Michael Arndt resigns as editor of Crain’s Chicago Business

Michael Arndt

Michael Arndt resigned Thursday as editor of Crain’s Chicago Business following a change in leadership at the weekly publication and website.

In an email to staff, Arndt announced his departure, effective November 30. “Actually, I do have a real job plan, but I can’t share it with you just yet,” he wrote. He joined Crain’s in 2010 as managing editor and was promoted to editor in 2012. 

Speculation that Arndt’s days were numbered was fueled by the appointment last month of Jim Kirk to the new position of publisher and executive editor, supplanting Arndt as head of editorial operations.

Crain’s Chicago Business

Coincidentally, in an earlier tenure at Crain’s as chief of editorial operations, Kirk was the executive who promoted Arndt to editor, succeeding Joe Cahill, who became a columnist.

“Michael is an outstanding journalist who has overseen tremendous work during his stint as editor of Crain’s Chicago Business,” Kirk said in a statement. “Under his watch, Crain’s has significantly broadened its reach across multiple platforms while still being the must-read for the Chicago business community. We wish Michael nothing but the best as he heads to his next adventure.”

It’s unclear whether Arndt’s position will be filled. For now Kirk and managing editor Ann Dwyer are expected to oversee the newsroom while staffing needs are evaluated.

Arndt, who grew up in Neenah, Wisconsin, and graduated from the University of Wisconsin, previously worked for BusinessWeek as senior correspondent and senior editor, and for the Chicago Tribune as chief economics correspondent and Sunday business editor. He began his career at City News Bureau.

Here is the text of Arndt’s email to staff:

Everyone:

And now it’s my turn to say goodbye. After eight years with you at Crain’s, I’m leaving on Nov. 30. Where I am going? Maybe I should run for mayor. I don’t have any political experience, base or donors—or hope of winning—but that hasn’t stopped everyone else from announcing their candidacy. OK, so maybe not. Actually, I do have a real job plan, but I can’t share it with you just yet. I can say, though, that it’s not spending more time with Daisy, and that it is good. Very good.

Over the years, as others have moved on, it’s become almost cliche to say what a great team you are. That doesn’t make it less true, however. You are, without question, the city’s smartest and hardest-working newsroom. I hear from people all the time saying how often they come to you, even as they’ve given up on our historic media rivals. It’s not lip service: Our digital subscriptions are rising weekly, and at a good clip. You make Crain’s that essential.

Together, we’ve changed Crain’s for the better, too. Our reporting and writing are sharper. Our analysis is deeper. We are truly digital first. We know our shit. And even as we’ve shrunk, losing too many good colleagues along the way, we have retained our values and moral compass, our curiosity and sense of duty, our scrappiness and ingenuity, and our camaraderie. I love how often I hear laughter here.

I won’t miss our technology, I have to say. (Who would?) But I will miss so much else about Crain’s. If I had to capture it in one scene, it would be this: Us here on a Friday afternoon, after someone—John, Jan, Ann or I—has come back from a booze run to Macy’s or Walgreen’s, sharing a six-pack or two and a couple of bottles of wine with the crew after we’ve closed another issue, telling stories and more stories—and laughing. I am not your boss in these situations; I am your colleague and friend.

It’s been an honor leading you. And after Nov. 30 I won’t be far away. Our paths will cross.

My deepest thanks and best wishes to all of you.

Michael Arndt
Editor, Crain’s Chicago Business