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Torin Douglas Torin Douglas | 10:31 UK time, Wednesday, 2 February 2011

I'm the BBC's media correspondent and this is my brief selection of what's going on.

The BBC has been criticised for its handling of an IT project aimed at saving nearly £18m that ended up costing it more than £10m. The Digital Media Initiative was designed to allow staff to share content more easily and improve production efficiency. But the Guardian reports the cost soared after it was plagued by delays and technical issues. The National Audit Office, commissioned by the BBC Trust to review the BBC's management of the DMI, said the early stages had failed to deliver value for money.

Mexico's ambassador in London has complained to the BBC over "offensive, xenophobic and humiliating" comments made about his country on Top Gear on Sunday. The BBC reports Richard Hammond said vehicles reflected national characteristics so "Mexican cars are just going to be lazy, feckless, flatulent, overweight, leaning against a fence asleep... ". The BBC said it would respond directly to the ambassador.

Radio duo Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie's evening show has been axed by Radio 2 after four years, angering fans, says the Daily Mirror. The pair will make room for Jo Whiley, 45, who joins Radio 2 after spending 17 years at Radio 1. The two men will switch to a daytime slot on digital station 6 Music as part of a BBC shake-up in April.

A TV ad for an Yves Saint Laurent perfume has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority because it appears to show a woman simulating drug use. The Daily Mail says the commercial for Belle D'Opium perfume showed a woman dancing to a drum beat, pointing to her inner elbow and running her finger along the inside of her forearm. YSL said it did not intend to use drug imagery and had conducted research that showed consumers had not interpreted it in that way.

Sam Miller says in the Guardian the most unexpected casualty of last week's savage cuts to the BBC World Service was Hindi-language radio, which from 1 April will no longer be broadcast to India.
"It has a very large audience, over 10 million regular weekly listeners - with many more unmeasured in the conflict-ridden tribal areas of central India. That has come down significantly over the last decade, but it's still, in the context of international radio broadcasting, a huge listenership."

Sky Atlantic launched last night as the "home of HBO" in the UK, with Martin Scorcese's opening episode of Boardwalk Empire. Andrew Pettie says in the Telegraph that he is unable to review the show objectively because he now enjoys HBO programmes even before they have started. Peter Bradshaw says in the Guardian that Scorcesse's fans will be looking for violence, which doesn't come until 50 minutes into the show.

US banking giant Citigroup has taken over the ownership of EMI, the music company where it was the major creditor. The BBC reports Guy Hands' private equity firm Terra Firma has been forced to hand EMI over to Citigroup after not being able to keep up interest payments on the loans.

The BBC's newspaper review looks at the press coverage of Egypt's uprising. "Mubarak's long goodbye" is how the Times headlines news that the Egyptian president will not be standing for re-election in September. The Guardian says he has bowed to the inevitable after the US withdrew support for its closest Arab ally.

Links in full

Guardian | BBC IT project criticised by audit office
BBC | Top Gear sparks Mexico complaints
Mirror | Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie dropped on Radio 2 and replaced by Jo Whiley
Daily Mail | Yves Saint Laurent perfume advert banned for 'simulating drug use'
Guardian | Why is the BBC cutting Hindi radio from the World Service?
Telegraph | Boardwalk Empire, Sky Atlantic, review
Guardian | Boardwalk Empire: the Scorsese touch
BBC | EMI taken over by Citigroup in deal to write off debts
BBC | Newspaper review

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