L.A. Mayor and Anchor Paramour, Part II


I’ve been on the fence about weighing in on Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa dating another TV news lady–not even two years after his fling with KVEA reporter Mirthala Salinas, which ended with Salinas being suspended by Telemundo for two months.

Salinas had, in fact, reported on the mayor’s extramarital affair, but neglected to mention that she was the other woman. Six weeks after her suspension was announced, she was relocated to KVEA’s “Inland Empire” bureau, which apparently isn’t where the big news happens. She later resigned. (KVEA GM Manuel Abud was also relocated after an internal investigation.)

My first thought was to hold off on writing about the mayor and his fling with KTLA reporter Lu Parker, which was broken by KNBC. I kept thinking of Tim Robbins’ memorable speech at NAB last year, where he implored the TV media to think twice about reporting salacious stories solely for their salacious content. Does the Villaraigosa-Lu Parker story have a place in a publication dedicated to the TV biz?

In fact, it does, because Parker has reported on the mayor as part of her role at KTLA. The KTLA news director, Jason Ball, told the LA Times (both are owned by Tribune) that, since Parker does not typically cover politics, there’s no conflict of interest.

Reporter James Rainey doesn’t necessarily agree:

Even if Parker didn’t cover politics per se, she could still encounter any number of stories — school reform, the performance of the police department, expansion of the airport — in which Villaraigosa has a stake.“The mayor doesn’t work in our newsroom,” Ball said. “There will be no conflict.”

For what it’s worth, Rainey also poked around the ‘net and found some bikini pics of Lu Parker, a former Miss USA, on her Website.

Sorry, Tim Robbins.