Karen Kasler

Ohio Public Radio and TV Statehouse Bureau Chief

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets.  She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.

Karen is a graduate of Otterbein College, and earned her Master’s as a Fellow in the Kiplinger Program for Mid-Career Journalists at The Ohio State University. Karen has been honored by the Associated Press, the Association of Capitol Editors and Reporters, the Cleveland Press Club/Society of Professional Journalists, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences/Ohio Valley Emmys, and holds a National Headliner Award. 

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Photo of the committee hearing room
Karen Kasler / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A bill to crack down on payday lending passed an Ohio House committee without any changes – a week after the House speaker resigned and a vote on it was halted. 

Ohio Supreme Court
WOSU

The Ohio Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of Ohio’s death penalty law.  Attorneys for 54-year old Maurice Mason claimed that since the U.S. Supreme Court threw out Florida’s death penalty because it gave execution sentencing power to judges and not juries, Ohio’s law is also unconstitutional. In Ohio, judges impose the actual sentence.

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The Democratic race for governor is taking a nastier turn. The two candidates thought to be the front runners are sparring over their ties to certain organizations. 

Former Gov. Ted Strickland, who has endorsed Richard Cordray, says voters need to know more about Dennis Kucinich’s ties to a pro-Syrian group that paid him $20,000 that wasn’t disclosed in previous campaign finance forms.

photo of ECOT vs. ODE hearing
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

What was once the state’s largest online charter school has been shut down since January – after saying it couldn’t pay the bill the state says it owes for over-counting students. But the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow is still trying to win at least one battle in its ongoing legal war with the state.

Photos of Rep. Ryan Smith and Rep. Larry Householder
OHIO HOUSE

The sudden resignation of Speaker Cliff Rosenberger – after reports the FBI is looking into his travel records – has left the top leadership role in the Ohio House up for grabs and those who would like the job are lining up.

Speaker Pro Tem Kirk Schuring has said the 65-member Republican caucus is still discussing when a vote will be held for a new speaker, who would serve through the end of this year. But House Finance Committee Chairman Ryan Smith says when it happens, he’s ready.

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