Karen Kasler

Bureau Chief

Credit Kristen Kasler Peters

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 professional break at WCBE-FM, Columbus. Karen was selected as a Fellow in the Kiplinger Master's Degree Program for Mid-Career Journalists at Ohio State University in 1994. She worked at WTVN-AM and WBNS-TV, both in Columbus - then followed eight years as 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, the first execution since Ohio re-instated capital punishment. Karen frequently reported for ABC Radio News, and in 2002 co-produced an award-winning nationally-distributed documentary on the one-year anniversary of September 11, featuring her interview with Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge from the West Wing of the White House.

Since returning to Columbus in 2004, Karen has covered major elections and the controversies surrounding them. She was a moderator for the gubernatorial debate in 2018 and US Senate debates in 2016, 2012, 2010 and 2006. She's also led debates on statewide issues such as drug sentencing, marijuana legalization, redistricting and the collective bargaining law known as Senate Bill 5. Each year she anchors the Bureau's live coverage of the Governor's State of the State, and has led coverage of the inaugurations of the last three governors.

She's produced features for NPR and "Marketplace", and has been interviewed by NPR, the BBC, NBC and stations around the country. She's a regular panelist on 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".

Karen has been honored by the Association of Capitol Editors and Reporters, the Cleveland Press Club/Society of Professional Journalists 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 has served 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.

Gary Musselman, City Club of Cleveland

The bitter US Senate campaign of 2012 – which was one of the most expensive in the country that year – could be back for a repeat in 2018.

Incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown and Republican state treasurer Josh Mandel raised $44 million, and another $52 million in outside money poured in.

Ohio Department of Administrative Services

Each year, the state of Ohio honors the work and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with an oratory contest for kids around the state. And just before the day named for him, the winners come to a downtown Columbus church to perform their essays.

Election Day 2015

Jan 15, 2016
Karen Kasler

Welcome to Election Day 2015 - 24 hours of non-stop news condensed to just under 12 minutes.

The Statehouse News Bureau is a three-member crew that provides coverage of government and politics for Ohio’s public radio listeners.  We are not a radio station, but produce spots and packages that air on Ohio’s 33 public radio stations.  We are the only broadcast journalists who are dedicated to daily Statehouse and government reporting.

Karen Kasler

The state’s chief election officer says the time is now to get ready for the role Ohio will play as a battleground presidential state.

Karen Kasler

The state’s elections chief says he needs lawmakers to approve an online voter registration process. But a Democrat who wants that job says she disagrees.

Karen Kasler

President Obama’s executive orders on gun regulations have people on both sides of the issue asking about Ohio’s gun laws.

Karen Kasler

Thousands of Ohio students are truant every year, and many are expelled because they don’t come to school. A trio of Republican lawmakers have a proposal to deal with the problem.

Karen Kasler

The lawsuit filed by Ohio’s attorney general, a county and four state universities over a provision in the Affordable Care Act isn’t over.

Ohio House, Ohio Senate

When lawmakers come back to the Statehouse, Republicans in the legislature are likely to push bills changing  the rules for unemployment compensation, on fetal remains from abortions and on public records and the missions of state agencies. But Democrats in the House and Senate have items they want to draw attention to as well.

Ohio House, Ohio Senate

Lawmakers will be coming back to Columbus later this month to pick up some bills left unfinished last year.  And Senate and House Republican leaders have a lot of bills they want to work on.

Andy Chow

2015 brought some controversial issues before lawmakers in the Ohio Senate, and some of them are likely to circle back around in the year ahead. The top leaders of the Senate debate how these decisions have effected Ohioans.

Andy Chow

It was a busy year in the Ohio House. More than 400 bills were proposed, dealing with some of the most challenging issues in the state. As part of our series “2015 in Review,” the top House leaders talk about what happened and what’s still ahead.

Andy Chow

It was a big year for cases involving public records, home rule, sex offenders and charter schools at the state’s highest court. Here's a rundown of the top news at the Ohio Supreme Court in our continuing series “2015 in Review.”

OGT/The Ohio Channel

The Ohio Supreme Court will decide if caps on damages to assault victims who don’t have permanent physical injuries are constitutional.

A hearing is set for January 5 in federal court on the temporary block put up to stop the state from taking legal action against Planned Parenthood.

Karen Kasler

A three-member panel appointed by the outgoing state school superintendent has come up with 22 ideas on how to reform and restore the public perception of Ohio’s troubled charter schools.

Karen Kasler

The state’s laws on economic development, jobs and business growth have been condensed into a 257-page book that’s being made available to local officials.

Planned Parenthood has fired back at Attorney General Mike DeWine, who has charged that the organization’s three Ohio abortion clinics mishandled fetal remains. It's filed a federal lawsuit against the state.

"Face the Nation", CBS News

Gov. John Kasich took a different tack in his continuing battle with fellow GOP presidential contender Donald Trump on the Sunday morning talk show circuit.

Karen Kasler

The backers of last month’s marijuana legalization issue spent a lot of money on a campaign that voters overwhelmingly rejected.

Karen Kasler

The chief strategist behind President George W. Bush’s campaigns has written a book about another president – Ohio’s William McKinley, elected in 1896. He was at the Statehouse today to sign that book, and talked about the upcoming presidential election.

The chair of the Ohio Republican Party has come out with some of his strongest language yet on his party’s leading candidate – Donald Trump.

Karen Kasler

The Ohio Supreme Court has ordered Cuyahoga County to release the data on the comings and goings of Democratic former candidate for governor Ed FitzGerald, the former county executive.

Screenshot, CNN's "State of the Union"

Republican presidential candidate Gov. John Kasich blasted President Obama’s speech last night, though he seemed to agree in part with one point of it earlier on Sunday. Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler reports.

School districts around the state have been charging fees on kids in sports, music and theatre programs and other activities for years. But some state officials are now raising questions about whether “pay to play” fees are playing fair.

Karen Kasler

For the 50,000 men and women in Ohio’s 27 prisons, time behind bars is about accepting their sentences, considering the permanent damage they’ve done to their victims and finding ways to educate and improve themselves. But some of those who are incarcerated are creating incredible works of art.  And there’s a new exhibit that showcases some of the best.

Karen Kasler

Congress will soon vote on a bill to ban microbeads – those tiny plastic particles in toothpaste, facial scrubs, body washes and other personal care products. And there’s now a new effort to deal with them at the state level.

Karen Kasler

About 150 protestors assembled a few blocks away and marched together to the Donald Trump rally, carrying signs and chanting.

"Meet the Press", NBC News

Gov. John Kasich was back on the TV news talk show circuit this weekend, and he had a few choice words for his fellow Republican candidate Donald Trump. 

New Day for America

Republican presidential contender Donald Trump is threatening to sue his fellow candidate, Republican Gov. John Kasich. Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler reports the news came out last night, at the end of an interesting evening…..

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