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BBC closes £100mn digital media project, suspends CTO

The BBC has closed its Digital Media Initiative due to spiralling costs, and suspended its chief technology officer John Linwood for his role in what the broadcaster’s new director-general Tony Hall has dubbed a “huge waste” of taxpayers’ money.

The BBC’s Digital Media Initiative (DMI) was originally approved in 2008 as an ambitious and complex transformation project that set out to link new digital production tools with a central, digital archive that would allow BBC staff and partners to develop, create, share and manage content digitally, from a desktop.

Writing on the BBC’s blog network, director of operations Dominic Coles said: “DMI has proved to be a challenging project and even as services have been rolled out they have had to be adapted in response to user feedback.

“Developing such an ambitious and technically complex solution that was able to cope with the myriad demands BBC programmes would place upon it due to the variety and complexity of our content, proved far more challenging than expected, which led to delays.”

The DMI programmed was placed on pause by Coles last October to permit an internal review that concluded the DMI had fallen “well short” of its original ambitions. “DMI did not work and we must ensure that there can be no repeat of a failure of this scale,” added Coles.

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