The Philadelphia Inquirer

The Philadelphia Inquirer, often referred to simply as The Inquirer, is a daily newspaper headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Founded on June 1, 1829, The Philadelphia Inquirer is the third-longest continuously operating daily newspaper in the nation.[2]

The Philadelphia Inquirer
8 November 2023 front page
The front page of The Philadelphia Inquirer on November 8, 2023
TypeDaily newspaper
Owner(s)The Philadelphia Inquirer, LLC
PublisherElizabeth H. Hughes
EditorGabriel Escobar
Managing editors
  • Charlotte Sutton
  • Patrick Kerkstra
  • Richard G. Jones
  • Michael Huang
  • Kate Dailey
  • Danese Kenon
Deputy managing editors
  • Brian Leighton
  • James Neff
  • Ross Maghielse
  • Molly Eichel
  • Ariella Cohen
FoundedJune 1, 1829; 195 years ago (1829-06-01) (as The Pennsylvania Inquirer)
Headquarters100 S. Independence Mall West Suite 600
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
CountryUnited States
Circulation61,180 (as of 2022)[1]
Sister newspapersPhiladelphia Daily News
ISSN0885-6613 Edit this at Wikidata

The newspaper has the largest circulation of any newspaper in both Pennsylvania and the Delaware Valley metropolitan region, which includes Philadelphia and its surrounding communities in southeastern Pennsylvania, South Jersey, northern Delaware, and the northern Eastern Shore of Maryland. As of 2020, the newspaper has the 17th-largest circulation of any newspaper in the United States[3] As of 2020, The Inquirer has won 20 Pulitzer Prizes.[4]

Several decades after its 1829 founding, The Inquirer began emerging as one of the nation's major newspapers during the American Civil War. Its circulation dropped after the Civil War's conclusion, but it rose again by the end of the 19th century. Originally supportive of the Democratic Party, The Inquirer's political orientation eventually shifted toward the Whig Party and then the Republican Party before stating, in the mid-20th century, that it was politically independent.

By the end of the 1960s, The Inquirer trailed its chief competitor, The Philadelphia Evening Bulletin in circulation, and was lacking modern facilities and experienced staff. In the 1970s, however, following its acquisition by Knight Ridder and the hiring of new editors, it once again emerged as one of the nation's most prominent and influential newspapers.

The Philadelphia Inquirer is owned by The Philadelphia Inquirer, LLC, which also publishes Philadelphia Daily News, the city's daily tabloid, and the news portal As of 2023, the newspaper's publisher and chief executive officer is Elizabeth H. Hughes, and its editor is Gabriel Escobar.[5]



19th century

The Inquirer Building at 400 North Broad Street in Logan Square, formerly known as the Elverson Building, was home to the newspaper from 1924 to 2011.

The Philadelphia Inquirer was founded June 1, 1829, by printer John R. Walker and John Norvell, former editor of Philadelphia's largest newspaper, the Aurora & Gazette. An editorial in the first issue of The Pennsylvania Inquirer promised that the paper would be devoted to the right of a minority to voice their opinion and "the maintenance of the rights and liberties of the people, equally against the abuses as the usurpation of power." They pledged support to then-President Andrew Jackson and "home industries, American manufactures, and internal improvements that so materially contribute to the agricultural, commercial and national prosperity."[6]

The Philadelphia Inquirer is the third-oldest surviving daily newspaper in the United States. However, in 1962, an Inquirer-commissioned historian traced The Inquirer to John Dunlap's The Pennsylvania Packet, which was founded on October 28, 1771.

In 1850, The Packet was merged with another newspaper, The North American, which later merged with the Philadelphia Public Ledger.[7] The Public Ledger, in turn, merged with The Philadelphia Inquirer in the 1930s.

Between 1962 and 1975, a line on The Inquirer's front page claimed that the newspaper is the United States' oldest surviving daily newspaper.[6] If the lineage of The Packet and The North American is counted in the newspaper's history, The Inquirer would currently be the longest continuously published newspaper in the nation.

Six months after The Inquirer was founded, with competition from eight established daily newspapers, lack of funds forced Norvell and Walker to sell the newspaper to publisher and United States Gazette associate editor Jesper Harding. In 1829, The Inquirer moved from its original location between Front and 2nd streets to between 2nd and 3rd streets. After Harding acquired The Pennsylvania Inquirer, it was briefly published as an afternoon paper before returning to its original morning format in January 1830.

When Harding bought and merged the Morning Journal in January 1830, the newspaper was moved to South Second Street. Ten years later, The Inquirer moved again, this time to its own building at the corner of Third Street and Carter's Alley.

Harding expanded The Inquirer's content, and the newspaper soon grew into a major Philadelphia newspaper. The expanded content included the addition of fiction. In 1840, Harding gained rights to publish several Charles Dickens novels for which Dickens was paid a significant sum, even though the common practice was to pay little or nothing for the rights of foreign authors' works.[6]

Harding retired in 1859, and was succeeded by his son, William White Harding, who had become a partner three years earlier. William Harding changed the name of the newspaper to its current name, The Philadelphia Inquirer. In an attempt to increase circulation, Harding cut the price of the paper, began delivery routes and had newsboys sell papers on the street.

