A series of moves has realigned the editorial leadership of the Plastics News Global Group, the world's largest plastics publishing operation.
* Robert Grace, editor of Plastics News since its founding in March 1989, has been promoted to editorial director of PN Global Group, which encompasses three print publications, five websites, seven electronic newsletters and multiple events. He also will continue in his role as associate publisher and conference director of Plastics News.
* Don Loepp, a 20-year PN veteran and its longtime managing editor, has been promoted to editor of Plastics News.
* David Eldridge, editor of the fortnightly British plastics and rubber newspaper PRW, has accepted the position of editor of European Plastics News, the group's pan-European, monthly magazine. He is replacing EPN editor and conference manager Chris Smith, who in May will join British research firm Applied Market Information Ltd.
Plastics News Global Group will look to hire a new editor soon for the 47-year-old PRW, but has no current plans to fill the vacant managing editor's post in Akron.
We're fortunate to have the talent and experience in-house to make such changes, said K.C. Crain, Crain Communications Inc. group publisher and vice president. And moving these three into new roles offers the opportunity to take a fresh look at how best our various titles should attack the large and increasingly global plastics market.
Grace, 53, joined Crain in Akron in March 1980; was posted to London 18 months later, where he directed the relaunch of the newly acquired European Rubber Journal; and, at age 24, became Crain's youngest-ever editor. The Ohio University journalism graduate helped to launch Urethanes Technology magazine in 1984, then returned to Akron in late 1988 to oversee the editorial launch of the weekly Plastics News. He was named PN associate publisher in 1999 and conference director in 2000. He currently is developing PN's first conference in China China Plastics in Automotive 2011 which will take place May 16 in Guangzhou.
Bob's passion for the international arena began with his early, seven-year stint in Europe and was evident in the key role he played in the May 2005 launch of PN's bilingual Chinese website, noted Tony Eagan, vice president and PNGG group publisher. Now we can better utilize his journalistic talents and broad experience as we continue to develop our brand globally across a number of new platforms.
Loepp, 49, joined Plastics News in 1991 as a reporter, was promoted to news editor in 1993 and became managing editor two years later. A graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, he had eight years of daily newspaper reporting experience before joining Crain.
Loepp runs the day-to-day newsroom operations, and he has been instrumental in shaping the publication's news coverage. He also plays an active role in PN's China-related coverage and four years ago launched The Plastics Blog, one of the industry's most respected and best-read forums for insights and opinion.
Don's encyclopedic industry knowledge, editorial judgment and multitasking skills are legendary, and he allows me to focus on longer-term growth for PN Global Group, said Grace.
Eldridge, 46, earned a degree in English from King's College in London, and began his journalism career in 1990 as an associate editor at Euromoney Group's Petroleum Economist magazine. From 1995-2003 he served as assistant editor, then editor, non-ferrous, at Metal Bulletin. In 2003 he joined Emap Communications Ltd. in its Croydon, England, office as editor of PRW, which Crain acquired from Emap in July 2007.
He helped direct the 2005 launch of PRW's Plastics Design & Moulding trade show, plays a major role in the publication's highly successful, annual Plastics Industry Awards program and has helped to develop and host a number of U.K. conferences and plastics design roundtables. More recently, he was the driving force in creating PRW's new Product Design + Innovation conference, which will make its debut in London this May, alongside the PDM trade show. Eldridge also is overseeing the PD+I conference's associated www.pdesigni.com website and blog, which launched in November.
We're also excited with some of the fresh ideas that David promises to bring to our European coverage, said Steve Crowhurst, PNGG's publishing and events director in Europe.
Having David transition from PRW to EPN offers some important continuity while also bringing a different perspective to our operations, he said.