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KTLA 5 News Thread


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6 hours ago, MorningNews said:

WABC and KTLA are not the same stations and don’t have similar identities or management. That management at WABC was willing to let Lori come back and say goodbye is not the standard, it’s the exception. What’s confusing?

You said different situation. The situation is exactly the same, it’s just the people involved that are different. 

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The station owns the airtime and decides what they do with it. If they decide to let an anchor use it to say goodbye, then great. If they don't, then that's their decision too. Different stations and different circumstances could lead to different decisions, but ultimately, nobody is owed any airtime.

 

You'd also be surprised to find out how little viewers actually notice or care if an anchor 'disappears.' Yes, many might notice, but most don't. What everyone in this line of work should know is that everyone, from the GM, to the anchors, to the part-time video editor, is replaceable.

 

I am far from a Nexstar apologist, and I'm glad I don't work for that company, but unless there's a huge backstory that we're not aware of, then it sounds like a lot of the on-air people at KTLA need to be reined in and have their egos put in check. I get that KTLA is all about personality, and to a degree, that's fine, but anchors are principally hired to do a job, which is to do the news. They're not hired to do a talk or reality show, and they're not hired to sell products or a lifestyle on Instagram.

 

It wouldn't surprise me if Mark Mester just anchored his last newscast on KTLA. What he just did is stupid. I highly doubt the GM would have approved of what he said, but the fact that he referenced her in it is enough to make it appear like she did, and that's just stupid on his part. He just put a target on his own back by doing that. I get that he must feel like some special connection with their viewers has been violated, but being the weekend AM anchor at a big market station (or an anchor at any station) is not that big of a deal. Ultimately, it's management calling the shots, and management hire people to do the news and also not make the company look bad.

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3 hours ago, TVNewsLover said:

I’m not arguing with you. Just trying to understand what you were saying since you weren’t clear in your original post. Calm down. 

Lori Stokes had a significantly higher profile as the anchor of 2 major newscasts 5 days a week than Lynette. Even she was only allowed a small goodbye after being yanked from the air. That anecdotal instance certainly isn’t the standard. KTLA pulling Lynette and dismissing here the way they did is the standard is.

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6 hours ago, C Block said:

The station owns the airtime and decides what they do with it. If they decide to let an anchor use it to say goodbye, then great. If they don't, then that's their decision too. Different stations and different circumstances could lead to different decisions, but ultimately, nobody is owed any airtime.

 

You'd also be surprised to find out how little viewers actually notice or care if an anchor 'disappears.' Yes, many might notice, but most don't. What everyone in this line of work should know is that everyone, from the GM, to the anchors, to the part-time video editor, is replaceable.

 

I am far from a Nexstar apologist, and I'm glad I don't work for that company, but unless there's a huge backstory that we're not aware of, then it sounds like a lot of the on-air people at KTLA need to be reined in and have their egos put in check. I get that KTLA is all about personality, and to a degree, that's fine, but anchors are principally hired to do a job, which is to do the news. They're not hired to do a talk or reality show, and they're not hired to sell products or a lifestyle on Instagram.

 

It wouldn't surprise me if Mark Mester just anchored his last newscast on KTLA. What he just did is stupid. I highly doubt the GM would have approved of what he said, but the fact that he referenced her in it is enough to make it appear like she did, and that's just stupid on his part. He just put a target on his own back by doing that. I get that he must feel like some special connection with their viewers has been violated, but being the weekend AM anchor at a big market station (or an anchor at any station) is not that big of a deal. Ultimately, it's management calling the shots, and management hire people to do the news and also not make the company look bad.

I completely agree, but I think it’s important to emphasize that, as others have noted, management royally screwed up. The station owns the airtime, but they could have used it better re: Lynette Romero. Sure, it may be the norm at many stations to handle it as KTLA did, but it doesn’t make it right. Mark Mester was still extremely unprofessional in attempting his “I am Spartacus” stunt, but he’s only half the reason KTLA looks bad right now.

 

If we insist on there being smarter ways for Mark Mester and company to say goodbye, it’s only fair to say that there were smarter ways for management to address Lynette Romero’s departure. Here’s one example from Buffalo: Kevin O’Connell left WGRZ under less than ideal circumstances, but was allowed to say goodbye through a prerecorded message.
 

https://www.wgrz.com/article/news/local/a-message-from-kevin-oconnell/71-574424657

 

Conversely, the anchors at WGRZ didn’t air dirty laundry regarding O’Connell’s departure. They didn’t try to speak for the entire station or fly a damn prop plane with a banner. They handled it professionally, as professionals and journalists should. That is how both management and station staff should handle a high-profile departure.

