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.

Dozens of the more than a thousand bills proposed in the House and Senate this year passed in the lame duck session in the last two weeks. The rest all died. But there was one that didn’t make it, and it was a surprise to no one.

About 50 activists demonstrated around the Statehouse yesterday, hoping to send a message to Gov. John Kasich about two newly passed abortion bans.

A Netflix series exploring hostage situations premiered this weekend with an episode telling the story of the deadly prison riot at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville in 1993.

Tributes have pouring in from people who knew, worked with and admired Ohio’s John Glenn – the first American to orbit the earth, the oldest person ever to fly in space and the state’s only four term US Senator.

The state parole board has voted 10-2 to recommend to Gov. Kasich that Ronald Phillips of Akron be put to death on schedule next month for the rape and murder of his girlfriend’s toddler daughter in 1993.

Among the flood of bills that passed this week in the lame duck legislature is a controversial proposal that would require state agencies to be abolished unless lawmakers approve their continued existence. 

Fighter pilot, astronaut and former US Senator John Glenn has passed away.

Treasurer Josh Mandel has announced he wants a rematch against Democratic US Sen. Sherrod Brown in 2018 – though Mandel may have to survive a Republican primary this time around. And he plans to take a page from the President-elect’s playbook.

Gov. John Kasich made a surprise appearance on the floor of the Ohio House yesterday, to tell lawmakers to expect a tough budget because Ohio is on “the verge of a recession”. But a report from his budget office doesn’t back up that claim.

The head of the Ohio Republican Party is likely to have a challenger to his re-election to that position next month.

The first man scheduled to be put to death in Ohio since a problematic execution almost three years ago is asking for life without parole.  But the state parole board's recommendation may not even matter right away.

Nearly 5.5 million Ohioans cast ballots in the November presidential election, making the turnout in 2016 slightly higher than it was four years ago. And there are other highlights in the election results just made official by the Secretary of State.

Gov. John Kasich is following up on the cautionary statements his budget director has made about challenges coming in the next budget.

It hasn’t even been a month since the 2016 vote, but the speculation has been going for months on who will be running in 2018 for the top five statewide offices, which will all be open. But one Democrat says he’s making the moves to run for governor.

Among the things lawmakers are dealing with in this lame duck session is whether the Senate will confirm a Democratic lawyer from Columbus to the commission that hears utility rate cases.

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