Crain’s on the move: New editor aims for ‘biggest bang’

Just in time for its move into brand new offices Monday, Crain’s Chicago Business has a brand new editor.

With the relocation of the company’s headquarters two blocks south to 150 North Michigan Avenue, veteran business journalist Michael Arndt moves up to editor of the weekly publication and its digital operations.

Arndt, 56, who has been managing editor since 2010, succeeds Joe Cahill, 52, who stepped down after six years as editor to become a weekly columnist for Crain’s.

In announcing the appointment to the staff, Jim Kirk, chief of editorial operations at Crain’s, called Arndt  “an exceptional editor with a broad understanding of the challenges we face in our industry . . . [who] is well equipped to help tackle them.” In addition to overseeing day-to-day operations, Kirk said, Arndt “will be charged with pushing an aggressive agenda of investigations, scoops, and superb enterprise reporting that has been and will continue to be the hallmark of Crain’s.”

It was unclear whether Arndt’s former position as managing editor would be filled. “How we structure the rest of newsroom going forward is something Michael and I along with other editors will be working on over the next several weeks,” Kirk said.

Before joining Crain’s, Arndt spent 10 years in the Chicago bureau of BusinessWeek and 20 years before that with the Chicago Tribune, including five years as chief economics correspondent in Washington, D.C. A Wisconsin native, he received his journalism degree from the University of Wisconsin and began his career with the City News Bureau of Chicago.

Arndt, who previously worked with Kirk at the Tribune, emphasized their shared goal of improving the product both in print and online.

“In the past year, since Jim Kirk joined me at CCB, we've been pushing the publication to be ‘platform agnostic’ — that is, to publish our content wherever it gets the biggest bang, print or digital,” Arndt told me. “We now will be moving increasingly toward ‘web first.’ Our readers expect and demand that we deliver news first on our website. We don't intend to disappoint them. That's not to diminish the power of print. We will continue to produce a book chockful of the most essential business analysis of any media outlet in metro Chicago—bar none.

“I was impressed by the high caliber of the staff when I arrived almost 18 months ago, after more than 10 years at BusinessWeek. Since then, we've only moved up as we've brought in new editors and reporters. And this is a great sign: We're still hiring.”

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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)