Edited by nycnewsjunkie
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It has been a rollercoaster ride at KTLA over the past five days. I think now the station needs to focus on replacing Lynette (and Dayna). I think if the station wanted to make this right, do they go "back to the future?" I say bring in Wendy Burch as a pillar of stability as the station begins a search for a replacement. Megan Telles aint it. She better suited as a reporter. I know Wendy is in a behind the scenes role, but it might just be what they need to put this tumultuous period to rest.

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15 hours ago, FiveNews said:

It has been a rollercoaster ride at KTLA over the past five days. I think now the station needs to focus on replacing Lynette (and Dayna). I think if the station wanted to make this right, do they go "back to the future?" I say bring in Wendy Burch as a pillar of stability as the station begins a search for a replacement. Megan Telles aint it. She better suited as a reporter. I know Wendy is in a behind the scenes role, but it might just be what they need to put this tumultuous period to rest.

Wendy is not an option. She doesn't want to do that. That's why she's in the role she's in now.

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22 hours ago, nycnewsjunkie said:

I completely agree, but I think it’s important to emphasize that, as others have noted, management royally screwed up. The station owns the airtime, but they could have used it better re: Lynette Romero. Sure, it may be the norm at many stations to handle it as KTLA did, but it doesn’t make it right. Mark Mester was still extremely unprofessional in attempting his “I am Spartacus” stunt, but he’s only half the reason KTLA looks bad right now.

 

If we insist on there being smarter ways for Mark Mester and company to say goodbye, it’s only fair to say that there were smarter ways for management to address Lynette Romero’s departure. Here’s one example from Buffalo: Kevin O’Connell left WGRZ under less than ideal circumstances, but was allowed to say goodbye through a prerecorded message.
 

https://www.wgrz.com/article/news/local/a-message-from-kevin-oconnell/71-574424657

 

Conversely, the anchors at WGRZ didn’t air dirty laundry regarding O’Connell’s departure. They didn’t try to speak for the entire station or fly a damn prop plane with a banner. They handled it professionally, as professionals and journalists should. That is how both management and station staff should handle a high-profile departure.

Closer to home, Paul Moyer was allowed to say goodbye on KNBC. But not in-studio.

https://franklinavenue.blogspot.com/2009/05/knbc-bids-farewell-to-paul-moyer-who.html?m=1

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On 9/19/2022 at 3:57 AM, MorningNews said:

Lori Stokes had a significantly higher profile as the anchor of 2 major newscasts 5 days a week than Lynette. Even she was only allowed a small goodbye after being yanked from the air. That anecdotal instance certainly isn’t the standard. KTLA pulling Lynette and dismissing here the way they did is the standard is.

No. This is not the standard. The standard is to for the station's p.r. department to release a press release thanking the employee for their service and wishing good luck in their future endeavors. Never say a word on-air if the employee is going to a cross town competitor.

 

This started when KTLA allowed Sam Rubin to read a lengthy departure story about his co-worker on-air. Then KTLA posted it to their social media. It should have been known by management that Mark Mester was going to make a statement - he promoted it the day before - and it should have at the very least been reviewed ahead of time & monitored live. 

 

If anyone is to blame & should be suspended and in my view fired is management at KTLA. They dropped the ball themselves. I've worked at/consulted radio stations that would have cut off Mark Mester mid-sentance for criticizing management on-air and they'd instantly be fired. Clearly management doesn't follow his social media or watch him on air live. This is Los Angeles not podunk West Virginia. This was highly unprofessional from all involved at KTLA - but specifically management.

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6 hours ago, CalItalian2 said:

No. This is not the standard. The standard is to for the station's p.r. department to release a press release thanking the employee for their service and wishing good luck in their future endeavors.

I’ll concede on some of my earlier points; that’s actually true. If a departure doesn’t happen on good terms, most announcements I’ve seen are through PR, and rarely on air.

