TMS Axes Columnist for Plagiarizing Himself

By: Dave Astor Tribune Media Services today announced that it was terminating its contract, effective immediately, with "The People's Money" columnist Robert Heady. The reason? TMS said Heady repeated material from his July 19, 2001, column in his Jan. 6, 2005, column.

In a statement, TMS said: "A number of paragraphs in both columns are virtually identical, and a quote presented as fresh in the 2005 column is, in fact, four years old. The reprocessing of content from old columns is a violation of Mr. Heady's contract with TMS, which requires that the material supplied to TMS for sale to newspapers 'be new, original and unpublished.'

"TMS relies on its columnists to furnish it with fresh and original material. Likewise, newspapers that subscribe to syndicated columns have a right to expect that the information in those columns is not recycled from ones published previously. In this instance, Mr. Heady failed to pass this fundamental test."

Heady could not be immediately reached for comment. And the number of newspapers he appears in could not be immediately ascertained.

Two weeks ago, TMS terminated Armstrong Williams' column contract after it learned that he received $240,000 from the Bush administration to promote the No Child Left Behind education law.


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