Detroit — KC Crain has been named CEO of Crain Communications Inc., the Detroit-based, family-owned media company that is the parent for Plastics News, Automotive News and nearly 20 other trade and business titles in North America, Europe and Asia.
He had been president and chief operating officer. His father, Keith E. Crain, remains chairman of the board.
The action was ratified at the Detroit-based company's annual board meeting on Nov. 18.
"We're proud of the 104-year legacy of our company and of the continued leadership from within our family," the elder Crain said. "KC has done a terrific job of steering our company in recent years, including strategic acquisitions. This year in particular has been challenging for many media companies, and KC and his entire team have led us to a successful year."
A companywide effort to increase paid subscribers began even before the pandemic. The result is an increase of new paid subscribers of 50 percent for 2020.
"Leading the company my grandfather started 104 years ago is a true honor," KC Crain said. "Our audiences have never been stronger and the growth prospect of this business is really exciting. Our platforms continue to evolve in amazing ways to serve our readers."
KC Crain started in the family company as a reporter for Automotive News and worked through a series of roles, including group publisher, executive vice president and director of corporate operations. The company's brands have been serving niche audiences for decades in print and now digital formats. As president, KC Crain oversaw the acquisition in 2019 of GenomeWeb, an all-digital news source based in New York and serving a global community of scientists, technology professionals and investors focused on advanced tools in molecular biology research and molecular diagnostics.
Active in a number of civic and business activities, KC is board chair for the Detroit Children's Fund. He also sits on the boards of the Young Presidents Organization and the College for Creative Studies.
KC Crain earned a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Denison University. He and his wife, Ashley, live in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., with their four daughters.