The Philadelphia Inquirer appoints two newsroom leaders as paper continues its digital transformation


The Philadelphia Inquirer today announced the appointment of Charlotte Sutton as its next managing editor and Patrick Kerkstra as managing editor for content strategy. As managing editor, Sutton will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the newsroom as it continues its digital transformation. In a pivotal new role to the organization, Kerkstra will work alongside newsroom leadership and key business-side partners to drive the organization’s strategic approach to content.

“I am thrilled to share that Charlotte Sutton, an experienced and respected newsroom leader, will become The Inquirer’s next managing editor,” said Gabriel Escobar, The Inquirer’s editor and senior vice president. “Charlotte’s qualifications for this critical role cannot be overstated. She is an accomplished manager who has excelled in senior newsroom roles both here and at other publications. From the moment she arrived here, she has been an important counsel to me on a number of issues, journalistic and management, and I have come to count on her wise insights and unflappable demeanor.”

Sutton, who began with The Inquirer in 2015, most recently served as assistant managing editor for Business, Health and the Built Environment. She has led and inspired innovative coverage on a range of topics, the pandemic included, and conceived, directed and hosted The Inquirer’s "Telling Your Health Story" seminars, now in the third year.

“Every day my admiration grows for The Inquirer, our talented staff, and especially the people and communities we serve at this pivotal time for our region and for journalism,” Sutton said. “I am so honored at this opportunity to help deliver the news and information that matter most to our readers.”

Prior to joining The Inquirer, Sutton worked at the Tampa Bay Times for more than two decades in a senior newsroom role and as a reporter covering state and local government, health, consumer issues and politics. Sutton, who was born in Summit, New Jersey, and spent part of her childhood in Pittsburgh, has a bachelor of arts degree in English literature from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in public health from the University of South Florida.

“I am also pleased to share that Patrick Kerkstra, who has been a key member of our newsroom leadership team, has taken on the new role of managing editor for content strategy,” said Escobar. “The role, which was developed by Patrick, will match his deep interests and talents with our needs as a newsroom going forward. I look forward to working with Patrick as we strengthen our strategic approach to content across our channels.”

Kerkstra rejoined The Inquirer, where he was a staff writer from 1999 to 2010, as a key newsroom leader in 2016. As managing editor, he has orchestrated a broad newsroom restructuring and overseen innovations in digital storytelling. Kerkstra, a native of Oakland, California, who attended the University of California, Los Angeles, previously served as deputy editor and editor-in-chief of Philadelphia Magazine.

“I’m very eager to focus my full energy on our journalism and storytelling,” said Kerkstra. “In this new role I’ll work closely with Inquirer editors and journalists to better serve Philadelphia’s communities, and with my colleagues across the company to create products that meet audience needs.”

About The Philadelphia Inquirer, PBC:

Since 1829, The Philadelphia Inquirer has been providing essential journalism for the diverse communities of the Philadelphia region. The Inquirer, a for-profit public benefit corporation owned by the non-profit Lenfest Institute, produces Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism that changes lives and leads to lasting reforms. Its multiple brand platforms — including newspapers,, e-Editions, apps, newsletters and live events — reach a growing audience of more than 10 million people a month.


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