US News Loses Web Technology Director

Us News & World Report LogoWeb Technology Director Matt Bowen will be leaving U.S. News & World Report, FishbowlDC has learned. The move comes just a few weeks after the roll-out of a new content management system for the website and the surprising revelation that U.S. News would no longer be hosting any online archives of articles dated before 2007. Both Bowen and U.S. News say that neither of these issues factored in to his decision to leave.

Rather, Bowen says that he is leaving to pursue other opportunities.

“I got a great opportunity at a DC nonprofit and made a personal decision (and it was entirely my decision) to leave U.S. News this spring,” he told FishbowlDC in an email. “I’ve had a wonderful three years with the company and am really proud of our successes.”

And U.S. News Communications Manager Lucy Lyons stressed that Bowen is leaving on good terms.

“Matt is an absolutely wonderful coworker, and it has been an incredible year working with him. He has been a dedicated team member, and he has contributed immensely to our work. We wish him all the best,” she said.

The decision to get rid of the online archives has caused some consternation among outside bloggers and former employees of U.S. News who now no longer have easy access to their past work. But Lyons says that that decision was made by management, not by the tech department.

“As far as the archived data pre-2007, that was a business decision we made a long time ago,” Lyons told FishbowlDC. “The stories in that time-frame are in multiple formats and rarely, if ever, searched. They still exist in [online research databases] Ebsco and Nexis though. We understand that people may still want access to those articles, and we direct them to those resources.”

When asked if there were any technical glitches or performance problems with the CMS that might have played a role in Bowen’s departure, Lyons was emphatic that that was not the case.

“His decision to leave has nothing to do with that at all,” she said. “Internally, we view the CMS transition as a huge success. As with any new CMS system, there are some small glitches, and we are working out a few issues. But there haven’t been any breakdowns, and people like using it.”

There is no replacement lined up for Bowen yet, and other IT staff will fill in the gaps for the time being. His last day will be March 7th.