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.

Karen Kasler, Statehouse News Bureau

The election of 2015 hasn’t even happened yet, but there are already suggestions that Republicans are planning way ahead.

A charter school reform bill is zooming through the legislature after months of negotiation. But a pothole has opened up, relating to how those teachers fund their retirements.

Karen Kasler

Ohio is among 31 states with the death penalty, and the state has had some high-profile problems with executions in the last few years. And some are suggesting that attitudes on the death penalty might be starting to change. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.

State Route 23 south of Columbus is no road for walking. Cars whiz by along with semis, 18 wheelers and many other kinds of trucks. But walking north facing the southbound traffic was a small group, all clad in bright red t-shirts that bore the message “Stop Executions Now”.

Karen Kasler

A new law now allows access to birth records to 400,000 adoptees from around the world who were born in Ohio between 1964 and 1996. A few of them traveled from 14 states to gather in Columbus last night, to prepare to be first in line at the Ohio Department of Health on the first day of the new law.

Karen Kasler

Tonight is the first-ever championship game of the new playoff system, and it pits the Oregon Ducks against the Ohio State Buckeyes. Oregon suffered a setback in the last few days with two receivers out with an injury and a suspension, but the Ducks are still favored to win. However, there are no doubts among Buckeyes fans on who will win this game.

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