Viewers of Weekend Morning News on KTLA were left confused after noticing the absence of news anchor Mark Mester.
His absence comes hot on the heels of the departure of long-time host Lynette Romero, who left the show last week after 24 years. The announcement of Romero’s departure caused backlash on Twitter, as some viewers felt she deserved a more fitting farewell after so many years of service.
Mester agreed, and said as much on air on Saturday. He called the announcement “cruel” and issued an apology. The anchor has now been suspended.
Lynette Romero departs KTLA
On Wednesday, September 14, KTLA entertainment reporter Sam Rubin announced on air that Romero was leaving Weekend Morning News.
Rubin said: “Our friend Lynette has decided to move on from anchoring our weekend morning news. KTLA management hoped she would stay here her entire career in KTLA. [They] worked hard to make that happen but Lynette has decided to move on to another opportunity elsewhere.”
However, some viewers slammed the announcement, arguing Romero deserved a “proper send off.”
Romero took to her Instagram story the same day to explain her side of the argument.
She wrote: “Hello my friends. I feel like I needed to get on here and let you hear it from me, because you’re asking why I didn’t announce my departure from KTLA after 24 years. I guess it wasn’t my announcement to make and that’s ok. Everything happens for a reason. So, I just wanted to tell you that, yes it’s true, I’m leaving.”
Mark Mester offers on-air apology
On Saturday, Mester offered an apology to viewers regarding the announcement of Romero’s departure.
He said: “What the viewers experienced was rude, it was cruel, it was inappropriate, and we are so sorry.”
Mester then deemed the announcement “unfortunate” and “inappropriate” before addressing Romero directly on air.
“I also want to say sorry to Lynette Romero,” Mester said, “because, Lynette, I love you so much. You really are my best friend. You did not deserve what happened to you on Wednesday.”
Where is Mark Mester?
Following his apology on air, Mester was suspended from the show, Deadline reports.
Despite confirmation of his suspension, we don’t know how long it will last or how this will affect KTLA-TV’s Weekend Morning News.
Fans react to Mester’s apology
Following Mester’s absence from Weekend Morning News, viewers took to Twitter to share their thoughts.
One wrote: “@mester_mark you did the right thing! Thank you for acknowledging the contributions of .@LynetteRomero! That’s a sign of true leadership – being courageous, doing what others are too afraid to in a critical moment. You earned more stripes with this one. Keep shining Mark!”
Someone else had a simple message for KTLA: “Way to alienate your viewers.”
The Focus has reached out to KTLA for comment and is awaiting a response.