American Civil War


In 1859, circulation had been around 7,000; by 1863 it had increased to 70,000. Part of the increase was due to the interest in news during the American Civil War. An estimated 25,000 to 30,000 copies of The Inquirer were distributed to Union Army soldiers during the war and several times the U.S. government asked The Philadelphia Inquirer to publish special editions for its soldiers. The Philadelphia Inquirer supported the Union, but Harding wanted their coverage to remain neutral. Confederate generals often sought copies of the paper, believing that the newspaper's war coverage was accurate.[6]

During the Civil War, Inquirer journalist Uriah Hunt Painter was at the First Battle of Bull Run in 1861, a battle which ended in a Confederate victory. Initial reports from the government claimed a Union victory, but The Inquirer went with Painter's firsthand account. Crowds threatened to burn The Inquirer's building down because of the report. Another report about General George Meade, angered Meade enough that he punished Edward Crapsey, the reporter who wrote it. Crapsey and other Civil Wr correspondents at the newspaper later decided to attribute any victories of the Army of the Potomac, Meade's command, to Ulysses S. Grant, commander of the Union Army. Any defeats, conversely, were attributed to Meade.[6]

During the Civil War, The Inquirer continued to grow with more staff being added and another move into a larger building on Chestnut Street. Following the Civil War, The Inquirer faced financial challenges, and Harding became ill. Despite Philadelphia's population growth, distribution fell from 70,000 during the Civil War to 5,000 in 1888.

In 1889, the newspaper was sold to publisher James Elverson, who moved The Inquirer to a new building that included the latest printing technology. Elverson also increased the newspaper's staff. A new Philadelphia Inquirer premiered on March 1, 1889, and was successful enough that Elverson launched a Sunday edition of the newspaper. In 1890, in an attempt to increase circulation further, the price of The Inquirer was cut and the paper's size was increased, mostly with classified advertisements. After five years, The Inquirer had to move into a larger building on Market Street, and later expanded further into an adjacent property.[6]

20th century


After Elverson's death in 1911, his son by his wife Sallie Duvall, James Elverson Jr. took charge. Under Elverson Jr., the newspaper continued to grow, eventually needing to move again. Elverson Jr. bought land at Broad and Callowhill Streets and built the 18-story Elverson Building, now known as the Inquirer Building. The first issue of The Inquirer was printed at the new building on July 13, 1925. Four years later, in 1929, Elverson Jr. died, and his sister, Eleanor Elverson, Jules Patenôtre, assumed leadership of The Inquirer.[6]

Patenôtre ordered cuts throughout the paper, but was not really interested in managing it, and ownership of the newspaper was put up for sale. Cyrus Curtis and Curtis-Martin Newspapers Inc. bought the newspaper on March 5, 1930.[8]

Curtis died a year later and his stepson-in-law, John Charles Martin, took charge. Martin merged The Inquirer with another paper, the Public Ledger, but the Great Depression hurt Curtis-Martin Newspapers and the company defaulted in payments of maturity notes. Ownership of The Inquirer then returned to the Patenôtre family and Elverson Corp.[9]

Charles A. Taylor was elected president of The Inquirer Co. and ran the paper until it was sold to Moses L. Annenberg in 1936. During the period between Elverson Jr. and Annenberg The Inquirer stagnated, its editors ignoring most of the poor economic news of the Depression. The lack of growth allowed J. David Stern's newspaper, The Philadelphia Record, to surpass The Inquirer in circulation and become the largest newspaper in Pennsylvania.[7][10]

Under Moses Annenberg, The Inquirer turned around. Annenberg added new features, increased staff and held promotions to increase circulation. By November 1938 Inquirer's weekday circulation increased to 345,422 from 280,093 in 1936. During that same period the Record's circulation had dropped to 204,000 from 328,322.

In 1939, Annenberg was charged with income tax evasion. Annenberg pleaded guilty before his trial and was sentenced to three years in prison. While incarcerated, he fell ill and died from a brain tumor six weeks after his release from prison in June 1942.[11] Upon Moses Annenberg's death, his son, Walter Annenberg, took over.

In 1947, the Record went out of business, and The Philadelphia Inquirer emerged as Philadelphia's only major daily morning newspaper. While still trailing behind Philadelphia's largest newspaper, the Evening Bulletin, The Inquirer also continued to operate profitably.

In 1948, Walter Annenberg expanded the Inquirer Building with a new structure that housed new printing presses for The Inquirer. During the 1950s and 1960s, Annenberg acquired Seventeen magazine and TV Guide.[6]

In 1957, Annenberg bought the Philadelphia Daily News and combined the Daily News' facilities with The Inquirer's.

In 1958, a 38-day strike in 1958 hurt The Inquirer and, following the strike, so many reporters had accepted buyout offers and left that the newsroom was noticeably empty, leaving many copy clerks with little experience responsible for reporting.

One of the few star reporters of the 1950s and 1960s was investigative reporter Harry Karafin, who exposed corruption and wrote exclusive stories for The Inquirer, but also extorted money out of individuals and organizations. Karafin told sources that he had harmful information on them, and would demand money in exchange for him not making the information public.[10] This went on from the late 1950s into the early 1960s before Karafin was exposed in 1967 and was subsequently convicted of extortion a year later, in 1968. As the newspaper entered the 1970s, circulation and advertising revenue was declining, and the newspaper had become, as Time magazine reported, "uncreative and undistinguished."[12]

Corporate ownership

Daily Circulation
Year Weekday Sunday
1936[6] 280,093 669,152
1938 345,422 1,035,871
1968 648,000 905,000
1984[12] 533,000 995,000
1990[13] 511,000 996,000
1999 402,000 802,000
2002[7] 373,892 747,969
2006[14] 350,457 705,965
2007[15] 338,049 645,095
2019[16] 101,818 201,024

In 1969, Samuel Newhouse offered Annenberg $55 million to acquire The Inquirer. But having earlier promised John S. Knight the right of first refusal to any sale, Annenberg instead sold the newspaper to Knight, and The Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News became part of Knight Newspapers and its new subsidiary, Philadelphia Newspapers Inc. (PNI). Five years later, in 1974, Knight Newspapers merged with Ridder Publications to form Knight Ridder.[17]

When The Inquirer was acquired, it was understaffed, its equipment was largely outdated, many of its employees were underskilled, and the newspaper trailed its chief competitor, the Evening Bulletin, in weekday circulation. In 1972, however, Eugene L. Roberts Jr. became The Inquirer's executive editor, and once again turned the newspaper around.

