Stan Wischnowski, who resigned as The Philadelphia Inquirer’s top editor in June after staff discontent over a headline on a column about the impact of civil unrest after the police killing of George Floyd, has been appointed executive editor and vice president of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
John Robinson Block, the Post-Gazette’s publisher and editor-in-chief, said in an article posted online Saturday that Wischnowski’s “long and distinguished career inspires us at this difficult time. I look forward to working with him.”
“The Post-Gazette has a strong tradition of serving this region with outstanding local reporting, so it’s a tremendous honor to have the opportunity to help uphold and improve upon that legacy,” Wischnowski said in the newspaper. “At such a critical time for this community, particularly given the pandemic’s devastating impact, the PG’s public-service mission has never been more important.”
Wischnowski, 58, who worked at The Inquirer for 20 years and led the paper when it won two Pulitzer Prizes, takes charge of the Post-Gazette as it and other newsrooms across the country, including The Inquirer, grapple with systemic racism.
Alexis Johnson, a Black Post-Gazette reporter, said earlier this year that she was told she couldn’t cover protests triggered by Floyd’s death in Minneapolis because of a tweet she wrote. Fellow journalists and the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh, among others, rallied to Johnson’s defense. Johnson sued the newspaper. The union last month voted to authorize a strike.
Keith C. Burris, whom Wischnowski is replacing, will concentrate on his roles as vice president and editorial director, the newspaper said.
Wischnowski helped create Spotlight PA, an independent, nonpartisan newsroom producing investigative reporting. As of July, the Post-Gazette is no longer a partner with Spotlight PA, a project of The Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/the Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and WITF Public Media.
Wischnowski will begin with the Post-Gazette on Sept. 14.