Crain’s Chicago’s first editor was a “high energy, big picture” guy
Steven Strahler of Crain’s Chicago Business writes about Steve Yahn, the first editor of Crain’s Chicago who died at 69 on Tuesday.
Strahler writes, “Yahn was a charismatic and not very button-down journalist who didn’t last long at Crain’s Chicago Business but went on to become editor of two other Crain publications, Advertising Age (where he had worked before) and the now-defunct Collector-Investor; he also helmed periodicals outside the company.
“‘I picked Steve as our first editor because he was a high-energy, big-story guy as senior editor of Ad Age, and I thought he would do a great job of firing up the troops at our new publication,’ Crain said. ‘He didn’t let me down.’
“First envisioned as a monthly, Crain’s Chicago Business was launched as a weekly in mid-1978 when the demise of the Chicago Daily News provided a supply of experienced, job-seeking journalists. Yahn himself had worked at the afternoon newspaper after graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
“‘He was a hard-news man,’ recalled Dan Miller, a Daily News alum and managing editor under Yahn. ‘I think Steve reminded Rance of what Rance was like.’
“With a lean staff, editors like Yahn and Miller wrote stories, too. Yahn was on the front page of the April 17, 1978, pilot issue, with a scoop about New York-based investment banking firms poised to open Chicago offices.”
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