Keith Crain

Keith Crain

Keith Evans Crain

Inducted 2008

journalist, business leader, industry expert and CEO of Crain Communications, Inc.

As a journalist, business leader and industry expert, Keith E. Crain runs everything through a lens that ensures that the “reader always comes first.” This laser-focused strategy is the cornerstone of the success of the family-owned company that bears his last name.

Founded by his father G.D. Crain Jr. in 1916 in Kentucky, Crain Communications Inc. today publishes 32 titles from 18 offices worldwide.

Keith Crain arrived in Detroit in 1971 as publisher of Automotive News, after his family’s Chicago-based publishing company acquired the title. He first focused on editorial content, opening bureaus in Japan, Germany and Nashville to expand its scope and depth of coverage.

Today, Crain writes widely-read, weekly columns in Crain’s Detroit Business and Automotive News. While other news organizations have cut their reporting staffs, his publications employ deep editorial staffs that continually break story after story online and in print.

Connecting with the reader is important to Crain so the company sponsors hundreds of luncheons, breakfast meetings and events to help readers interact with other newsmakers and idea shapers. He launched the Automotive News World Congress in 1976, and the speakers continually break news from this stage every year.

Crain walks his talk by also serving as a visible community leader. “His editorial opinions in Crain’s Detroit Business and Automotive News are not generated by someone who sits back and watches things happen,” said Dennis Archer, chairman of Dickinson Wright and the former Mayor of Detroit. “He is a doer.”

“He is a man of courage, not afraid to stand up and ‘tell it like it is’ to an industry that doesn’t always appreciate messengers, even when they are pointing out important truths,” said Anne Doyle, a former TV reporter.