Crain Communications shuffles family ownership structure

on Jul13

13 July 2017 | 1:47 am

The longtime president of Crain Communication Inc., the parent company of Crain’s Chicago Business, has given up his stake in the business, marking a shift in the media company’s family ownership.

Rance Crain and his family sold their 50 percent ownership to his brother, chairman Keith Crain, who, along with his family, now owns all of the company, according to a statement from Crain Communication.

Keith Crain | Photo provided by Crain Communication

Rance and Keith Crain are brothers and the sons of G.D. Crain, who founded the company in 1916, according to company biographies.

Rance Crain, a Northwestern University graduate, started as an Advertising Age reporter in 1960 before being named editorial director in 1971 and president in 1973. He started five publications for the company, including Crain’s Chicago Business.

“For my 57 years with the company my philosophy of business was simple: hire good people, and to use an old racehorse term, give them their head,” Rance Crain said in a statement. “We’ve had a parade of great people go through our doors, and many of them stayed with us for many years.

“My mom and dad set the tone — they treated our people with respect, and our people knew that they were appreciated,” he said. “Now it’s time for me to open another chapter of my life, and I look forward to the challenge and opportunity.”

KC Crain (left) and Chris Crain | Photos provided by Crain Communication

Keith Crain appointed his sons to new posts, naming KC Crain president and chief operating officer, with Chris Crain serving as senior executive vice president.

Rance Crain gave up his board position, as did his daughter, Cindi Crain.

The company owns 21 print publications and 34 digital-only news sites. Its titles include Ad Age, Autoweek, Modern Healthcare and Investment News.

“The ownership change retains the company’s privately held, family-owned structure,” Keith Crain said. “Now in the third generation of family leadership, we look forward to continuing our legacy of producing relevant and trusted content for our audiences of business and industry leadership.”

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