Our Team

Chris Krug

Chris Krug is the Publisher and General Manager of the Illinois Radio Network. Krug brings to Illinois Radio Network more than 25 years of experience in the media industry. He is the former publisher of the suburban Chicago Pioneer Press newspaper chain.

Prior to his tenure as a vice president at Sun-Times Media Network and oversight of Pioneer, he was responsible for all news operations and managed properties in the suburbs as a vice president for Shaw Suburban Media. During that time, he worked directly with teams at the Northwest Herald, Kane County Chronicle, DeKalb Daily-Chronicle, the Lake County Journals, and the bilingual El Conquistador. Krug has also served as a deputy editor at the Denver Post.

In 2008, the Local Media Association honored Krug as national editor of the year. Krug also is the former president of the Illinois Associated Press Editors Association. Presstime named Krug a 40 under 40 in 2008.

Lori Browning

Lori Browning is the Illinois News Network’s Executive Editor. Though currently located in Springfield, she has lived most of her life in the metro-east St. Louis area. She spent the past 27 years working for the Belleville News-Democrat, a paper known for its hard-hitting, investigative journalism.

Her work as a reporter, copy editor and assistant city editor at various papers helped her develop a keen sense of what’s news. As the BND’s editorial page editor for the past 25 years, she won dozens of awards for her writing and the page itself, including from the National Headliner, the Illinois Press Association and the Taxpayers’ Federation of Illinois.

Cole Lauterbach

A graduate of Columbia College Chicago and Clifton, Illinois native, Cole spent several years managing and producing news/talk radio stations in Bloomington/Normal and Peoria before moving to Chicagoland to create award-winning programs for Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

He and his wife, Sarah, reside in Aurora with their daughter Madeline.

Greg Bishop

With years of award winning broadcast experience in the Springfield market, Greg Bishop now reports on Illinois government and other statewide issues for the Illinois News Network.

Bishop is a graduate in communication and political studies from the University of Illinois-Springfield. He got his start in radio with his public affairs program “The Council Roundup,” a review of Springfield City Council Meetings. He now also hosts “Bishop On Air,” a weekday morning-drive current events talk show on News/Talk 94.7 FM and 970 AM WMAY in Springfield.

Bishop lives just south of the Capital City with his wife Meghan where they garden, train for long-distance races, and travel across the Midwest attending various concerts.

Mike Demkovich

Michael Demkovich is the Director of Digital Strategy at the Illinois News Network. In this capacity, he develops and executes a digital marketing plan for INN and oversees publication, dissemination and measurement of paid and owned digital media.

A graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he has previously worked in a variety of digital marketing capacities with various non-profit, private sector and media organizations in his career. If you’d like to get in his good graces, say something nice to him about the Chicago Blackhawks or Chicago Cubs.

Brendan Hartsell

Brendan Hartsell is the Media Business Coordinator at the Illinois News Network. In this capacity he maintains the website, delivers content, and does other administrative work for INN.

Prior to joining INN, Brendan was an English teacher in Shenzhen, China. Brendan graduated from Washington and Lee University in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in European history.

About Us

Illinois News Network is a non-profit reporting service that shines a light on public policies that affect the residents of Illinois. INN strives to be the go-to source for individuals and newsrooms looking to expand their knowledge of issues relating to economic policy and government activities in Illinois.

The Illinois News Network is eager to work with local media.

For tips and investigative project ideas, contact Executive Editor Lori Browning at (217) 528-8800 or via email at lbrowning@ilnews.org.

To be added to our daily content distribution lists, contact Media Business Coordinator Brendan Hartsell at bhartsell@ilnews.org.

Other inquiries, please email info@ilnews.org.

Illinois News Network is an independent project of the Illinois Policy Institute.