Between 1975 and 1990, The Inquirer won seventeen Pulitzers, six of which were won in consecutive years between 1975 and 1980, and the newspaper won more journalism awards than any other newspaper in the United States. Time magazine named The Inquirer one of the ten best daily newspapers in the United States, calling Roberts' changes to the paper, "one of the most remarkable turnarounds, in quality and profitability, in the history of American journalism."[12]

In 1980, The Inquirer had emerged as the most circulated paper in Philadelphia, forcing the Evening Bulletin to shut down two years later. Between 1970 and 1985, however, The Inquirer experienced eleven strikes, the longest of which, in 1985, lasted 46 days. The Inquirer also faced criticism for its expanded international coverage, which led Time magazine to report that it was covering "Karachi better than Kensington".[12]

Throughout the 1980s, however, the newspaper continued to grow. When the Evening Bulletin shut down in 1982, The Inquirer hired 17 Bulletin reporters and doubled its bureaus to attract former Bulletin readers.[18] By 1989, Philadelphia Newspapers Inc.'s editorial staff reached a peak of 721 employees.[19]

In the 1990s, The Inquirer again confronted challenges with diminishing circulation and advertisement revenue. While part of a nationwide trend, the impact was exacerbated by, according to dissatisfied Inquirer employees, the newspaper resisting changes that many other daily newspapers implemented to keep readers and pressure from Knight Ridder to cut operating costs.[13]

During most of Roberts's time as editor, Knight Ridder allowed him a great deal of freedom in running the newspaper. In the late 1980s, however, Knight Ridder expressed concern about The Inquirer's profitability and took a more active role in its operations. Knight Ridder pressured The Inquirer to expand into the more profitable Philadelphia suburbs, while at the same time cutting staff and coverage of national and international stories.[18] Some of The Inquirer's best reporters accepted buyouts, and left for The New York Times and The Washington Post. By the late 1990s, all of the high-level editors who had worked with Roberts in the 1970s and 1980s had left, none at normal retirement age.

Since the 1980s, The Philadelphia Inquirer has won three Pulitzers: a 1997 award for "Explanatory Journalism.",[20] the public service award (the top category) in 2012 for "its coverage of pervasive violence in the city's schools",[21] and the 2014 prize for criticism, won by the newspaper's architecture critic, Inga Saffron.[22]

In 1998, Inquirer reporter Ralph Cipriano filed a libel suit against Knight Ridder, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and Inquirer editor Robert Rosenthal over comments Rosenthal made about Cipriano to The Washington Post, claiming it was difficult reporting negative stories in The Inquirer about the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia.[23] Rosenthal later claimed that Cipriano had "a very strong personal point of view and an agenda...He could never prove (his stories)."[24] The suit was later settled out of court in 2001.[25]

21st century


In the early 21st century, The Philadelphia Inquirer launched an online news desk to compete with local Philadelphia radio stations in the coverage of breaking news.[26]: 48–49 

In June 2006, Knight Ridder was acquired by its rival, The McClatchy Company. The Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News were among the 12 least profitable Knight Ridder newspapers that McClatchy put up for sale in March 2006.[27]

On June 29, 2006, The Inquirer and Daily News were sold to Philadelphia Media Holdings LLC (PMH), a group of Philadelphia-area business people, including Brian Tierney, PMH's chief executive. The new owners announced plans to spend US$5 million on advertisements and promotions to increase The Inquirer's profile and readership.[28]

Following PMH's acquisition, The Inquirer advertising and other revenue, especially its national advertising revenue, fell considerably, and the newspaper's circulation also continued to fall. As a result, the newspaper's management cut 400 jobs at The Inquirer and Daily News between 2006 and 2009.[29][30]

On February 21, 2009, despite cutting its operating costs, however, Philadelphia Newspapers LLC, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with the company holding approximately US$390 million in debt, much of which was borrowed to acquire The Inquirer and Daily News.[31]

The bankruptcy filing kicked off a year-long dispute between Philadelphia Media Holdings and its creditors. Creditors, including banks and hedge funds, sought to take control of Philadelphia Newspapers LLC themselves and opposed efforts by Philadelphia Media Holdings to maintain control of the newspaper's operations.[32] Philadelphia Media Holdings was supported by most of the newspaper's unions. It also launched a public relations campaign to promote its continued control of the newspaper, highlighting the value of local ownership of media.[33]

On April 28, 2010, at a bankruptcy auction, the group of lending creditors and a group of local investors allied with Tierney both bid for The Inquirer and Daily News. The lenders emerged with the winning bid for the newspapers,[34] but the deal collapsed after the lenders, operating under the name of Philadelphia Media Network (PMN), were unable to reach a contract agreement with the union representing the company's newspaper delivery drivers.[35]

Philadelphia Newspapers, represented by Lawrence G. McMichael of Dilworth Paxson LLP, challenged the right of creditors to credit bid at a bankruptcy auction. Their claim was ultimately heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which agreed that that credit bidding was not permitted.

