Stan Wischnowski, a veteran journalist who has presided over The Inquirer's front page for a decade, was named the newspaper's editor Tuesday by publisher Gregory J. Osberg to applause from reporters, editors, and photographers gathered for a holiday party in the newsroom.
Wischnowski, 48, has served as acting editor since Oct. 8, when The Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, and Philly.com emerged from bankruptcy under the new ownership of Philadelphia Media Network.
Osberg, a former Newsweek executive, credited Wischnowski's permanent appointment to his "collaborative style" and said he had exhibited the leadership and news judgment to manage the dominant news-gathering organization in the nation's fourth-largest media market.
"I look forward to working with Stan in further revitalizing The Philadelphia Inquirer by focusing its content on relevant stories impacting the Philadelphia region and embracing and accelerating digital innovation," Osberg said.
Osberg noted that Wischnowski had moved decisively to support and showcase the newspaper's investigative reporting, continuing an examination begun a year ago of the city's criminal court system while maintaining aggressive coverage of the Philadelphia Housing Authority and the Philadelphia School District's procurement practices.
Osberg praised the enthusiasm and commitment of the company's employees to making the paper's new corporate owner "the most successful regional media company" in the country.
He pointed to "small victories" in the last 10 weeks of new ownership that included "unparalleled sports coverage," the launch of vertical mobile applications, and an explanatory series that delved into a hidden hunger crisis in Philadelphia's First Congressional District, one of the poorest in America.
Wischnowski has been at The Inquirer since 2000, and had been deputy managing editor/operations and vice president for shared services before his appointment.
"This is the opportunity of a lifetime," said Wischnowski, adding that he always considered The Inquirer "one of the greatest newspapers in the country."
The 26-year newspaper veteran worked at several metropolitan papers as a high-ranking editor, including deputy managing editor/news and acting managing editor at the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, and Sunday copy desk chief at the Detroit News.
Wischnowski praised the commitment of the new ownership to technology and to the growth of the two newspapers and the website.
The new editor offered unqualified praise for his staff of reporters and editors, who, he said, possess "the commitment and passion" to write the next great chapter of The Inquirer's history.
In the last 10 weeks, "the level of investigative reporting has been the best that we've done this year," he said, adding that this effort to serve "our loyal readers" has been "the hallmark of The Inquirer throughout its history."
Wischnowski is the fifth editor of The Inquirer in the last 10 years. He succeeded William K. Marimow, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner who returned to investigative reporting after almost four years in the job. Amanda Bennett, Walker Lundy, and Robert J. Rosenthal preceded Marimow.
Wischnowski is a native of Kankakee, Ill., and received a bachelor of arts degree in journalism from Western Illinois University.
He and his wife, Shawn, reside in West Chester. They have three children in college: a son studying business at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., a son in law school at Iowa, and another son studying law at Pennsylvania State University.