When Luke Ford blogged (accurately) in January that Mayor Villaraigosa had stopped wearing his wedding ring and hadn't been seen with his wife in months, the information came from Daily News writer Tony Castro. The reporter had reported and written a story on the mayoral marriage that couldn't get in the paper, so he mentioned it to Ford, according to Brad Greenberg — who sat near Castro in the Daily News city room at the time. Greenberg writes in this week's Jewish Journal cover story:
Back in January, Tony Castro had a sexy story to sell: Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had stopped wearing his wedding ring and hadn't been seen with his wife in months. Castro, a reporter for the L.A. Daily News, knew he'd hit gold. He dug deeper, verified what he'd heard and pitched it for page one. Only, his editors -- who at the time also were my editors -- weren't buying it. They didn't think the story qualified as much more than glorified gossip, even if it was about Los Angeles' most focal family man. The story appeared destined for a journalistic coma.
But on Jan. 29, while interviewing Ford for the Daily News' series on porn in the Valley, Castro mentioned the mayor's marital troubles. He knew Ford would get the story out. Before the phone conservation was over, Ford had posted this headline at LukeFord.net: "Antonio Villaraigosa's Marriage Kaput."
Who is Tony Castro?
* Edited post and links updated