Reporting and making the news


When KVEA-TV (Ch. 52, Telemundo) Los Angeles newscaster Mirthala Salinas reported last month that the wife of LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had filed for divorce, accusing him of having an extramarital affair, it was hardly news to her. Salinas last week confirmed that she was the other woman in the break-up. By the end of the week the Telemundo O&O had suspended Salinas while it investigates whether she violated any journalistic ethical standards.

"As we have stated, our commitment is to journalistic excellence. Given the seriousness of the declarations that have been made, we have decided to make an internal review of the decisions and events that have taken us to the present position," KVEA Vice President and General Manager Manuel Abud said in a statement posted on the station's website, noting that Salinas had been temporarily removed from her newsroom duties pending the outcome. Meanwhile, he said, the station would have no further comment.

Also posted was a statement from Salinas, saying that she accepted the decision to make a comprehensive review and that she would cooperate fully. "I trust that when all of the facts are analyzed, it will be clear that I behaved appropriately," she said.

Salinas was taken off the City Hall news beat about 11 months ago. However, the LA Daily News, which first identified her as the mayor's lover, said their relationship went back at least 18 months. Mayor Villaraigosa said in a news conference last week that Salinas had gotten no reporting advantage from their relationship and hailed her as a "consummate journalistic professional."