Karen Kasler (Ohio Public Radio)

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, 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, 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 she anchors the Bureau's live coverage of the governor's State of the State. She was a panelist for the gubernatorial and the US Senate debates in 2006 and the Attorney General's race in 2008, and has also been interviewed by NPR, by the BBC and by Brian Williams for NBC's "Nightly News".

Karen has 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 was nominated for an Emmy in 2006 for hosting "The State of Ohio". She's currently the president-elect of the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters.

Karen joined the Bureau in March 2004. She’s reported for NPR, Marketplace and the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, and is a frequent guest on ONN’s “Capitol Square” , WVIZ’s “Ideas” and WOSU-TV’s “Columbus on the Record”.

Karen is also an adjunct professor at Capital University in Columbus. Karen, her husband and their son Jack live on Columbus' northeast side.

Some observers feel Ohio’s US Senate contest is all but over, with incumbent Rob Portman leading Democratic former Gov. Ted Strickland by around 15 points. But the candidates are continuing their tour of the state with three debates – the first was Friday in Youngstown, and last night they met in Columbus.

Statehouse News Bureau

The rift between the Trump campaign on the chair of the Ohio Republican Party became what appears to be a full-blown war this weekend.

It’s no secret Matt Borges has had concerns about Donald Trump as the party’s nominee. But Trump’s Ohio campaign chair Bob Paduchik suggested this was personal in his letter to the Ohio Republican Party’s state central committee.

The letter blasted the chairman for promoting himself as a possible future head of the Republican National Committee with what Paduchik called “an apparently insatiable need for publicity”.

The first of three debates between the two major party candidates for US Senate got heated very quickly, as Democratic challenger Ted Strickland, who trails Republican Sen. Rob Portman by double digits, went on the attack. 

The first question in the debate on WMFJ in Youngstown was about trade, and Portman used his answer as an opportunity to refute the blasts Strickland launched against him in his opening argument, saying the former governor doesn’t want to talk about his record.

Brendan C / Flickr/Creative Commons

The revelations of Republican Donald Trump’s lewd comments about women and a Wikileaks dump of Wall Street speeches by Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton may have some Ohioans reconsidering their presidential vote.  But, there are rules on who you can and can’t vote for.

When US Sen. Rob Portman said he won’t vote Trump for president, he said he’d write in Trump’s running mate Mike Pence. Secretary of State spokesman Josh Eck has some advice for anyone considering writing in their presidential vote.

Karen Kasler

Among the tens of millions of people watching last night’s first presidential debate were dozens of volunteers and supporters in central Ohio, at gatherings put together by the Clinton and Trump campaigns. 

Patrick Q / Flickr Creative Commons

A report commissioned by three groups representing officials from traditional public schools shows what they call a strong link between student performance and household income - in other words, kids in wealthy districts do better on tests on average than kids in poor districts do.

Statehouse News Bureau

Ohio’s Attorney General has been doing events around the state in the last few weeks, to bring more awareness to the state’s drug opioid epidemic. That crisis was brought into a harsh spotlight recently thanks to a photo of two Ohioans who nearly died from their heroin use.

Mike DeWine says he has mixed feelings about the East Liverpool police photo that went viral, featuring a couple overdosing on heroin in a van with a four year old buckled in a seat behind them.

Mark Belokopytov / Flickr Creative Commons

At 4.8% for July, the Ohio unemployment rate is firmly in pre-recession territory, and the state is on a job-gaining trend. But that doesn’t give the full picture of how things are for working Ohioans, says the state’s leading labor policy issues think tank.

tncountryfan / Flickr/Creative Commons

Once again, kids are going back to school in Ohio. And once again, a state lawmaker is saying that school shouldn’t be starting in the middle of August.


The Ohio Supreme Court says backers of a plan to cap the price Ohio pays for drugs it buys for Medicaid, prisons and other state-run programs fell short of the signatures they need to put it before voters next year.