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Reuters cancels its consumer-facing Web news project

The news wire service nixes its "Next" venture after struggling to stay within budget. The company will now focus on revamping and enhancing its existing Web sites.

Reuters has canceled a planned bells-and-whistles Web site project that it has been working on for more than two years.

The news wire service announced Wednesday that it decided to cancel "Reuters Next" to focus on adding more video and photography to its existing Web sites and creating more local-language sites.

"I believe the existing suite of sites is a better starting point for where we need to go," Reuters CEO Andrew Rashbass wrote in a memo to his staff. "I know this will feel somewhat 'Back to the Future,' but the existing has many strengths, which I recognize coming from the outside, that perhaps people here take for granted... Yes, it has issues, and the team will now focus on fixing those and on taking the business forward."

Next was intended to be a consumer-facing site that would be more Web-centric than Reuters' existing sites. Over the last two years, the company worked on the development of the site and also launched an accompanying mobile app for iOS.

However, Rashbass said Reuters "struggled to meet delivery deadlines and stay within its budget."

In addition to nixing Next, the company also announced that the executive editor of Reuters Digital Jim Roberts has decided to leave the company.

(Via The New York Observer)