6 hours ago, CalItalian2 said:

This started when KTLA allowed Sam Rubin to read a lengthy departure story about his co-worker on-air. Then KTLA posted it to their social media. It should have been known by management that Mark Mester was going to make a statement - he promoted it the day before - and it should have at the very least been reviewed ahead of time & monitored live. 

 

If anyone is to blame & should be suspended and in my view fired is management at KTLA. They dropped the ball themselves. I've worked at/consulted radio stations that would have cut off Mark Mester mid-sentance for criticizing management on-air and they'd instantly be fired. Clearly management doesn't follow his social media or watch him on air live. This is Los Angeles not podunk West Virginia. This was highly unprofessional from all involved at KTLA - but specifically management.

I’ll agree with you that management should’ve known about the whole thing and should’ve discussed it with Mester and the rest of the staff beforehand. Also, the fact that they didn’t see his social media post is telling of how little attention/discipline KTLA management has toward its own staff.
 

However, one should not strip Mark Mester of his own agency. His actions were not beyond his control. He could’ve said goodbye and handled any problems internally, rather than speaking for the station and blasting management (which, as it turns out, may be a violation of the terms of his employment). If you work at McDonalds, you don’t get to talk smack about your manager at the drive-thru window, no matter how horrible he/she is. It shouldn’t be any different in TV.

 

I am certainly not defending what KTLA management did to Lynette or how they handled the aftermath, but this isn’t an either/or situation. Both the news director and Mark Mester ought to be suspended, and corporate needs to do a thorough workplace review.

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On 9/20/2022 at 12:57 PM, nycnewsjunkie said:

I’ll concede on some of my earlier points; that’s actually true. If a departure doesn’t happen on good terms, most announcements I’ve seen are through PR, and rarely on air.

I’ll agree with you that management should’ve known about the whole thing and should’ve discussed it with Mester and the rest of the staff beforehand. Also, the fact that they didn’t see his social media post is telling of how little attention/discipline KTLA management has toward its own staff.
 

However, one should not strip Mark Mester of his own agency. His actions were not beyond his control. He could’ve said goodbye and handled any problems internally, rather than speaking for the station and blasting management (which, as it turns out, may be a violation of the terms of his employment). If you work at McDonalds, you don’t get to talk smack about your manager at the drive-thru window, no matter how horrible he/she is. It shouldn’t be any different in TV.

 

I am certainly not defending what KTLA management did to Lynette or how they handled the aftermath, but this isn’t an either/or situation. Both the news director and Mark Mester ought to be suspended, and corporate needs to do a thorough workplace review.

More reaction. This story isn't going away. The Nexstar Mess in LA.... — FTVLive

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On 9/18/2022 at 8:00 AM, nycnewsjunkie said:

On the one hand, Nexstar is a big station owning company with a small market mindset. Lynette Romero’s goodbye could’ve been handled much better than it was. In hindsight, not only was Lori Stokes allowed a goodbye in NY; Roz Abrams, Ernie Anastos, and Amy Freeze were able to leave on reasonably good terms when they left stations for other opportunities. Lynette Romero should’ve been given a bit more acknowledgment for her years of service, and KTLA/Nexstar blew it. IIRC, she was working there without a contract, and they owe her for that.

 

On the other hand, is Mester’s suspension really all that surprising? If you badmouth the company you work for, of course there are going to be repercussions. It doesn’t matter if that company is Nexstar or NBC. He’ll be lucky to have a job after all of this. I still maintain that there were better (and smarter) ways to give a proper goodbye to Lynette Romero without A) making both local and national management look bad and B) making it all about you. It was a needlessly foolish gesture on Mester’s part.
 

Also, FTVLive is reporting that “KTLA management” (read: local management) isn’t happy with Mester either. I’ll reiterate that I don’t like Scott Jones’ antics and petty behavior, but he’s usually on the money with these kinds of stories.

Good and interesting points all down this latest thread.     I too, as a viewer, read Scott Jones' FTVLive now and then and yes,  his style can be rather juvenile and even tacky sometimes,  but yup,  he's got the info you don't find elsewhere.

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Most of the time if an anchor is signed away by a rival in the market,  he or she becomes a non-person immediately, without any on-air retrospective.   And any viewers contacting the station to ask what happened are met with the curt "So-and-so is no longer with the station and has decided to pursue other opportunites."   

