CBS News said yesterday it planned to install a new level of editorial oversight to its Web site since revelations that the CBS anchor Katie Couric read a plagiarized commentary on the site last week.
CBS has fired the producer who wrote the piece for Ms. Couric, and said yesterday it was investigating to see if the producer, whose name CBS has not disclosed, had written any previous commentaries for Ms. Couric that had been .
The commentary, about how children use libraries in a world increasingly dominated by the Internet, was clearly inspired by a piece written the previous month in The Wall Street Journal. A Journal editor called the similarities to the attention of CBS News on Monday, and executives there, reading the two pieces, immediately concluded that they were basically identical.
CBS News executives said they were stunned that anyone would so blatantly copy someone else’s work. The incident is an embarrassment for the news division, and comes at a time of continuing struggle for Ms. Couric’s newscast to be competitive with NBC and ABC in the evening-news ratings.
The videotaped commentary, which was used in a section of the CBS News Web site called “Katie Couric’s Notebook,” but which also was sent out for use by CBS television and radio stations, was removed from the CBS site, and the network issued what it called a correction, saying it should have noted that “much of the material” had come from the newspaper.