Joshua Benton, director of the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard, said “There were a lot of really exciting ideas in Reuters’s Next. What we saw in the preview was very forward-looking in terms of both content and technology. It generated a fair amount of excitement as a news organization doing something that looked digitally savvy.”
Reuters works mostly as a newswire service to other publications. Next was supposed to be a platform to reach readers directly, but, according to an e-mail to staff from Chief Executive Andrew Rashbass, the project has been plagued by missed deadlines and cost overruns.
Matthew Zeitlin of BuzzFeed writes that the questions Rashbass had about the financial viability of the new platform sealed its fate. Rashbass wanted to understand how the venture would make money, and not only how it would turn Reuters into a prestigious news brand.
Talking BizNews writes, “One Reuters insider Wednesday described the decision to shutter Reuters Next as ‘very much a singular decision,’ a second Reuters source said that ‘it all came down to money — it was decided by Rashbass that he didn’t want to throw money at this.’”
The e-mail also said that several executives had decided to leave as a result of the decision, including Jim Roberts, executive editor of Reuters Digital. Mr. Roberts said on Twitter: “Yes, I’ll be leaving @Reuters, though not right away. & I’m not leaving news. Stay tuned.”