NEW YORK – CBS News has fired the producer responsible for breaking into "CSI: NY" last week for a special report on Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's (search) death, a CBS executive said Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The news report came during the last five minutes of the forensics mystery last Wednesday, prompting viewer complaints and leading CBS to repeat the show Friday.
The producer responsible ignored network policy to contact a senior executive before interrupting a regularly scheduled program for a news report, the source said.
Also, with Arafat reportedly near death for several days, CBS News had left explicit instructions for how to deal with that event: run a news "crawl" at the bottom of the screen and direct viewers to the next newscast for more information.
That's how CBS's competitors at ABC and NBC handled the news. The interruption came five minutes before local newscasts in eastern and central time zones.
CBS issued an apology to viewers the next day, blaming the "overly aggressive" producer for the interruption.