Lynette Romero jumped ship from anchoring the weekend morning broadcasts at local Los Angeles news station KTLA for a position as a weekday anchor for KNBC, multiple individuals with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap.
Insiders at KTLA say Romero accepted a more lucrative financial offer at direct competitor KNBC, which “shocked” KTLA brass – and explains the abrupt nature of her exit earlier this month.
According to those same individuals and confirmed by KTLA vice president and GM Jenene Drafs in a statement, the station attempted to counter and retain Romero. But after over two decades there, an insider said Romero “simply wanted to explore a new opportunity and challenge.”
A KNBC insider told TheWrap that no official announcement of Romero’s hire has been made. He also confirmed there’s an open weekday morning anchor position, which was vacated by Danielle Guzman in January and has yet to be filled. Guzman is currently anchoring the evening news at Houston’s Channel 2 KPRC.
A KNBC spokesperson hasn’t responded to TheWrap’s multiple requests for confirmation. Romero hasn’t responded to TheWrap’s messages seeking comment.
Romero’s departure kicked up a lot of dust at KTLA. Insiders told TheWrap the station didn’t allow her the opportunity of an on-air sign-off, though Drafs said that Romero declined their offer to record a goodbye message to viewers.
Ultimately, KTLA morning entertainment anchor Sam Rubin said goodbye to the 24-year station veteran in a scripted farewell. Management instructed the rest of the on-air team not to discuss Romero – but Mark Mester, Romero’s former co-anchor on the weekend, went off-script with is on-air tribute, and was suspended and later fired.
It was only after Rubin’s scripted goodbye that Romero responded to a viewer’s tweet on her account saying thanks and that “i’ll be right back.”
According to E!, Mester has hired an attorney and exploring his options against KTLA. Mester hasn’t responded to TheWrap’s requests for comments.
Romero originally joined KTLA in 1999, as a general assignment reporter. She went on to co-anchor the 10 p.m. weeknight news with the late Hal Fishman. 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.
Additional reporting by Jethro Nededog.