Antonio Villaraigosa,  California,  Los Angeles,  Mirthala Salinas,  NBC,  Telemundo

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Watch: Telemundo Suspends Mirthala Salinas

Graphic Courtesy of ERS News

Telemundo on their nationally televised newscast tonight announced the results of their three week ethics investigation regarding Mirthala Salinas and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. The disciplinary action for Salinas will be a two month unpaid leave.

At the end of 2006, KVEA management and the station’s political reporter mutually agreed that she should be reassigned to a beat that would not involve reporting on the Mayor of Los Angeles or city politics,” Telemundo network president Don Browne wrote in a statement released Thursday afternoon. “This decision, consistent with our guidelines, was made on the basis of a friendship that had developed between the reporter and the mayor. In April 2007, she was given the role of temporary news anchor and read lead-ins and other materials involving stories on the mayor and politics. This decision conflicted with our guidelines and with management’s prior decision.

“Her reading of copy during newscasts on June 8 and June 11 regarding the mayor’s separation from his wife was a flagrant violation of these guidelines. The failure to respond appropriately in the following weeks further compounded these errors.”

The complete statement of Don Browne, Telemundo President is here.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa tells reporters, “I have a relationship with Ms. (Mirthala) Salinas, and I take full responsibility for my actions.” Salinas is an evening anchor for Telemundo, Channel 52.

Two other Telemundo employees will also be disciplined:
  • Telemundo 52 President and General Manager Manuel Abud has been reassigned from his position.
  • President of the Telemundo Television Stations Division, Ebra Morales, was reprimanded.

Well, the result is pretty much how Flap called it, now isn’t it?

Ok, Flap said a paid leave and/or settlement. So, they slapped Mirthala’s hand a little harder.

And, besides, she can now hang out with the Mayor at Getty House while his divorce proceeds through the courts.

Mirthala keeps her job and dignity, while Mayor Villar is placated that his girl friend is not summarily fired and humiliated.

Sounds like a win-win for the Mayor and Mirthala.

NBC Universal, the parent company of Tlemundo, also keeps on the good side of the Mayor whom they need for their massive Universal City development project.

A win for NBC.


Flap continues to believe there will be a Los Angeles County Grand Jury investigation over this entire scandal.

Stay tuned…….

Update #1

Luke Ford has more:

Eric Longabardi is going to report on that the investigation covered the time from late 2005 to July 5. That’s all. It didn’t cover Salinas and Fabian Nunez. It didn’t cover Salinas and Alex Padilla. It didn’t cover Salinas and other powerful men, including those at Telemundo.

Telemundo has a book of standards and practices. Salinas clearly violated the conflict of interest provision.

The Poynter Institute was used unpaid to advise on the case and therefore won’t comment about it.

As for the comment about this damaging Telemundo credibility, who says Telemundo has credibility in the first place?

Agreed Luke, but NBC had to keep the Mayor and his planning department happy.

Corina will exact her pound of flesh and make life miserable for Villar. In fact, the divorce is the beginning of the end of his political career.

Los Angeles Pols are lining up to take a shot at Vilaraigosa.

Update #2

Check out the commenting at the Los Angeles Times and over at Mayor Sam’s.

Update #3

Mirthala is not doing so well in the LA Times poll:

Telemundo 52 reporter Mirthala Salinas, top left in red, at a news conference by Villaraigosa outside Gov. Schwarzenegger’s office in Sacramento on June 20, 2006, when the mayor was stumping for a bill that would give him more control over the L.A. Unified School District.


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