Steven E. Brown


Simon Review Paper #61


For nearly 40 years, Steve Brown has directed a public relations practice that served clients ranging from Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan to small, struggling not-for-profits like the Transitional Living Program. He has seen journalism and the media evolve from the days of Royal manual typewriters to 24-hour news channels and smartphones capable of delivering broadcast-quality video in an instant.

Before going into PR, Brown was an award-winning political writer, investigative reporter, and the first full-time Statehouse Bureau chief for the Daily Herald newspapers. He also served as director of intergovernmental affairs for the City of Chicago during Mayor Jane Byrne's tenure.

In this candid exit interview, Brown details how media coverage at the Illinois Statehouse has changed in the nearly 50 years he spent there, 38 of which he served as press secretary for Speaker of the House Madigan.