In September 2010, both newspapers again were placed for auction, and again Philadelphia Media Network (PMN) won the bid. After successfully negotiating a contract with all of the newspaper's 14 unions, the $139 million deal was finalized on October 8.[36][37]

The Philadelphia Inquirer continued with profitability, largely due to emerging competition from digital media sources. By May 2012, the combined journalist staff at all of Philadelphia Media Network was about 320, and some of the same stories and photographs appear both in The Inquirer and Daily News.

On April 2, 2012, a group of local business leaders paid $55 million for the newspaper, less than 15 percent of the $515 million spent to buy the papers in 2006.[38]

In June 2014, PMN was sold to H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest, who appointed C.Z. "Terry" Egger as publisher and chief executive officer four months later, in October 2015.[39]

In 2016, Lenfest donated PMN to The Philadelphia Foundation, so that The Inquirer, its daily tabloid affiliate, the Daily News, and their joint website,, could remain in Philadelphia.[40]

In October 2011, Philadelphia Media Network sold the Inquirer Building to Bart Blatstein, a developer affiliated with Tower Investments Inc., who said he intended to turn the complex into a mixed-use complex of offices retail and apartments. The following month, however, publisher and chief executive officer Gregory J. Osberg announced that 600 of the 740 Philadelphia Media Network employees of The Inquirer, Daily News, and would move to office space in the former Strawbridge & Clothier department store on east Market Street, and that the remaining employees would move to offices in the Philadelphia suburbs.

In July 2012, Philadelphia Media Network moved to the new location, consolidating its offices on the building's third floor. Cutbacks left much of the 525,000 square feet (49,000 m2) of the Inquirer Building empty, but the 125,000-square-foot (12,000 m2) east Market Street location consolidated Philadelphia Media's departments, including the Daily News's newsroom with The Inquirer. The new location has a street-level lobby and event room. Plans for the building also included electronic signage such as a news ticker on the corner of the Center City Philadelphia high-rise.[41][42]

In 2019, Philadelphia Media Network renamed to, and the Daily News was made an edition of The Inquirer. Philadelphia Media Network, in turn, was renamed The Philadelphia Inquirer, LLC.[43]

In 2019, The Philadelphia Inquirer also became a founding member of Spotlight PA, an investigative reporting partnership focused on Pennsylvania.[44]

On June 2, 2020, The Inquirer ran an Inga Saffron article covering the George Floyd protests under the headline "Buildings Matter, Too",[45] a reference to property damage inflicted by Black Lives Matter during the Floyd protests.[46]

On June 3, however, editors of The Inquirer apologized for the headline[47][48][49] and several Inquirer journalists wrote an open letter, alleging that the newspaper was failing to report accurately on the Philadelphia area's non-white communities. The letter demanded a plan for correcting these issues, threatening to call in "sick and tired" beginning the following day, June 4, if the concerns were not addressed. The letter read in part:[50]

We're tired of shouldering the burden of dragging this 200-year-old institution kicking and screaming into a more equitable age. We're tired of being told of the progress the company has made and being served platitudes about "diversity and inclusion" when we raise our concerns. We're tired of seeing our words and photos twisted to fit a narrative that does not reflect our reality. We're tired of being told to show both sides of issues there are no two sides of.

— Journalists of Color of The Philadelphia Inquirer

On June 4, as promised in their letter, over 40 Inquirer staffers called in sick. Two days later, on June 6, the newspaper announced that Stan Wischnowski would resign as the newspaper's senior vice president and executive editor,[51][52] and Inquirer journalists were told they would not have a say in his replacement.[53] In 2022, the paper admitted to its own racism, both in publishing the article and across the organization.[54]

In May 2023, The Philadelphia Inquirer was severely disrupted by a cyberattack.[55]


The sign above the entrance to Inquirer Building

Since its founding in 1829, The Philadelphia Inquirer has asserted itself editorially on political issues of the day. In its earliest days, John Norvell left as editor of what was then the Aurora & Gazette because he disagreed with what he felt was the newspaper's editorial approval of a movement towards a European class system.

When Norvell and John Walker founded The Inquirer, they wanted the newspaper to represent all people and not just its upper classes. The newly launched newspaper supported the ideology of Jeffersonian democracy and the political leadership of then U.S. president Andrew Jackson, declaring support for the right of the minority's opinion to be heard.[6] In founding of The Inquirer, according to legend, Norvell said, "There could be no better name than The Inquirer. In a free state, there should always be an inquirer asking on behalf of the people: 'Why was this done? Why is that necessary work not done? Why is that man put forward? Why is that law proposed? Why? Why? Why?"[56]

When Norvell and Walker sold their newspaper to Jesper Harding, Harding kept the newspaper close to the founder's politics and supported the Democratic Party. However, Harding disagreed with Andrew Jackson's handling of the Second Bank of the United States, and he began supporting the anti-Jackson wing of the Democrats. During the 1836 Presidential election, Harding supported the Whig party candidate over the Democratic candidate, which led The Inquirer to become known as a pro-Whig newspaper.[7]

Before the American Civil War commenced in 1861 The Inquirer supported the preservation of the Union, and was critical of the abolitionist movement, which some felt was responsible for succession of Confederate states.[57]

Once the Civil War began, The Inquirer reported neutrally and independently on the war, but firmly supported the Union.[6] At first, editors of The Inquirer opposed emancipation. Following military setbacks of the Union Army, however, The Inquirer began editorializing in support of a more pro-Union and pro-Republican stance. In a July 1862 article, The Inquirer wrote, "in this war there can be but two parties, patriots and traitors."[57]

