Skip to Main Content

About Crain Communications, Inc.

These Crains have been whooping it up in the publishing business for a long time. Crain Communications (Crain) is a leading publisher of trade journals and weekly business newspapers with about two dozen titles serving audiences mostly in the US, Europe, and Asia. Its portfolio covers such areas as the automotive industry (Automotive News and Automobilwoche), regional business publication (Crain's Business in Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, and New York), and media (AdAge and Creativity). Crain also publishes business journals in four major US cities (Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, and New York City), and it host events such as UTECH trade shows. The family-owned company was started by G. D. Crain in 1916.

Operations

Crain has built up its stable of trade journals over time, focusing on, and in most cases ultimately dominating, particular niche markets. It produces relevant news publications, lead generation, research and data products, digital platforms, custom publishing, and events. Its Automobilwoche and Automotive News are must-reads for anyone following the auto manufacturing industry, while Media/advertising includes AdAge and Creativity-online database. For news, analysis, and business information it includes Crain's Chicago Business, Crain's Cleveland Business, Crain's Detroit Business, and Crain's New York Business. Pensions & Investments is the go-to source for financial services professionals, Modern Healthcare, Staffing Industry Analysts (workforce solutions), and GenomeWeb (technology). Other publication includes Plastics News, Tire Business, Sustainable Plastics, and Urethanes Technology International.

Geographic Reach

Headquartered in Detroit, Crain has around 10 global location with offices in Cuyahoga Falls and Cleveland (Ohio), Chicago (Illinois), El Segundo and Mountain View (California), New York, and Washington, DC, as well as in London in the UK, and Oberpfaffenhofen (Munich) in Germany.

Sales and Marketing

The company deliver news to more than 6 million global business leaders and consumers.

Strategy

Like the rest of the media industry, Crain Communications has been shifting its focus away from print. Recent examples of this strategy include its acquisition of GenomeWeb, an online news organization. The brand operates the largest online newsroom focused on advanced molecular research tools in order to provide readers with exclusive news and in-depth analysis of this rapidly evolving market.

Crain also entered into a multi-year agreement with Hearst Magazines to operate Autoweek as a digital and experiential brand. Hearst Autos, a division of Hearst Magazines and the world's leading automotive media entity, will produce the digital publication on Autoweek.com, which will be the host on Hearst Magazines' proprietary content platform, MediaOS.

Mergers and Acquisitions

In late 2019, Crain has acquired GenomeWeb, an online news organization serving the global community of scientists, technology professionals and executives who use and develop the latest advanced tools in molecular biology research and molecular diagnostics. Located in New York, GenomeWeb joins Crain's portfolio of brands, which includes: Ad Age, Creativity, Automotive News, Crain's Cleveland Business, Crain's New York Business, Modern Healthcare, Plastics News China, Rubber & Plastics News, and Urethanes Technology International among others.

Company Background

G. D. Crain founded his publishing company in 1916 in Louisville, Kentucky, but quickly moved to Chicago. The firm produced two publications: Class (renamed Business Marketing) and Hospital Management (sold in the 1950s). In 1930 the company launched trade magazine Advertising Age and adopted the name Advertising Publications Inc.

Over time the company broadened its scope beyond advertising and in 1969 changed its name to Crain Communications. G. D. Crain led the company until his death in 1973. That year Rance Crain, G. D.'s elder son, became president; Crain's widow, Gertrude, became chairman; and Keith Crain (Rance's brother) was appointed vice chairman.

In 1986 Crain bought Media World, the UK's #1 media magazine at the time. By the early 1990s the company was publishing three magazines in Europe. It bought RCR Radio Communications Report (a wireless communications tabloid) in 1992.

Crain Communications, Inc.

1155 Gratiot Ave
Detroit, MI 48207-2732
Phone: 1 (313) 446-6000

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Privately Owned
Chairman: Keith E. Crain
President and Editorial Director: Rance E. Crain
SEVP: William A. Morrow
Employees (This Location): 310
Employees (All Locations): 1,045

Major Office Locations

Detroit, MI

Other Locations

Big Pine Key, FL
Chicago, IL
Boston, MA
Detroit, MI
New York, NY
Akron, OH
Cleveland, OH
Quinlan, TX