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 Dennis Kucinich and Tara Samples

The issue of guns and gun violence has energized some Republicans, including Gov. John Kasich. But it's sparked real interest among Ohio Democrats, whose views on guns run the gamut. The issue is becoming a huge one for the four major candidates in the Democratic race for governor, who will meet in their first debate together on Wednesday.

A photo of former U.S. Rep. Deborah Pryce (left), Jim Tobin of the Catholic Conference of Ohio, former state Rep. Ron Maag and former Senate president Tom Niehaus are members of Gov. John Kasich’s group, moderated by Public Safety director Col. John Born.

Gov. John Kasich has put out a package of gun-law changes he hopes to get through the Republican-dominated state Legislature. This comes after several weeks of talking about a private group he convened to discuss gun laws, and after a very public pivot on gun regulations following last month’s Florida school shooting.

A photo of : Sen. Frank LaRose (R-Hudson) gestures at a news conference with two supporters of his plan, Rep. Louis Blessing (R-Colerain) and Rep. Steve Arndt (R-Port Clinton).

Republican state lawmakers say they have a plan to give Ohio’s 88 counties millions of dollars to replace thousands of voting machines that were bought more than a decade ago. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports they could be ready in time for the 2020 presidential election.

Some big changes are coming for Ohio drivers’ licenses this summer. But as Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports, Ohio will be one of 42 states that will be mailing drivers’ licenses and state ID cards instead of printing them at the state’s 180 deputy registrars’ offices.

Larry Objof speaks at podium
Karen Kasler / Statehouse News

The leader of Republicans in the Senate says he thinks a “stand your ground” bill that Gov. John Kasich said he wouldn’t sign will pass anyway. 

The bill removes the requirement for a person to try to retreat before using lethal force in self-defense. Kasich said on NBC’s Meet the Press Daily last week that he wouldn’t sign it. For a while it’s appeared the bill was stalled. But Senate President Larry Obhof of Medina says he’s not sure about that.