Evanston Now is the independently-owned local news site for Evanston, Illinois, that covers government, schools, events and business in the city.

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A member of Local Independent Online News Publishers, Evanston Now averages more than 70,000 unique visitors and 200,000 page views per month.

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The Evanston Now team

Bill Smith

Bill Smith
Bill Smith.

Evanston Now publisher Bill Smith was born and raised in Evanston and received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from Northwestern University. He also holds a juris doctor degree from Wayne State University in Detroit.

He was a broadcast news reporter, producer and anchor in Detroit and other cities. He taught journalism at Michigan State and Penn State and at Northeastern University in Boston.

He started working in online media in 1994, beginning with Ziff-Davis Publishing’s pioneering project called Interchange and continuing with the Boston-based search engine company Lycos.

He returned to Evanston in 2005 and launched Evanston Now in 2006. He and his wife Jan share their home with a cat named Max.

Reach Bill at bill@evanstonnow.com or by calling 847-733-7526.

Jeff Hirsh

Jeff Hirsh
Jeff Hirsh.

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist.

Hirsh retired in 2019 from WKRC-TV in Cincinnati, Ohio, and moved to Evanston.

He won more than 40 local, regional and national awards for excellence in reporting, including 26 regional Emmy Awards.

Hirsh is also a three-time winner of the Sigma Delta Chi Award from the national Society of Professional Journalists, once for the Best Documentary in the U.S., and twice for the Best Investigative Reporting.

Reach Jeff at jeff@evanstonnow.com or by calling 513-319-2557.

Desiree Shannon

Desiree Shannon.

Desiree Shannon relocated to Evanston in 2022 from Columbus, Ohio.

She has a journalism degree from Otterbein College of Ohio. During her undergraduate studies, she completed an internship with the Washington Monthly Magazine in Washington, D.C., where she had the privilege of meeting many outstanding established journalists, as well as some notable up-and-comers.

Upon graduating, she accepted a position with McGraw Hill, specializing in reporting news relevant to the construction trades.

She later earned a law degree and decided to pursue a legal career as a regulatory enforcement lawyer for the State of Ohio. Before retiring in 2018, she obtained a master’s degree in public administration from Ohio University.

Reach Desiree at momingo6@aol.com.