TV anchor fired after appearing to be intoxicated on air. Video / CBS6
A Los Angeles TV news anchor has lost his job after he slammed his own station on air.
Mark Mester from the station KTLA was initially suspended before being fired for the way he handled his former co-anchor’s abrupt departure from air.
The Los Angeles Times reported Mester went off script to defend his former co-anchor and friend Lynette Romero because he didn’t agree with the way the TV station handled her farewell.
Mester said on air he wanted to give his friend a “proper goodbye” and said it was “unfortunate” the station didn’t do that themselves, the New York Post reported.
“I want to start off right now by offering up an apology to you,” Mester said to the viewers on Saturday.
“What the viewers experienced was rude, it was cruel, it was inappropriate and we are so sorry.
“I also want to say sorry to Lynette Romero because Lynette, I love you so much, you literally are my best friend. You did not deserve what happened to you.”
Members of staff later told the LA Times producers had written a script for Mester to read about his former co-anchor. However, he went rogue.
“We’re going to offer you dignity and grace, which is what this station should’ve done from the beginning,” Mester said, adding, “You did not deserve this, we are sorry, it was a mistake and we just hope that you can find it in your heart to forgive us.”
The LA Times reported that Romero left the station after 24 years because she asked if she could work as a weekday anchor instead of a weekend anchor and they denied her request.
Her departure was announced on air by another reporter who said Romero has “has decided to move on from anchoring our weekend morning news”.
“We really wanted her to stay, and KTLA management worked hard to make that happen,” the reporter said, according to the LA Times.
“Lynette decided to leave for another opportunity… We had hoped she would record a farewell message to viewers, but she declined. Lynette has been a wonderful member of the KTLA family and we wish her and her family the best.”
Romero also addressed her departure with a tweet last week saying: “I will always be grateful for the love and affection LA viewers have given me.”
“Stay tuned my friends I’ll be right back.”