Karen Kasler

Contact Karen at 614/578-6375 or at kkasler@statehousenews.org.

Karen Kasler is a lifelong Ohioan. She grew up in Lancaster, attended Otterbein College in Westerville, and found her first professional break at WCBE-FM, Columbus. Karen was selected as a Fellow in the Kiplinger Program for Mid-Career Journalists at The Ohio State University in 1994. After earning her Master's Degree in that program, she worked at WBNS-TV in Columbus and then moved north to become the afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor for WTAM-AM, Cleveland. Karen followed the demolition and rebuilding of Cleveland Browns Stadium, produced award-winning series on identity theft and the Y2K panic, covered the Republican National Convention in 2000 and the blackout of 2003, and reported annually from the Cleveland National Air Show each year, often going upside down in an aerobatic plane to do it. In 1999, she was a media witness to the execution of Wilford Berry, at the time the first man put to death since Ohio re-instated capital punishment. Karen frequently reported for ABC Radio News, and also co-produced an award-winning nationally-distributed documentary on the one-year anniversary of September 11, 2001, which featured her interview with Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge from the West Wing of the White House.

Since returning to Columbus, she's covered major elections and the controversies surrounding them. Each year she anchors the Bureau's live coverage of the governor's State of the State. She was a moderator for US Senate debates in 2012 and 2010, participated in several debates in 2010, and has led debates over statewide issues. She's produced features for NPR and "Marketplace", and has been interviewed by NPR, the BBC, NBC and several local and regional stations around the country. She's a regular panelist on WCPN/ideastream's "The Sound of Ideas", a frequent guest on WOSU-TV’s “Columbus on the Record” and has appeared on WBNS-TV's "Face the State".

She's been honored by the Association of Capitol Editors and Reporters, the Cleveland Press Club/Society of Professional Journalists, the Ohio Educational Telecommunications Commission, and holds a National Headliner Award. She's won several awards from the Ohio AP, and is a four-time winner of the AP's Best Broadcast Writing award. She's a three-time Emmy nominee for "The State of Ohio". She's a past president of the Ohio Associated Press, and currently on the Board of Directors for the Central Ohio Society of Professional Journalists. Karen is also a former adjunct professor at Capital University in Columbus.

Karen, her husband and their son Jack live on Columbus' northeast side.

Ten months ago state lawmakers created a bipartisan panel with the power to review the state budget and make recommendations for ending billions in tax loopholes. Now that group has met for the first time.

It’s likely Ohio’s only statewide elected Democrat will enter the race to become his party’s nominee for governor.

A longtime Republican Senator from northwest Ohio has abruptly resigned his seat.

The state budget office says its required analysis of Issue 2 shows Ohio could save money if voters approve the drug price initiative next month. But the report says there are many variables that make it impossible to predict how much the state would save.

The state’s largest online charter school said in court filings last week that it will close by January if it’s forced to pay back nearly $80 million to the state from two attendance audits. But the state auditor says that doesn’t mean the bill would be settled.

The four candidates vying to be the Republican nominee in next year’s governor’s race sat down for separate twenty-minute interviews last night in a Columbus church before a crowd of more than 500 people.  And there was one theme in particular that stood out – and it was about the man they all want to succeed.

A Republican state senator wants to roll back almost a hundred requirements on school districts. They range from mandates on school personnel to directives for students in classrooms.

The number of abortions in Ohio last year went down for the fourth year in a row. Both sides in the debate are pleased, but have differing opinions on why.

A state budget provision just taking effect would change an 80-year-old policy, requiring those who want to dispute tax decisions go to one of 12 regional appeals courts instead of the Ohio Supreme Court. But businesses say that will hurt them.

Democrats have candidates in each of the five executive statewide offices next year with a Cincinnati attorney’s kickoff of his campaign for treasurer.

The Ohio Department of Education says its latest audit of the state’s largest online charter school shows it once again inflated its attendance. And that means ECOT owes another big bill for the students it was paid to educate – but the state says it didn’t.

The prosecutor involved in the case of the kidnapping, rape and murder of an Ohio State student in February is pleased with the introduction of legislation named for her. But he thinks changes relating to release and monitoring of accused criminals could have happened sooner.

State lawmakers overrode six of Gov. John Kasich’s 47 budget vetoes. But one headline-making veto may survive – the one that stops a plan to ask the federal government to increase the tax on managed care organizations.

Democrats say they’ll join a bipartisan group of state lawmakers working on a new way to draw Congressional districts. But they are concerned about the timing.

Republican state legislative leaders say they’re putting together a bipartisan group to come up with a new way to draw Congressional districts. This comes as a citizens’ group frustrated with inaction on the issue is planning its own proposal to present to voters.

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