Staff Members

Chris Krug

Chris Krug

President & Publisher

Chris Krug is the President of the Franklin News Foundation. Chris brings to Franklin 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. Chris has also served as a deputy editor at the Denver Post.

In 2008, the Local Media Association honored Chris as national editor of the year. Chris also is the former president of the Illinois Associated Press Editors Association. Presstime named Krug a 40 under 40 in 2008. Chris earned his undergraduate degree from Allegheny College (Pa.) and his Masters of Business Administration from Lake Forest (Ill.) Graduate School of Management.

Chris resides in suburban Chicago and can be reached at ckrug@franklinnews.org.

Dan McCaleb

Dan McCaleb

Executive Editor

Dan McCaleb is a veteran editor who has worked in journalism for more than 25 years . Prior to joining the Franklin News Foundation in 2017, McCaleb served as editorial director of Shaw Media and was the top editor of the award-winning Northwest Herald in suburban Chicago.

Dan lives in suburban Chicago. He can be reached at dmccaleb@thecentersquare.com.

Danielle Behler

Danielle Behler

Director of Development

Danielle Behler is the Director of Development for the Franklin News Foundation. In this leadership role, Danielle helps individuals achieve their philanthropic goals of creating non-partisan journalism focused on restoring oversight of state governments and holding politicians and bureaucrats at all levels accountable for their handling of taxpayer dollars.

She brings over 13 years of non-profit, public-policy fundraising experience to the Franklin News Foundation. She has built development programs from the ground up, as well as taken established organizations to the next level. Some of these groups include the Goldwater Institute, Young America’s Foundation, and FreedomWorks.

Prior to beginning her development career, a native of Alabama, Danielle served in the office of former U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions for nearly four years. She received her B.A. in Political Science from Auburn University.

Danielle resides in Northern Virginia where she enjoys traveling, cooking, wine tasting and spinning on her Peloton. She can be reached at dbehler@franklinnews.org.

Derek Draplin

Derek Draplin

Regional Editor

Derek Draplin is The Center Square’s Regional Editor for the west. He previously worked as an opinion producer at Forbes, and as a reporter at Michigan Capitol Confidential and The Detroit News. He’s also an editor at The Daily Caller.

Derek can be reached at ddraplin@thecentersquare.com.

Dave Lemery

Dave Lemery

Regional Editor

Dave Lemery is a veteran journalist with more than 20 years of experience. He was the editor of Suburban Life Media when its flagship newspaper was named best weekly in Illinois, and he has worked at papers in South Carolina, Indiana, Idaho and New York.

Dave can be reached at dlemery@thecentersquare.com.

Brett Rowland

Brett Rowland

Regional Editor

Brett Rowland has worked as a reporter in newsrooms in Illinois and Wisconsin covering breaking news, crime, business and local government. He most recently served as news editor of the Northwest Herald in Crystal Lake, Illinois. He previously held the same position at the Daily Chronicle in DeKalb.

Brett lives in suburban Chicago. He can be reached at browland@thecentersquare.com.

Jason Schaumburg

Jason Schaumburg

Regional Editor

Jason Schaumburg is an award-winning, veteran editor who has been a journalist for more than 20 years. He spent a decade as the top editor in three northern Illinois newsrooms for Shaw Media and Pioneer Press.
Bruce Walker

Bruce Walker

Regional Editor

Bruce Walker is a regional editor at The Center Square. He previously worked as editor at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s MichiganScience magazine and The Heartland Institute’s InfoTech & Telecom News.

Bruce can be reached at bwalker@thecentersquare.com.

Jason Goch

Jason Goch

IRN Sports Director

Jason is a graduate of Northwestern University and began his career at WGN Radio in Chicago. He joined IRN in 2003, and was promoted to sports director in 2005. Additionally, Jason works as a host for SB Nation Radio (previously Sporting News Radio), and has been a national sports talk show host since 2006. Jason can also be seen as a recurring guest on NBC Sports Chicago​’s Sports Talk Live TV program.

