Journalist in affair with mayor keeps job


NEW YORK -- A reporter/anchor for the Los Angeles Telemundo station who had an affair with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and later broadcast word that he and his wife had separated has been suspended without pay for two months.

Three other Telemundo executives have also been disciplined.

KVEA-TV Channel 52 anchor/reporter Mirthala Salinas has been on leave since word of the affair caused a political scandal for Villaraigosa and a journalistic tempest for Telemundo. A three-week investigation by NBC Universal and Telemundo found that her reading on air word of the mayor's separation had been a violation of the company's conflict of interest rules.

"We have determined that, while the content and accuracy of KVEA's newscasts were not compromised, our news policy standards with respect to conflict of interest were clearly violated," Telemundo president Don Browne said in a statement.

The Associated Press said that KVEA news director Al Corral will be suspended without pay for two months and general manager Manuel Abud will be transferred to another job within the company. Telemundo stations president Ibra Morales was reprimanded. Telemundo would only say that disciplinary action against other employees also occurred.

Browne said that St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Poynter Institute, a professional journalism and educational institution, assisted in the investigation. There will be mandatory training on news policies and guidelines at KVEA, Browne said.

"The result will be a stronger news organization that leaves no doubt about our commitment to journalistic integrity," Browne said.