Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Watch: NBC Universal Development Surrounds Villaraigosa – Salinas ScandalPosted by Flap in Antonio Villaraigosa, California, Fabian Nunez, KNBC, Los Angeles, Mirthala Salinas, Telemundo, Univision
Mayor Villaraigosa was at Universal CityWalk Wednesday for the grand opening of the 1,000th Panda Inn restaurant.
Remember Flap stated weeks ago that the Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa – NBC/Telemundo affair scandal disclosure was the tip of the iceberg.
Well, yesterday we find out that the Mayor has been fed questions for a supposed impromptu television interview program on Spanish language Telemundo competitor, Univision.
And today the Los Angeles Times exposes the interwoven web of the Mayor, Mirthala, and a massive NBC/Universal Development Project over which the Mayor has government purview.
Finally, an investigative story by the Los Angeles Times on this scandal.
Ok, here we go…….
A $3-billion Universal City development is getting new scrutiny as Telemundo officials undertake a review of the mayor’s girlfriend
The extramarital affair between Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and a newscaster for Telemundo has created a new set of complications for the broadcaster’s corporate parent, NBC Universal â€” and possibly the mayor himself.
Even as its Spanish-language subsidiary is poised to decide the future of Mirthala Salinas, the now-suspended reporter who embarked on a romantic relationship with Villaraigosa while she reported on him, NBC Universal is proceeding with a massive $3-billion development plan that city officials must ultimately approve.
Although Telemundo executives hold the key to the career of Salinas, now the subject of an internal investigation into whether she compromised the company’s journalistic mission, Villaraigosa holds his own considerable power over NBC Universal. The entertainment conglomerate will very likely need Villaraigosa’s help to navigate the city’s approval process as it spends the next year pushing its Universal City Vision Plan, a concept the mayor embraced seven months ago.
Remember Telemundo Channel 52 political reporter Mirthala Salinas, the Mayor’s girl friend, has been on paid leave since July 5 due to an ethics investigation. Remember Mirthala announced the Mayor’s divorce “on air” while she knew that she was the “other woman” involved in the break-up.
Also, Salinas had been involved with other politicians ( City Council President and now California State Senator Alex Padilla and Speaker of the California Assembly Fabian Nunez) while a political reporter.
The Mayor on Monday stated that he had not been contacted by NBC Universal in the investigation.
Also, for background, NBC Universal and specifically KNBC television has fired an employee, reporter, Kyung Lah, when it was discovered she was having an affair in the workplace. And who was the station general manager at the time?
Manuel Abud VP/GM KVEA-TV/Telemundo & Paula Madison former
General Manager KNBC-TV Los Angeles
From Eric Longabardi
Sources inside NBC/Universal confirm to ERSNews that Paula Madison, former General Manager of KNBC-TV and now head of diversity for NBC/Universal had the authority and was in fact the person who was responsible for removing Salinas from the political reporting beat due to her personal relationship with the Mayor. ERSNews sought direct comment from Ms. Madison about her role in the case, but was referred to NBC/Telemundo spokesman Victor Franco, who declined comment, saying only that the internal investigation of the matter was nearing completion and they withhold any comment until it was complete. Asked by ERSNew.com when that would be, spokesman Franco would only say â€œsoonâ€.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has expressed support for NBC Universalâ€™s plans, which call for a hotel, homes and offices.
So, now, we understand the delay by NBC Universal in disposing of Mirthala Salinas. They are damned if they fire her and they are damned if they keep her. But, whatever they do, this scandal is not over.
Because of the massive Universal City Vision Plan which the Mayor supports, local residents oppose and which other politicians including Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge consider too large.
“The councilman is opposed to the project as proposed,” said Renee Weitzer, chief of staff to LaBonge, who is out of the country and could not be reached. “We feel it’s too dense. It’s too big, and the site is too small.”
Flap smells a Los Angeles County Grand Jury investigation here and an emergence of other politicians to rival Villaraigosa for the Mayorship in two years. How do you spell former Mayor Jimmy Hahn?
Mayor Villar better hope Mirthala Salinas keeps some sort of work.
He may need HER support in the future.
And a print rendering of this original cartoon by Patrick Oâ€™Connor of the Los Angeles Daily News can be purchased by clicking the link here.
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