A Los Angeles news anchor has been fired after he criticized his own on-air station for how it handled his former anchor’s sudden departure from the airwaves, a report says.
Mark Meester, of KTLA, was suspended and then given the boot after making a surprising off-screen defense of the former co-anchor and Lynette Romero panel — who was not given the opportunity to say goodbye on air, and several employees at the television station told the Los Angeles Times.
The station manager reportedly told newsroom workers of the termination during a short speech Thursday, according to the New York Post.
The shooting comes after Meester bid farewell to his “best friend” Romero in a clip where he said it was “unfortunate” that the station did not give her a “proper farewell”.
“I want to start now by offering you an apology,” Meester told viewers on Saturday.
“What viewers experienced was rude, it was rough, it didn’t fit and we are very sorry.
“I also want to say sorry to Lynette Romero because Lynette, I love you so much, you are literally my best friend. You don’t deserve what happened to you.”
Meester also mentioned during the monologue that a plane was flying over the station with a letter of gratitude to Romero. According to the Los Angeles Times, Meester chartered the plane with a sign that read “We love you, Lynette.”
The newspaper reported that Meester wanted to include the footage of the plane in a group of photos and videos broadcast by the station during the farewell party.
The producers wrote a script for Meester to read about Romero, the staff told the Los Angeles Times, but instead, the announcer became a villain, saying he was appalled that Romero wasn’t given on-air time to tell the audience she was leaving.
“We will give you dignity and grace, which is what this station should have been doing from the start,” Meester said in apparent defiance.
“You didn’t deserve this, we’re sorry, it was a mistake and we just hope you find it in your heart to forgive us,” Meester added.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Romero, an operator who had been with the station for 24 years, left for another station after unsuccessfully asking her bosses if she could work a weekday shift instead of on weekends.
Romero tweeted last week: “I will always be grateful for the love and affection my L.A. viewers have given me.” “Stay tuned my friends, I’ll be right back.”
Meester was annoyed by Romero’s original KTLA salute on September 14, when reporter Sam Rubin announced that she had “decided to move forward from delivering the morning news over the weekend.”
“We really wanted it to stay, and KTLA management worked hard to make that happen,” Rubin said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Lynette decided to leave for another chance.
We had hoped she would record a farewell message to viewers, but she refused. Lynette has been an amazing member of the KTLA family and we wish her and her family all the best.”
This article originally appeared in the New York Post and is reproduced here with permission.
Originally published as TV anchor fired after going rogue on air in defense of ex-colleague: report