 

In 2005 the folksy weather forecaster Johnny Mountain was bid a fond retirement farewell from his morning shift at KABC. Four months later he was at KCBS.  And got big money.    There was speculation Channel 7's management knew he'd be going down the street,  but let him say goodbye anyway.  Or maybe not.

Edited by Nick
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Sad ending but he brought this upon himself. I still can’t get over the complete lack of regard and decorum he showed in that segment. Airing information about something “very bad” happening to Lynette back in the early 2000s, dragging your management into it, and neglecting the NEWS to do all of this? Then he weirdly pressures his colleagues on the desk to share their thoughts and continues to angrily talk over them. It was insane.

 

How did the rest of that morning’s show go after the 8am hour? Don’t they run until 11am?

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1 hour ago, C Block said:

Mark Mester’s bio is no longer on the KTLA website.

Something tells me that local KTLA management may follow him out the door over this as well. 

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Initially I thought “Mark has balls” and management must be chill for approving his message. Then he got suspended and I was confused because even after management informed talent not to speak about Lynette on-air, Mark advertised on Twitter informing he was going to talk about her the following morning at 8. I just assumed management knew because surely if I’d seen Mark’s Twitter post someone inside must’ve seen it too, right? So Mark has his rant, shaming management for not allowing Lynette to say goodbye, then just a bit ago, I see in the LA Times, Lynette didn’t want to say goodbye HAHAHAHA. Why tf didn’t Mark know this? Now he looks even more foolish IMO. To get fired over all this is insane.  It demonstrates he’s not mature and a loose cannon. No one else in the market will hire him.  

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Judging from the social media reaction, the audience (regardless of the professionalism of the event) is firmly on Mark's side, which will probably help in his efforts to find work. Gonna be interesting to see what steps KTLA takes to regain audience trust after this clusterflust.

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34 minutes ago, Glimmer said:

Judging from the social media reaction, the audience (regardless of the professionalism of the event) is firmly on Mark's side, which will probably help in his efforts to find work. Gonna be interesting to see what steps KTLA takes to regain audience trust after this clusterflust.

Social media reaction isn't going to get you a job in Los Angeles. He's done in market #2.

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57 minutes ago, Glimmer said:

Judging from the social media reaction, the audience (regardless of the professionalism of the event) is firmly on Mark's side, which will probably help in his efforts to find work. Gonna be interesting to see what steps KTLA takes to regain audience trust after this clusterflust.

KTLA will be fine. It helps that their competition at KTTV happens to be in perpetual local news hell. 
 

The LA Times story to me makes Mark look like an absolute moron. Lynette declined an on-air goodbye and Mark instead aired dirty laundry that Lynette might not have wanted out herself. The awkwardness of that segment aligns with the portion of the article talking about how Mark went off script and betrayed his colleagues’ trust.

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2 hours ago, bogusabc7breakingnews said:

Initially I thought “Mark has balls” and management must be chill for approving his message. Then he got suspended and I was confused because even after management informed talent not to speak about Lynette on-air, Mark advertised on Twitter informing he was going to talk about her the following morning at 8. I just assumed management knew because surely if I’d seen Mark’s Twitter post someone inside must’ve seen it too, right? So Mark has his rant, shaming management for not allowing Lynette to say goodbye, then just a bit ago, I see in the LA Times, Lynette didn’t want to say goodbye HAHAHAHA. Why tf didn’t Mark know this? Now he looks even more foolish IMO. To get fired over all this is insane.  It demonstrates he’s not mature and a loose cannon. No one else in the market will hire him.  

You might want to read that part of the article again. The LA Times attributed Lynette “declining to record a farewell” to news director Pete Saiers, the same man reportedly responsible for causing the low morale at KTLA. Keep in mind, this is also the same ND who oversaw KING as it tanked in the Seattle ratings. Unless Lynette herself clarifies it, I’m not trusting a word of his.

 

That said, it seems that the weekend crew actually planned a proper farewell, and he alone went off script. Also, if it’s true that Mester was the one who hired that plane without informing anyone else, that’s truly moronic on his part.

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1 hour ago, CalItalian2 said:

Social media reaction isn't going to get you a job in Los Angeles. He's done in market #2.

 

He maybe done in LA, But I am sure he’ll be able to find a job in another Top 10 market. 

Local Management at KTLA will more than likely change after this as well. 

The way all this transpired is textbook “How Not to handle Personnel Issues.” 

 

 

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