Ron Fournier named publisher at Crain’s

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

Ron Fournier, who returned to Detroit last year after spending the previous two decades as a political columnist and editor in Washington, D.C., has been named publisher of Crain’s Detroit Business, the company announced Sunday.

Fournier joined Crain’s as associate publisher in September and led the effort to reshape the newsroom by “shift(ing) resources from print to digital platforms.” In December, he was named editor.

Fournier, as publisher and editor, will oversee the business and editorial efforts.

His predecessor as publisher, Mary Kramer, recruited Fournier back to town in a conversation that started at Crain’s Detroit Homecoming 2014, when Fournier was one of the ex-pats invited to return to the Motor City. Kramer will remain group publisher of the Detroit and Cleveland version of Crain’s.

Kramer called the editor and publisher position that Fournier will occupy “the best job in Detroit,” but said that after 28 years at the publication “it’s time to allow a new generation of leadership to take over.”

“Expect more of the same you’ve been getting from Crain’s,” Fournier told The Detroit News on Sunday. “Real, smart, indispensable enterprise journalism that not only provokes new thought, but new action, and holds people accountable. The kind of journalism that helps business leaders across southeast Michigan succeed.”

On the business end, Crain’s will expand custom content offerings, consistent with its mission to help area business leaders succeed, Fournier said. Custom publishing is a part of the plan as the business seeks to grow its revenue streams.

One hire since the reshaping effort in the Crain’s newsroom was former Detroit News Lansing bureau reporter Chad Livengood, who had joined the paper in 2012.

In addition to the hire of Livengood, Crain’s will hire three breaking news reporters who will cover fast-developing events “that affect people on the intersection of politics, business and culture,” as well as downtown Detroit development and philanthropy.

Before returning to Detroit, Fournier, the father of News staff writer Holly Fournier, was editor-in-chief of National Journal and a political columnist for The Atlantic.

Kramer quoted Keith Crain, who hired her as publisher, on the mission of the publication: “Crain’s is a community paper but for a very specific community: people doing business in Metro Detroit.”