KTLA fires commentator Mark Meester after Lynette Romero’s defense

KTLA-TV 5 fired news anchor Mark Meester Thursday afternoon, days after he was suspended after an out-of-text clip critical of the station’s handling of co-anchor Lynette Romero’s sudden departure, according to several employees at the station.

The station’s general manager, Janine Duffas, announced the shooting in a succinct address during a newsroom meeting around 1:15 p.m., saying:[Mester] He’s no longer at KTLA5,” employees who attended the announcement told The Times on Thursday.

The KTLA website Meester is no longer included in the list of correspondents and correspondents.

Last week, KTLA announced that Romero, a longtime anchor of its popular weekend morning show, had leave the station Without saying goodbye to viewers, which sparked outrage and widespread criticism.

“After nearly 24 years, Lynette Romero, our friend Lynette, has decided to move from anchoring our morning news to the weekend,” Pete Sayers, the station’s news director, wrote in a statement read by entertainment reporter Sam Rubin. During the September 14 clip.

“KTLA management had hoped she would stay here for her entire career, and KTLA worked hard to make that happen,” Rubin added. But Lynette decided to move on to another opportunity elsewhere. Lynette, good luck, we miss you and thank you for everything you’ve done for KTLA. … On behalf of everyone here, we wish you and your family nothing but the best.”

Sayers later said management had hoped for Romero to record a farewell message to viewers, but she refused.

According to the station’s sources, who asked not to be identified, Romero no longer wants to work on weekends and has asked management to allow her to work a weekday shift so she can spend more time with her family, but was told there are no job opportunities . She was reportedly appointed to KNBC-TV, a Los Angeles affiliate of NBC, as one of its weekday morning broadcasts, sources said.

Romero did not immediately respond to a request for comment by The Times.

During the weekend morning show on Saturday, Meester, Romero’s assistant, went Outside the text with emotional speech. He apologized, on behalf of the station, to viewers and said the handling of Romero’s exit “was rude, it was rough, it was inappropriate and we are deeply sorry.”

Then he apologized to Romero who called him “His best friend.”

You didn’t deserve this, it was a mistake, and we hope you’ll find it in your heart to forgive us,” said Meester, in a broken voice at times, in a monologue that lasted more than four minutes with three of his colleagues. .

Many viewers applauded Meester’s ad-packed message, but soon after he defended Romero, Mister has been commentedprompting further criticism of how KTLA handled the situation.

“Mark was 100% right,” One user tweeted. “It’s as if you guys are begging to lose all your viewers with this kind of behaviour.”

However, newsroom staff described a different scenario, saying Meester, who joined KTLA in 2014, had breached their trust.

Staff said the producers wrote a script for Meester to read to send Romero, accompanied by images and clips from her radio shows, which Meester ignored during the clip. He also rented a plane bearing a sign to fly over the station bearing the message “We love you, Lynette.” Meester had pitched the producers to include footage from the plane in the part but was turned down.

The staff said they saw Meester walking back and forth with an angry look before stepping on the set for the Saturday segment. he had Alert his followers on social media that he was planning to address Romero’s departure on that morning’s show.

People in the newsroom, after his stint, said they saw Meester ignoring management requests to come into their office for a meeting. At one point, several employees recall Meester telling a news director to “shut up” and saying that he refused to leave the building after being asked to do so.

During an exchange with management, Meester allegedly shouted obscenities that could be heard by other newsroom employees.

Meester did not immediately respond to requests for comment by The Times on Thursday.

Several sources at the station said it was common knowledge that staff were concerned about Meester’s mood and what was described as “disrespectful” behavior towards women and he complained to management.

“You wouldn’t believe his tantrums and the weird things he got,” said one longtime newsroom employee. “You are constantly afraid of saying the wrong thing.”

A longtime anchor at the station said he hoped viewers would separate Romero’s choice to leave from Meester’s behavior, which they described as “unprofessional” and “reckless”.

“It was meant to be shown on a script that was warm, tender and appreciative. It was great, and [Romero] The announcer said about the farewell piece prepared by the producers. “Mark grabbed that and made him relate to him.”

Veteran KTLA journalists said it is a common practice for newsroom managers not to give broadcast time to talents leaving for a competing station.

Ashley Reagan, producer of KTLA’s “Weekend Morning News,” said, wrote in a statement It was posted on Twitter after the Mester outburst. “We may not like the practice, but we know not to take it personally.”

Romero joined KTLA in 1998 and has won several local Emmy Awards, including one in 2006 for her reporting on the Latino community. She co-hosted “KTLA Prime-News” and later co-hosted “KTLA Weekend Morning News,” which was among the most-watched weekend morning news programs in Southern California.

For years, she has been involved with Chris Burruss, from Died in 2018 Methamphetamine overdose. Since then, Romero has taken the lead alongside Meester.

Romero has maintained a low profile on social media since her exit from KTLA, but she addressed fans on September 14.

“I will always be grateful for the love and affection my LA viewers have given me,” I tweeted. “Stay tuned my friends, I’ll be right back.”

On September 17, Romero expressed her gratitude and Share Tweet From actor Holly Robinson Pete, former co-host of CBS’ “The Talk,” who was fired in 2011 after only one season on the daytime talk show.

Pete responded to Romero’s tweet: “As someone who hasn’t received a proper goodbye or even acknowledgment of my departure in so many years, I feel disrespected and wish you well and can’t wait to see what’s next!”

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