Philadelphia Inquirer Top Editor Resigns After Uproar Over ‘Building Matters, Too’ Headline

Executive editor Stan Wischnowski was among the editors who apologized for the headline earlier this week

Stan Wischnowski philadelphia inquirer
Courtesy of Philadelphia Inquirer

The Philadelphia Inquirer announced Saturday that Stan Wischnowski is resigning as executive editor of the newspaper. His last day will be June 12.

The move comes days after the Inquirer issued an apology for running a story with the “unacceptable” headline “Buildings Matter, Too” about property damage from unrest and protests over the police killing of unarmed black man George Floyd. The headline drew almost immediate backlash from readers as well as staffers.

Publisher Lisa Hughes said in a statement on Saturday that Wischnowski “has decided to step down as senior vice president and executive editor,” then thanked him for his two decades at the paper.

She also told staff that as the paper searches for a successor, “We will use this moment to evaluate the organizational structure and processes of the newsroom, assess what we need, and look both internally and externally for a seasoned leader who embodies our values, embraces our shared strategy, and understands the diversity of the communities we serve.”

In Wednesday’s apology, Wischnowski, editor Gabriel Escobar and managing editor Patrick Kerkstra wrote together, “The Philadelphia Inquirer published a headline in Tuesday’s edition that was deeply offensive. We should not have printed it. We’re sorry, and regret that we did. We also know that an apology on its own is not sufficient,” the editors wrote. “The headline accompanied a story on the future of Philadelphia’s buildings and civic infrastructure in the aftermath of this week’s protests. The headline offensively riffed on the Black Lives Matter movement, and suggested an equivalence between the loss of buildings and the lives of black Americans. That is unacceptable.”