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. 

Ways to Connect

photo of construction sign
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The candidates for governor appear to have different approaches on how they’d pay for infrastructure, with construction costs going up and gas tax revenue declining.

Republican Mike DeWine told a group of agencies that work with local communities that he’d appoint a blue ribbon task force to study how to best pay for infrastructure fixes, saying that panel would need to make recommendations quickly. And DeWine says if a tax hike is suggested, he’d be open to a candid conversation on that.

Generic photo of people voting
MARYLAND GOV PICS / FLICKR

Even though the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that Ohio’s disputed six-year voter roll maintenance process is constitutional, no voters will be removed from the rolls till after the November election. There’s now a plan on how to go forward with voter removal after that.

photo of the U.S. Supreme Court
WIKIMEDIA

A national group that advocates for so-called “right to work” policies is threatening to sue Ohio if it doesn’t stop collecting dues from state workers who are not union members, following last month’s U.S. Supreme Court decision on the issue. The state’s largest public employee union says the threat is unnecessary – and went to the wrong agency anyway.

photo of Tracy Plouck
DANIEL KONIK / OGT

One of the leading figures in the state’s battle against the deadly opioid crisis is stepping down. The departure of the head of the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, who’s leaving six months before the end of the term of her boss, Gov. John Kasich.

Tracy Plouck was Medicaid director under Govs. Bob Taft and Ted Strickland. Kasich hired her to head the Department of Mental Health, which merged with Addiction Services in 2013.

photo of Mike DeWine
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Democrats have been blasting Republican Attorney General and candidate for governor Mike DeWine for not doing more about the multi-million dollar scandal involving the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, the now-closed online charter school. Republicans are pushing back.

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