​Jason has reported from numerous events including the Super Bowl, World Series, Stanley Cup Finals, MLB playoffs, NBA Playoffs, and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. He also co-hosted a sports talk show in Chicago with former Bears fullback Jason McKie; that program aired on WLS 890 AM and The Game 87.7 FM. Jason has also performed play-by- play duties for various college sports. Jason is a Chicago-area native who credits his parents, Alan Goch and the late Janice Goch, for giving him the encouragement and confidence to succeed in the competitive world of sports broadcasting.

Tyler Arnold

Tyler Arnold

Staff Reporter

Tyler Arnold reports on Virginia and West Virginia for The Center Square. He previously worked for the Cause of Action Institute and has been published in Business Insider, USA TODAY College, National Review Online and the Washington Free Beacon.

Tyler can be reached at tarnold@thecentersquare.com.

Kevin Bessler

Kevin Bessler

Staff Reporter

Kevin Bessler reports on statewide issues in Illinois for the Center Square. He has over 30 years of experience in radio news reporting throughout the Midwest.

Kevin can be reached at kbessler@thecentersquare.com.

Greg Bishop

Greg Bishop

Staff Reporter

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

​Bishop is a graduate in communication and political studies from the University of Illinois-Springfield. He 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.

Nyamekye Daniel

Nyamekye Daniel

Staff Reporter

Nyamekye Daniel has been a journalist since 2016. She was the managing editor for the South Florida Media Network and a staff writer for The Miami Times. Daniel’s work has also appeared in the Sun-Sentinel, Miami Herald and The New York Times. She is a 2017 Kopenhaver Leadership fellow and 2019 Poynter-Koch Media and Journalism fellow.

Nyam can be reached at ndaniel@thecentersquare.com.

Tim Gruver

Tim Gruver

Staff Reporter

Tim Gruver is a politics and public policy reporter. He is a University of Washington alum and the recipient of the 2017 Pioneer News Award for Reporting. His work has appeared in Politico, the Kitsap Daily News, and the Northwest Asian Weekly.

Tim can be reached at tgruver@thecentersquare.com.

David Jacobs

David Jacobs

Staff Reporter

David Jacobs is a Baton Rouge-based award-winning journalist who has written about government, politics, business and culture in Louisiana for almost 15 years. He joined The Center Square in 2018.

David can be reached at djacobs@thecentersquare.com.

Vivian Jones

Vivian Jones

Staff Reporter

Vivian Jones reports on Tennessee and South Carolina for The Center Square. Her writing has appeared in the Detroit News, The Hill, and publications of The Heartland Institute.

Vivian can be reached at vjones@thecentersquare.com.

Cole Lauterbach

Cole Lauterbach

Staff Reporter

Cole Lauterbach reports on Illinois and Arizona government and statewide issues for The Center Square. He has produced radio shows for stations in Central Illinois and created award-winning programs for Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

Cole can be reached at clauterbach@thecentersquare.com.

Scott McClallen

Scott McClallen

Staff Reporter

Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.

Scott can be reached at smcclallen@thecentersquare.com.

Christen Smith

Christen Smith

Staff Reporter

Christen Smith follows Pennsylvania’s General Assembly for The Center Square. She is an award-winning reporter with more than a decade of experience covering state and national policy issues for niche publications and local newsrooms alike.

Christen can be reached at csmith@thecentersquare.com.

Lori Fenwick

Lori Fenwick

Donor Outreach Manager

Lori Fenwick is the Donor Outreach Manager for Franklin News Foundation.  In this connector role, Lori serves as the primary point of contact and outreach with potential partners while promoting the mission and work of FNF and focusing on relationship building with potential supporters.  Lori is dedicated to helping new donors identify their philanthropic priorities and creating great experiences.

Lori can be reached at lfenwick@franklinnews.org.

John Spataro

John Spataro

Affiliate and Sales Manager

John Spataro serves as the Franklin News Foundation’s Affiliate and Sales Manager, and serves as the primary point of contact for communications between the Franklin News Foundation and its media partners.

John resides in Chicago, IL and can be reached at JSpataro@FranklinMedia.Group.

Brendan Hartsell

Brendan Hartsell

Business Operations Manager

Brendan Hartsell is the Business Operations Manager at the Franklin News Foundation. In this capacity, he handles day-to-day administrative operations.

Brendan resides in Chicago, IL and can be reached at bhartsell@franklinnews.org.