News Anchor Mark Mester Fired After Criticizing KTLA's Treatment of Former Co-Anchor Lynette Romero

Mark Mester, a Los Angeles-area news anchor, was fired from CW affiliate KTLA just days after criticizing the station's executives for how they handled his co-anchor's departure.

The station's parent company, Nexstar Media Inc., confirmed Mester was no longer with the company when reached by PEOPLE on Thursday. They declined to comment further.

According to the Los Angeles Times, KTLA informed staffers of Mester's firing on Thursday afternoon, just over a week after the station announced his Weekend Morning News co-anchor, Lynette Romero, had resigned.

The news station executives have faced mounting criticism for how they announced Romero was leaving. Namely, KTLA had entertainment reporter Sam Rubin break the news during a 40-second segment on a weekday news broadcast, instead of having Romero — a member of KTLA for nearly 24 years — say goodbye to viewers herself.


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As the Times notes, Mester isn't listed on KTLA's online staff list.

The news of Mester's firing comes after his segment last Saturday, where he apologized to viewers for the short segment announcing Romero's departure, and called it "unfortunate" and "inappropriate."

"I'm going to take some time speak directly to you at this hour, to tell you, what it is that happened here on [Wednesday's broadcast]," Mester said in a clip from the show that was posted on social media. "I want to start off right now by offering up an apology to you [the viewers]. 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, and you really are my best friend, you did not deserve what happened to you on Wednesday."

"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, this was a mistake," Mester continued, in part. "We owe you an apology, and we owe Lynette an apology."

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Shortly after Mester's speech, Deadline reported he had been suspended by KTLA.

Nexstar Media Inc. offered a statement from KTLA Vice President and General Manager Jenene Drafs in response to Romero's departure.

"After 24 years, Lynette Romero has decided to move on from anchoring our weekend morning news," Drafs said. "We really wanted her to stay, and KTLA Management worked hard to make that happen. Lynette decided to leave for another opportunity."

"We had hoped she would record a farewell message to viewers, but she declined," she said. "Lynette has been a wonderful member of the KTLA family and wish her and her family the best."

Local News Anchor Suspended After Criticizing Treatment of Former Co-Anchor and Her Controversial Departure
Local News Anchor Suspended After Criticizing Treatment of Former Co-Anchor and Her Controversial Departure

Mark Mester/instagram

Following her resignation, Romero reshared a tweet from a fan who said not giving her a "proper goodbye opportunity is a BAD look."

"I will always be grateful for the love and affection LA viewers have given me," Romero wrote in another tweet on Wednesday. "Stay tuned my friends I'll be right back."

During the script read by Rubin, KTLA said management "hoped [Romero] would stay here her entire career, and KTLA worked hard to make that happen, but Lynette has decided to move on to another opportunity elsewhere."

"Lynette, we wish you luck, we miss you, and we thank you for everything you've done for KTLA, so many friends and fans, and viewers," said the statement, which Rubin read.

It did not take long for viewers to voice their criticism with the announcement, with some calling it "fishy" and "strange."

"This is weird," one Twitter user wrote in reply to a video of the segment. "I feel like her send off was quick for someone being there for almost 24 years."