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.

The state budget director is pushing back on a bill that environmental advocates and the oil and gas industry say would streamline the process of capping some 600 old oil and gas wells that don’t have owners. The bill would also triple the amount of money set aside to cap those wells.

A longtime state representative is formally apologizing for comments he made at a going away party earlier this week – comments that had other lawmakers fuming and calling for an investigation.

The shutdown of the state’s largest online charter school – which owes tens of millions of dollars to the state – has thousands of students searching for options in the middle of the school year. And there are also some 800 teachers and faculty from the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow who are now looking for work.

An environmental group and an oil and gas industry lobbying group are both praising a bill that passed the House that would streamline the process of capping some 600 old, unused wells that don’t have owners. And they also want more money put toward that process.

A convicted killer is claiming that since the US Supreme Court struck down Florida’s capital punishment sentencing law in 2016, Ohio’s death penalty law is now unconstitutional. He’s claiming the ruling that a jury must sentence a defendant to death makes Ohio’s two-part sentencing process illegal.

History suggests that the party not represented in the White House does well in midterm Congressional elections – and this year Ohio’s five executive offices, including governor, are also on the ballot, along with US Senate. And national experts will be watching.

The budget passed last year requires the state to apply for permission to impose work requirements on able-bodied Medicaid recipients. That could mean thousands of Ohioans could lose their health care coverage. While some support the idea, it's controversial to others.

Amazon has narrowed down its list of possible sites for its second headquarters and Columbus is one of 20 cities nationwide that made the cut. Gov. John Kasich credits JobsOhio for helping make the city attractive to the internet retailer.

National stats estimate 1 in 25 people is threatened or harassed by the sharing of explicit images of themselves online without their consent or knowledge. And right now, it’s not illegal in Ohio to do that. But there’s a new bill that hopes to ban so-called “revenge porn”.

The only Democrat on the Ohio Supreme Court is speaking out after the Republican-dominated Senate voted yesterday to take the first step to remove him from the bench.

State stats show overdoses from opioids – including heroin and fentanyl – are killing at least nine people a day. And that figure is likely to rise by the time new numbers are released this summer. The crisis brought advocates to Columbus for a daylong conference on how local groups and communities can fight it.

The annual statewide Martin Luther King Jr. oratory contest brought out some strong words from its student winners.

The state has honored seven people for carrying on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The US Supreme Court heard arguments today in a case challenging Ohio’s controversial method for maintaining its voter rolls. 

Former Cleveland mayor, state lawmaker and congressman Dennis Kucinich has taken the first steps toward joining the already-crowded field running for the Democratic nomination for governor.

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