Lynette Romero(L) and Mark Mester of KTLA
Lynette Romero, left, and Mark Mester were co-anchors at KTLA. (KTLA)

Several employees at the station said that Mark Mester was fired Thursday afternoon after he was suspended for an off-script segment about his co-anchor.

The newsroom's general manager, Janene Drafs, announced the firing with a short speech during a meeting in the newsroom around 1:45 p.m., according to staffers who were present for the announcement.

Mester wasn't listed on the KTLA website as a reporter or anchor.

The weekend morning show anchor at KTLA had left the station without saying goodbye to viewers, sparking outrage and criticism.

Pete Saiers, the station's news director, wrote in a statement that the weekend morning news anchor had decided to leave the station after 24 years.

Rubin said that KTLA management worked hard to keep her. Lynette decided to go somewhere else. She didn't record a farewell message. We wish her and her family the best, and she has been a great member of the KTLA family.

According to station sources who asked to remain anonymous, the anchor wanted to work a weekday shift so she could spend more time with her family, but was told there were no openings. Sources said she was hired at another station.

Mester went off script with an emotional speech on Saturday. He apologized on behalf of the station, saying the handling of the exit was rude, cruel, and inappropriate.

He apologized to his friend.

"You did not deserve this, it was a mistake and we hope you can forgive us," Mester said in a monologue that lasted more than four minutes with three of his colleagues.

Many viewers had applauded Mester's ad-libbed message, but not long after his defense of Romero, Mester was suspended, drawing more criticism of how KTLA handled the situation.

Employees in the newsroom said that Mester had violated their trust.

Staffers said that the script for Mester to read was written by producers. He hired a plane to fly over the station with a message on it. Mester tried to get producers to show the plane in the segment.

Mester did not reply immediately.

The story was originally published in the LA Times.