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Reuters News cancels its Next website project

(Reuters) - Reuters News is cancelling its next-generation website known as Reuters Next, a project that aimed to overhaul the existing Reuters.com.

Andrew Rashbass, the chief executive of Reuters, said the project had struggled to meet deadlines and to stay within its budget, according to an internal memo on Wednesday. The ambitious effort had also failed to capitalize on Reuters' strengths for high-quality real-time news, and its unique photography and video, he said.

Rashbass, who was appointed in May to lead Reuters' news business, said in the memo that, "Next is a long way from achieving either commercial viability or strategic success."

Reuters initiated Next more than two years ago, and while it was available publicly in beta form, it had not been formally launched to replace Reuters.com.

Reuters spokeswoman Barb Burg declined to comment on the costs associated with Reuters Next. David Girardin, a spokesman for Thomson Reuters Corp, which owns Reuters News, declined to comment when asked if the cancellation of Next will impact earnings.

Reuters plans instead to enhance and improve the existing Reuters.com sites, Rashbass said.

(Reporting by Jennifer Saba in New York; Editing by Martin Howell and Frank McGurty)