to tell @lynetteromero that you love her!”
Liza Torres contribution,