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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American Forum / American Forum

Ohio has been gaining jobs over the last few years, and its unemployment rate hit its lowest level in 17 years a few months ago. But there are other numbers in the state’s economic overview that raise concerns for a progressive group that reviews the economy each year on Labor Day.  

Amy Hanauer with Policy Matters Ohio said the State of Working Ohio report shows workers are more productive and educated, but there are still pay gaps between men and women and whites and African Americans and little wage growth. 


The Ohio Republican Party held the biggest annual fundraising dinner in the organization’s history on Friday – headlined by President Donald Trump. There's been speculation that the Trump factor could help Democrats in this fall’s midterm elections, but guests at the dinner presented a united front.  

Donald Trump speaking at one of his rallys

President Trump is headlining the Ohio Republican Party’s annual dinner tonight, the biggest fundraising event of the year.

The event is being held at the Columbus Convention Center, where an anime convention is also underway. As guests arrived in suits and dresses, anime vistors entered  in costumes of superheroes and characters from Japanese animation.

Trump is expected to speak at 6, after visiting Nationwide Children’s Hospital with the First Lady and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. He also attended a fundraiser with US Senate candidate Jim Renacci. 

photo of Rich Cordray and Mike DeWine

The same day that Republican Mike DeWine aired his first ad of this fall’s governor’s race, a group of Democratic governors launched their ad against him.

Richard Cordray started his TV ad campaign earlier this month. But this commercial is from the Democratic Governors Association, and it goes after ads from the group’s Republican counterpart.

“Mike DeWine’s special interest allies are making false attacks on Rich Cordray. Because Rich Cordray has spent his life taking on the big banks and drug companies — the very companies funding DeWine,” the ad says.

Photo of Ryan Smith

Experts say the decentralized, tamperproof digital ledger system known as blockchain has the potential to completely change commerce, culture, and communication, as the internet and smartphones have. Republican state lawmakers say they want in on it.

Speaker Ryan Smith said he isn’t proposing specific legislation but wants meetings on blockchain between lawmakers and community leaders. One is a Northeast Ohio luxury car dealership owner, Bernie Moreno, who says this is a chance to jump in after missing the tech wave of the 90s.