When James Elverson assumed leadership of The Inquirer, he declared, "the new Inquirer shall be in all respects a complete, enterprising, progressive newspaper, moved by all the wide-awake spirit of the time and behind in nothing of interest to people who want to know what is going on every day and everywhere...steadily and vigorously Republican in its political policy, but just and fair in its treatment of all questions..."[6]

During the 1900 Republican convention in Philadelphia, Elverson set up a large electric banner over Broad Street that declared "Philadelphia Inquirer – Largest Republican Circulation in the World."[7]

At the turn of the 20th century, the newspaper began editorial campaigns to improve Philadelphia, including the paving of major streets and ending what the newspaper saw as a corrupt plan to buy the polluted Schuylkill Canal for drinking water. The newspaper maintained these editorial positions under Elverson's son, Elverson Jr.. By the 1920s, The Inquirer became known as the "Republican Bible of Pennsylvania".[6]

Between 1929 and 1936, while under Patenotre and Curtis-Martin, The Inquirer continued to support the Republican party and President Herbert Hoover, and did not provide much reporting on Great Depression. Statistics on unemployment or business closings were ignored, even when they were conveyed by the federal government. As some Philadelphia banks closed during the Great Depression, news of their closing was relegated to the back of the newspaper's financial section.

When Moses Annenberg assumed leadership of The Inquirer, he announced that the newspaper would "continue to uphold the principles of the Republican Party." But in a meeting with newspaper editors shortly after, he proposed that the paper go independent and support President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the upcoming presidential election. The newspaper's editors at the time rejected this idea, and the paper remained largely Republican.

In the late 1930s, Annenberg disagreed with Roosevelt's New Deal programs and his handling of strikes, leading to editorials in The Inquirer that criticized Roosevelt's policies and his supporters. Annenberg strongly opposed Democratic Pennsylvania governor George Earle, and The Inquirer supported Republican candidates in the 1938 Pennsylvania state elections. When Republicans swept the election, there was a celebration at The Inquirer headquarters that included red flares and the firing of cannons. The attacks against Democrats and the support given Republicans caught the attention of the Roosevelt administration.

Under Annenberg, The Philadelphia Inquirer emerged as a major challenger to The Record, which was supportive of Democrats. As Annenberg began focusing on politics, Democratic politicians often attacked Annenberg, accusing him of illegal business practices. In 1939, Annenberg was charged with income tax evasion. He pleaded guilty prior to his trial, and was sentenced to three years in prison. Annenberg's friends and his son, Walter, claimed that the entire trial was politically motivated and that his sentence was excessively harsh.[10]


Copies of The Inquirer being sold at the Philadelphia Eagles' Super Bowl LII victory parade in 2018
The former Strawbridge & Clothier Building at 801 Market Street, where the Inquirer and Daily News were located from 2012 to 2022

In 1947, The Record, the primary Philadelphia competitor of The Inquirer, ceased operations, and The Inquirer announced that it would be an independent newspaper. Frustrated with corruption in Philadelphia, The Inquirer supported Democratic candidates in the 1951 election.[6]

While Walter Annenberg promised that The Inquirer would be politically independent, he still used the newspaper to attack people he disliked, sometimes including a person or group with whom he was angered. Annenberg then blacklisted the person or group, insisting that they not be mentioned in The Inquirer. People on the blacklist were even airbrushed out of images. Annenberg's blacklist included Nicholas Katzenbach, Ralph Nader, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and the Philadelphia Warriors, the city's professional basketball team at the time, who Annenberg insisted not be mentioned for an entire season.

In 1966, Walter Annenberg used The Inquirer to attack Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Milton Shapp. During a press conference, an Inquirer reporter asked Shapp if he had ever been a patient in a mental hospital; having never been a patient, Shapp said no. The following day, The Inquirer's headline read, "Shapp Denies Rumors He Had Psychiatric Treatment in 1965."[58] Shapp attributed his loss of the election to Annenberg's attack campaign.[10]

Annenberg was a backer and friend of Richard Nixon. In the 1952 presidential election, critics later claimed Annenberg and the newspaper looked the other way when covering allegations related to Nixon's purported misappropriation of funds. Later, to avoid accusations of political bias, Annenberg had The Inquirer use only the Associated Press and other news wire services in covering the 1960 and 1968 presidential elections in which Nixon was a candidate, losing in 1960 to John F. Kennedy and winning in 1968 in a three-way race against Hubert Humphrey and George Wallace.[10]

After Nixon's election as president in 1968, he appointed Annenberg U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom. A year later, in 1969, Annenberg sold The Inquirer to Knight Newspapers in a transaction that stipulated that Annenberg's name would appear as "Editor and Publisher Emeritus" on The Inquirer's masthead. In 1970, Annenberg, unhappy with the direction of The Inquirer under the new ownership, had his name removed from the newspaper's masthead following its publication of an editorial critical of Richard Nixon.[6]

Under Knight Ridder, The Inquirer continued to insist that it remained editorially independent, but the newspaper faced criticism from conservatives, who labeled it left leaning.[59][60] As of 2006, The Inquirer had not endorsed a Republican candidate for president for over a quarter century, when it endorsed Gerald Ford in the 1976 presidential election.[61][62]

Throughout the 1990s and into the 21st century, the newspaper also faced criticism for its coverage of Israel, including from the Zionist Organization of America, which accused The Inquirer of being anti-Israel.[63]

In 2006, The Inquirer became one of the only major United States newspapers to print one of the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons. Following its publication, Muslims picketed outside The Inquirer Building to protest their printing.[64]

