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KTLA News Anchor Mark Mester Fired After Off-Script Tribute to Former Colleague Lynette Romero

KTLA News Anchor Mark Mester Fired After Off-Script Tribute to Former Colleague Lynette Romero thumbnail

The newsroom drama at local Los Angeles TV stations showed no signs of cooling off Thursday, as Mark Mester, weekend co-anchor at KTLA, was fired a week after management suspended him for showing support for his departed colleague Lynette Romero, TheWrap has confirmed.

“Mark Mester is no longer employed by KTLA,” a spokesperson for the station’s parent company, Nexstar, told TheWrap. “As this is a personnel matter, we will decline further comment.”

Mester was let go Thursday afternoon, two KTLA insiders told TheWrap. General manager Janene Drafs informed the newsroom of the firing during a brief meeting, according to the Los Angeles Times, which first reported the firing.

Mester didn’t immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

As TheWrap previously reported, Mester was suspended earlier this week after his on-air tribute to Romero in which he apologized on behalf of KTLA. Mester’s bio has been scrubbed from the KTLA website — much like Romero’s was the week before immediately after her abrupt departure.

Romero, reportedly beloved by her colleagues in the KTLA newsroom, wasn’t permitted to clean out her own belongings or say goodbye to longtime viewers of the newscast. The Times, citing anonymous sources at the station, said Romero was seeking a weekday anchor shift to spend more time with her family, but management declined due to lack of openings.

Management said only that she had left to pursue “another opportunity” and lamented that she chose not to stay.

Mester went off-script during a Saturday broadcast, saying the handling of her exit was “cruel” and “inappropriate,” and apologized on the station’s behalf. The four-minute ad-lib ignored a written script from producers, who declined to show footage of a plane Mester hired to waft a banner over the station that said “We love you Lynette.”

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KTLA isn’t the only Los Angeles affiliate station dealing with an anchor shake-up. ABC7 weekend anchor and general assignment reporter Veronica Miracle announced that she’s leaving the station without indicating where she’s going next.

Miracle announced Tuesday on Twitter that she’s leaving ABC7, which she joined in 2017 after a three-year stint at ABC30 in Fresno, California. She also hinted in her farewell post that she may be leaving Southern California, saying “Thank you to everyone in SoCal and at ABC7 for all of the support over the years, it’s meant so much!”

Miracle’s bio page was vacated on the ABC7 site following her announcement, and it doesn’t appear she was given a chance for an on-air signoff either, writing, “I anchored my last show a couple weeks ago.” Neither Miracle nor ABC7 responded to requests for comment.

Additional reporting by Jethro Nededog.

This story was updated to reflect Nexstar’s statement. An earlier version of this story mistakenly referred to Lynette Romero by the wrong last name. TheWrap regrets the error.

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