Karen Kasler is a lifelong Ohioan with a passion for broadcast reporting. She left her hometown of Lancaster for Otterbein College. As News Director at WCBE in Columbus in the 90s, she covered a variety of events, including the local impact of the Gulf War, the financial problems of the Columbus Public Schools and the trouble-ridden Ameriflora exhibition in 1992.
Karen was selected as a Fellow in the Kiplinger Master's Program for Mid-Career Journalists at The Ohio State University in 1994. After a brief stint at WBNS-TV in Columbus, she moved to Cleveland and became the afternoon drive anchor and assignment editor for WTAM-AM. 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, 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 in 2004, she's covered major elections and the issues and controversies surrounding them and involving state government, including major political campaigns, Senate Bill 5, the "Coingate" scandal and the resignation of former Attorney General Marc Dann. She's also produced features on "green" business, STEM education, campaign ads, the elimination of the state's anti-smoking agency and a demolition derby involving farm equipment.
Each year Karen anchors the Bureau's live coverage of the Governor's State of the State, and has anchored the Bureau's live coverage of the Governor's Inauguration in 2007 and 2011. She was the moderator for the City Club of Cleveland debates on Issue 2 in 2011 and the US Senate in 2010. Karen was also a panelist for debates for Governor, US Senate and Attorney General. She also has been featured on PBS' "Newshour", and has been interviewed by NPR, by the BBC and by Brian Williams for NBC's "Nightly News". Karen has reported for NPR, Marketplace and the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, and is a frequent guest and occasional guest host on ONN’s “Capitol Square” and WOSU-TV’s “Columbus on the Record”. She's also heard regularly on WCPN's morning call-in show "The Sound of Ideas".
Karen has been honored by the Association of Capitol Editors and Reporters, the Cleveland Press Club, the Society of Professional Journalists and holds a National Headliner Award. She's has won several awards from the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters, and is a four-time winner of the AP's Best Broadcast Writing award. She's been nominated for an Emmy three times for her work producing and hosting the Bureau's weekly TV talk show "The State of Ohio". Karen is also a past president of the Ohio AP Broadcasters, and is on the board of the Central Ohio Society of Professional Journalists.
Karen has also been an adjunct professor at Capital University in Columbus. Karen, her husband and their son Jack live on Columbus' northeast side.