Mr.Salinas was 46. The cause of death was thought to be a heart attack. He is survived by partner Brian Carmichael.
Iowa native Mr. Salinas was once editor of the Bay Area Reporter, a gay newspaper in San Francisico. He was known for his crusading stories about sexual abuse by clergy, not-for-profit executives who operated AIDS fundraisers and for his theatre stories.
Gay City News reported that as a teenager Mr. Salinas wanted to be a lyricist for the musical theatre, and struck up a long distance correspondence with Stephen Sondheim, and that they kept in touch over the years. He moved to New York at age 21 and penned at least two unproduced musicals, according to the paper: an adaptation of "Birdy" and a show about convicted Soviet spies Ethel and Julius Rosenberg.
Mr. Salinas was news editor of New York Native 1986-87 and his work appeared in the Village Voice. He was also founding editor of TheaterWeek magazine in 1988, and later worked for Back Stage.
He moved to San Francisco in 1992, where he wrote news stories and spearheaded investigative coverage for the Bay Area Reporter. An obituary in the San Francisco Examiner called him a "hard-charging" journalist who, at the Bay Area Reporter, was best known for a front-page Aug. 13, 1998, headline that read, "No Obits." The BAR story said for the first time in 17 years, the paper did not have an AIDS-related obituary that week.
"It doesn't mean that there is no AIDS," Salinas told the Associated Press in 1998. "What it does mean is that people with AIDS are living longer and that we're smarter about the human immune system."
In addition to Carmichael, Mr. Salinas is survived by his sisters Starr LaTronica, of Binghamton, NY, and Wendy, and his parents, Ann and Rick.