When Philadelphia Media Holdings L.L.C. (PMH) bought the paper in 2006, Brian Tierney and the business people associated with PMH signed a pledge promising that they would not seek to influence the content of the newspaper. Tierney, a Republican advertising and public relations executive, had criticized The Inquirer in the past on behalf of his clients, including the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia, which he had represented.[65]

In 2012, the sale of The Inquirer to six local Philadelphia business leaders led to concerns of conflict of interest.[66] The new owners, which included New Jersey Democratic fundraiser George Norcross III, media entrepreneur H. F. Lenfest, former New Jersey Nets owner Lewis Katz, and CEO of Liberty Property Trust and chairman of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce William Hankowsky, pledged not to influence the content of the paper.[38]

Board of directors


The members of board of directors as of February 2021:[67]



In March 2020, The NewsGuild of Greater Philadelphia and Philadelphia Inquirer LLC reached an agreement on a three-year contract agreement that would include a workforce diversity provision and raises for the entire newsroom, which had not seen across the board salary increases since August 2009.[68] NewsGuild membership ratified the three-year contract agreement on March 17, 2020.[69]



As of February 2021The Inquirer has 225 newsroom employees. 54.7% of whom are male and 45.3% of whom are female.[70] Critics have alleged that the racial demographics of the newsroom, which is 75 percent White, does not match the city it covers, which is only 34% White.[71] However, these allegations appear to exclude the broader circulation of the newspaper, which stretches beyond the city of Philadelphia, which is approximately 60% White and approximately 20% Black.[72][73]

As of 2021, three quarters of the editors of The Inquirer were White.[74] As of 2023, three desks – Health, Investigations and Now – have no Black journalists.



The Philadelphia Inquirer is headquartered at 100 S. Independence Mall west in the Market East section of Center City Philadelphia, where its tabloid sister publication, the Philadelphia Daily News is also headquartered.[42]

In September 1994, The Inquirer and WPHL-TV began co-producing a 10 p.m. newscast, Inquirer News Tonight, which lasted a year before WPHL-TV took complete control over the program and renamed it WB17 News at Ten.[75]

Since 1995, The Inquirer has been available on the Internet, most recently at, which, along with the Philadelphia Daily News, is part of The Philadelphia Inquirer LLC. [26]: 17, 21 [5]

In 2004, The Inquirer formed a partnership with Philadelphia's NBC station, WCAU, giving the paper access to WCAU's weather forecasts while also contributing to news segments throughout the day.[76][77]

In 2020, The Inquirer closed its Schuylkill Printing Plant in Upper Merion Township, laying off about 500 employees. As of 2021, printing of The Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News has been outsourced to a printing plant in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, which is owned by Gannett.[78]

As of January 2024, The Inquirer's publisher is Elizabeth H. Hughes,[79] and its editor and senior vice president is Gabriel Escobar.[80] Managing editors are Charlotte Sutton, Patrick Kerkstra, Richard G. Jones, Michael Huang, Kate Dailey and Danese Kenon. Deputy managing editors are Brian Leighton, James Neff, Ross Maghielse, Molly Eichel and Ariella Cohen.[81]

The Inquirer provides coverage of Philadelphia and its surrounding suburban communities in northern Delaware, South Jersey, and southeastern Pennsylvania.

Pulitzer Prizes

Pulitzer Prizes awarded to The Philadelphia Inquirer
Year Award Person(s) Work
1975 National Reporting Donald Barlett and James B. Steele "Auditing the Internal Revenue Service" series
1976 Editorial Cartooning Tony Auth "O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain"
1977 Local Investigative Specialized Reporting Acel Moore and Wendell Rawls, Jr. Report on the conditions at the Fairview State Hospital for the mentally ill
1978 Public Service The Philadelphia Inquirer A series of articles on the abuse of power by Philadelphia police
1979 International Reporting Richard Ben Cramer Reports from the Middle East
1980 Local General or Spot News Reporting Staff of The Philadelphia Inquirer Coverage of the Three Mile Island accident
1985 Investigative Reporting William K. Marimow Exposé on the Philadelphia police K-9 unit
1985 Feature Photography Larry C. Price Series of photographs from Angola and El Salvador
1986 National Reporting Arthur Howe Report on deficiencies in IRS processing of tax returns-reporting
1986 Feature Photography Tom Gralish Series of photographs on the homeless in Philadelphia
1987 Investigative Reporting John Woestendiek Prison beat reporting
1987 Investigative Reporting Daniel R. Biddle, H. G. Bissinger and Fredric N. Tulsky "Disorder in the Court"
1987 Feature Writing Steve Twomey Profile of life aboard an aircraft carrier
1988 National Reporting Tim Weiner Series on a secret Pentagon budget used for defense research and an arms buildup
1989 National Reporting Donald Barlett and James B. Steele Investigation into the Tax Reform Act of 1986
1989 Feature Writing David Zucchino "Being Black in South Africa"
1990 Public Service Gilbert M. Gaul Report on the American blood industry
1997 Explanatory Journalism Michael Vitez, April Saul and Ron Cortes Series on the choices of the critically ill
2012 Public Service Staff of The Philadelphia Inquirer "...exploration of pervasive violence in the city's schools"
2014 Criticism Inga Saffron Criticism of architecture
Source: The Pulitzer Prizes: Columbia University[82]

