Media Note: Kilian Returns to Lead the Burlington Free Press | Off Message

Media Note: Kilian Returns to Lead the Burlington Free Press


  • Courtesy Burlington Free Press
  • Michael Kilian
Michael Kilian, a former associate editor of the Burlington Free Press, is returning to the paper to lead its newsroom.

Kilian held the No. 2 post at the Freeps from 2010 to 2013 before decamping for the Daily Times of Salisbury, Md. He's spent the past two years as news director of the Cincinnati Enquirer. He returns to the Free Press as executive editor, the paper reported Thursday afternoon.

“Burlington, the communities surrounding it and indeed the entire state of Vermont have more news per capita than anywhere else I’ve been a journalist,” Kilian told the Freeps. “I’m excited and thrilled to be returning to the shores of Lake Champlain and guiding the talented Free Press team.”

He’ll take over at the Free Press on March 5.

The announcement comes less than three weeks after Gannett, the paper's corporate parent, fired executive editor Denis Finley for posting a series of controversial tweets.

In the interim, Emilie Stigliani has served as executive editor, a title that she will cede to Kilian in March.

Stigliani will stay with the paper in "whatever role she and I figure out makes the most sense," Kilian said in an interview. "She’s an invaluable part of the organization."

Stigliani, who started at the Free Press after Kilian left, said in an email that she has "a huge amount of respect for what he has accomplished as a newsroom leader."

Company president Jim Fogler, who worked with Kilian during his first tour in Vermont, called the new executive editor a "journalist’s journalist" who is "committed to our community."