Lynnette Romero’s abrupt exit from KTLA after 24 years with the local station is now becoming a much larger local story itself.
Weekend co-anchor Mark Mester was suspended after his on-air tribute to Romero in which he apologized on behalf of KTLA, an individual with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap. The individual doesn’t know the terms of Mester’s suspension.
“It was inappropriate and we’re sorry,” Mester said Saturday during the five minute segment.
Prior to Saturday’s broadcast, Romero’s weekend co-anchor Mark Mester had posted on social media to tune in because he was going to speak about “his friend Lynette Romero.” During Mester’s heartfelt remarks about his co-anchor, he expressed how wrong her exit was handled by the station.
— mark mester (@mester_mark) September 16, 2022
“I also want to say sorry to Lynette Romero, because Lynette I love you so much. You really are my best friend. You did not deserve what happened to you on Wednesday,” said Mester.
During Mester’s segment, he also namechecked KTLA general manager Janene Drafs, which prompted her to visit the newsroom Sunday to address the staff.
Mester declined to comment for this story.
Romero, who’s said to be beloved by her colleagues in the KTLA newsroom, wasn’t even permitted to clean out her own belongings or say goodbye to longtime viewers of the newscast.
An individual with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap, “Viewers and newsroom staffers learned of her exit when Sam Rubin said goodbye in a scripted farewell and the rest of the on-air team was told not to discuss Romero.”
It was only after Rubin’s scripted goodbye to Romero that she responded to a viewer’s tweet on her account saying thanks and that “I’ll be right back.”
I will always be grateful for the love and affection LA viewers have given me. Stay tuned my friends I’ll be right back.
— Lynette Romero (@LynetteRomero) September 15, 2022
Romero and representatives from KTLA’s owner Nexstar didn’t immediately respond to TheWrap’s requests for comment.
As TheWrap previously reported last Wednesday, the network only confirmed that Romero had left KTLA to pursue another opportunity elsewhere.
“After nearly 24 years, Lynette Romero, our friend Lynette, has decided to move on from anchoring our weekend morning news,” anchor Sam Rubin said in a Wednesday broadcast. “KTLA management had hoped she would stay here her entire career and KTLA worked hard to make that happen, but Lynette has decided to move onto another opportunity elsewhere.”
After nearly 24 years at KTLA, our Lynette Romero has decided to move on and pursue another opportunity. We wish Lynette nothing but the best of luck on her next chapter. pic.twitter.com/dnjrhCItSs
— KTLA (@KTLA) September 14, 2022
During her time at KTLA, Romero covered a wide range of issues and started Sunday’s “Link Up with Lynette,” a segment that focused on sharing “good news” on air. Earlier this year, Romero shared that her mother passed away from Alzheimer’s and partnered with the Alzheimer’s Association of California Southland.