See also





  1. ^ Turvill, William (June 24, 2022). "Top 25 US newspaper circulations: Print sales fall another 12% in 2022". Press Gazette. Retrieved June 28, 2022.
  2. ^ The Philadelphia Inquirer at
  3. ^ "Top 100 Newspapers in the United States". Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  4. ^ "2013 Top Media Outlets: Newspapers, Blogs, Consumer Magazines, Social Networks, Websites, and Broadcast Media" (PDF). BurrellesLuce. June 2013. Retrieved April 30, 2015.
  5. ^ a b "About Us | The Philadelphia Inquirer". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Williams, Edgar (June 20, 2003). "A history of The Inquirer". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Archived from the original on February 19, 2007. Retrieved May 27, 2006.
  7. ^ a b c d e Wilkinson, Gerry. "The History of the Philadelphia Inquirer". Philadelphia Press Association. Archived from the original on May 21, 2023. Retrieved May 27, 2006.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  8. ^ "Again, Curtis-Martin". Time. March 17, 1930. Archived from the original on October 23, 2012.
  9. ^ "Philadelphia Purchase". Time. August 10, 1936. Archived from the original on December 15, 2008.
  10. ^ a b c d e Ogden, Christopher (1999). Legacy: A Biography of Moses and Walter Annenberg. New York: Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 0-316-63379-8.
  11. ^ "From Paperboy to Philanthropist". Retrieved May 29, 2022.
  12. ^ a b c d Henry III, William A. (April 30, 1984). "The Ten Best U.S. Dailies". Time. p. 61. Archived from the original on December 21, 2008.
  13. ^ a b Lewis, Frank (October 21–28, 1999). "Sinking Ship". Philadelphia City Paper. Archived from the original on June 23, 2006.
  14. ^ DiStefano, Joseph N. (May 9, 2006). "Shrinking only on paper". The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  15. ^ Panaritis, Maria (March 1, 2008). "Audit reduces Inquirer Sunday circulation". The Philadelphia Inquirer: D01.
  16. ^ Cipriano, Ralph (July 18, 2019). "Inquirer Management Fears Philly Could Have No Daily Paper in 5 Years". Philadelphia. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  17. ^ "Exec helped merge Knight Ridder in '74". Los Angeles Times. Times Wire Reports. December 31, 2008. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  18. ^ a b Shapiro, Michael (March–April 2006). "Looking for Light". Columbia Journalism Review.
  19. ^ Zucchino, David (March 17, 2006). "Feeling Like an Orphan in Philadelphia". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 3, 2021 – via PressThink.
  20. ^ Merritt, Davis (2005). Knightfall: Knight Ridder and How the Erosion of Newspaper Journalism is Putting Democracy at Risk. New York: AMACOM. ISBN 0-8144-0854-0.
  21. ^ Carroll, Kathleen; et al. (2012). "2012 Pulitzer Prizes". The Pulitzer Prizes.
  22. ^ Tash, Paul C.; Gissler, Sig (2014). "2014 Pulitzer Prizes". The Pulitzer Prizes.
  23. ^ Lewis, Frank (January 11–18, 2001). "So Sorry". Philadelphia City Paper. Archived from the original on June 14, 2006.
  24. ^ Lewis, Frank (June 18–25, 1998). "Bob and Weave". Philadelphia City Paper. Archived from the original on June 14, 2006.
  25. ^ Barringer, Felicity (January 6, 2001). "Reporter and Philadelphia Paper Settle Libel Suit Filed After Firing (Published 2001)". The New York Times. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  26. ^ a b Anderson, C. W. (2013). Rebuilding the news metropolitan journalism in the digital age. Temple University Press. ISBN 9781439909355.
  27. ^ "Knight Ridder bought for $4.5bn". BBC News. March 13, 2006. Retrieved May 28, 2006.
  28. ^ DiStefano, Joseph N. (June 30, 2006). "Job 1 for new owners: Raise papers' profile". The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  29. ^ Volk, Steve (February 2009). "1978 Called. It wants its Newspaper Back". Philadelphia Magazine. Archived from the original on January 31, 2009. Retrieved February 1, 2009.
  30. ^ Loviglio, Joann (January 3, 2007). "Philadelphia Inquirer lays off 71 people". BusinessWeek.
  31. ^ Pérez-Peña, Richard (February 22, 2009). "Philadelphia Newspapers Seeking Bankruptcy". The New York Times. Retrieved February 24, 2009.
  32. ^ "Philadelphia Media Holdings Chapter 11Petition" (PDF). PacerMonitor. Archived (PDF) from the original on January 4, 2017. Retrieved January 3, 2017.
  33. ^ Denvir, Daniel (September 3, 2009). "Local Flavor". Columbia Journalism Review.
  34. ^ Hepp, Christopher K.; Harold Brubaker (April 28, 2010). "Phila. Newspapers sold to lenders". The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  35. ^ Van Allen, Peter (September 15, 2010). "Sale of Inquirer, Daily News voided, new auction date set for Sept". Philadelphia Business Journal. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  36. ^ Church, Steven (September 24, 2010). "Philadelphia Inquirer Lenders Best Perelman in Bankruptcy Court Auction". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
  37. ^ "Meet the New Boss: Philly Newspapers Sale Finally Completed". Editor & Publisher. October 8, 2010. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  38. ^ a b Van Allen, Peter (April 3, 2012). "Reaction to the latest sale of daily newspapers". Philadelphia Business Journal. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  39. ^ Gammage, Jeff (August 25, 2015). "'Terry' Egger named publisher of Philadelphia Media Network". The Inquirer. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved October 24, 2015 – via
  40. ^ Gamage, Jeff (January 12, 2016). "Lenfest donates newspapers, website to new media institute". Philadelphia Media Network (Digital) LLC. Retrieved January 3, 2017.
  41. ^ Fernandez, Bob (November 14, 2011). "Inquirer, DN moving to 8th & Market". The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  42. ^ a b Saffron, Inga (July 14, 2012). "Will our move to Market Street move the street?". The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  43. ^ "Why the Inquirer is replacing". Billy Penn. Retrieved August 25, 2019.
