KTVX(TV) Salt Lake City anchor Doug Jardine has been charged with two felonies relating to alleged sexual relations with a 17-year-old girl. Forty-one-year-old Jardine has been taken off the air and suspended with pay until disposition of the case. Because of Utah's history with polygamy, laws have been structured so that sex with a minor takes on additional weight if the defendant is more than 10 years older than the alleged victim. A guilty verdict could bring five years in prison on each count.
Jardine has been with the station since 1998. The case presents the first real crisis for new General Manager Steve Cohen, who moved from the news directorship at Chris-Craft's KCOP(TV) Los Angeles after forgoing, according to sources, the opportunity to be news director at WCBS-TV New York.
Cohen has already made changes at the station and is bringing in kcop's former operations director, Adam Bradshaw, to be news director, replacing Tom Sides.