Less than a year after his hiring as executive editor of the Burlington Free Press, Michael Kilian is taking his leave. The paper reported Wednesday that Kilian will become executive editor of the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, N.Y. He will also serve as the New York/Vermont editor for the USA TODAY network, meaning he will continue to supervise the Free Press' news operation.
Kilian has made two stops in Burlington. From 2010 to 2013, he was the paper's assistant editor. He returned as executive editor in March 2018 after the firing of his predecessor Denis Finley, who'd sparked controversy with a series of tweets questioning Vermont's move to add a third gender option to driver's licenses. Called it "one step closer to the apocalypse," among other things.
Digital editor Emilie Stigliani will replace Kilian. She temporarily held the post after Finley was fired and before Kilian started last March. Stigliani will be the Free Press' fourth executive editor since 2015.
Neither Kilian nor Stigliani immediately returned calls for comment.