  44. ^ "PennLive & The Patriot-News join Spotlight PA as founding partners". Spotlight PA. August 29, 2019. Retrieved November 6, 2021.
  45. ^ Saffron, Inga (June 2020). "Damaging buildings disproportionately hurts the people protesters are trying to uplift | Inga Saffron". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved February 13, 2021.
  46. ^ "An apology to our readers and Inquirer employees". The Philadelphia Inquirer. June 3, 2020. Retrieved February 13, 2021.
  47. ^ Wise, Justin (June 4, 2020). "Philadelphia Inquirer reporters skip work after paper publishes 'Buildings Matter, Too' headline". The Hill. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
  48. ^ Bauder, David (June 5, 2020). "New York Times says senator's op-ed didn't meet standards". ABC News. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
  49. ^ Gurley, Lauren Kaori (June 4, 2020). "Journalists of Color at the Philadelphia Inquirer Stage Mass 'Sick out'". Vice. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
  50. ^ "Open Letter From Journalists of Color at the Philadelphia Inquirer". Archived from the original on January 22, 2021. Retrieved February 13, 2021.
  51. ^ "Stan Wischnowski resigns as The Philadelphia Inquirer's top editor". The Philadelphia Inquirer. June 6, 2020.
  52. ^ "'Buildings matter': Philadelphia newspaper editor resigns after headline sparks uproar". The Guardian. June 7, 2020. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  53. ^ "Five actions: status & progress". Retrieved February 13, 2021.[permanent dead link]
  54. ^ "Black City, White Paper". Philadelphia Inquirer.
  55. ^ Lakhani, Nina (May 15, 2023). "Philadelphia Inquirer severely disrupted by cyber-attack". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved May 15, 2023.
  56. ^ Shapiro, Howie (May 23, 2006). "Asking 'Why?' since 1829". The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  57. ^ a b Weigley, Russell Frank (1982). Wainwright, Nicholas B.; Wolf, Edwin (eds.). Philadelphia : a 300 year history (1st ed.). New York: W.W. Norton. ISBN 0-393-01610-2. OCLC 8532897.
  58. ^ Miller, Joseph H. (October 23, 1966) "Shapp Denies Rumors He Had Psychiatric Treatment in 1965". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved July 27, 2021.
  59. ^ The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly, February 13, 2006.
  60. ^ Smerconish, Michael (July 13, 2006). "Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss?". Philadelphia Daily News.
  61. ^ INQUIRER STAFF WRITER, Troy Graham. "Inquirer's pick comes with a dissent." Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA), October 19, 2008: A09. NewsBank: Access World News. .
  62. ^ "Who's for Whom". Time. November 8, 1976. Archived from the original on February 20, 2011.
  63. ^ Barsamian, David; Herman, Edward S. (July 14, 1993). "Beyond Hypocrisy: Decoding the News". Archived from the original on May 5, 2006. Retrieved July 9, 2006.
  64. ^ "Muslims Protest Philadelphia Newspaper's Publishing of Cartoon". Associated Press. February 13, 2006. Archived from the original on April 14, 2013.
  65. ^ Dilanian, Ken (May 24, 2006). "Frequent critic of media takes newspapers' helm". The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  66. ^ Van Allen, Peter (April 3, 2012). "Reaction to the latest sale of daily newspapers". Philadelphia Business Journal. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  67. ^ "Philadelphia Inquirer: About US". Philadelphia Inquirer.
  68. ^ Fernandez, Bob (March 12, 2020). "NewsGuild, Inquirer agree to tentative labor pact with first across-the-board raise in years". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved February 28, 2021.
  69. ^ "Inquirer cba ratified. | The NewsGuild of Greater Philadelphia". Retrieved February 28, 2021.
  70. ^ "Inquirer-Diversity and Inclusion Audit Report.pdf". Google Docs. Retrieved February 13, 2021.
  71. ^ "A Philadelphia Inquirer headline sparked outrage — and a newsroom audit. Here's what it found". Poynter. February 12, 2021. Retrieved February 13, 2021.
  72. ^ "Census profile: Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD Metro Area".
  73. ^ "The Demographic Statistical Atlas of the United States - Statistical Atlas".
  74. ^ Correa, Anna Orso, Jesenia De Moya (February 12, 2021). "Inquirer has overwhelmingly white newsroom and its coverage underrepresents people of color, report says". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved February 13, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  75. ^ "Phl17 Station History". PHL17. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  76. ^ Blackwell, Eva (August 1, 2005). "NBC 10 And Inquirer Announce News Partnership". Archived from the original on September 30, 2007.
  77. ^ Albiniak, Paige (November 19, 2006). "WCAU Remakes Evening News". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  78. ^ Reyes, Andrew Maykuth, Juliana Feliciano (October 9, 2020). "Philadelphia Inquirer to sell printing facility, lay off 500 plant employees in bid for long-term economic stability". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved February 13, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  79. ^ Orso, Anna (January 14, 2020). "Former New Yorker executive Lisa Hughes named Philadelphia Inquirer's first female publisher". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved February 13, 2021.
  80. ^ "About The Inquirer". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
  81. ^ "Philadelphia Inquirer newsroom staff". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved September 13, 2022.
  82. ^ "Search: "The Philadelphia Inquirer"". The Pulitzer Prizes. Columbia University. Retrieved January 1, 2021.