Carl Kasell's radio career spans more than 50 years — 30 of them at NPR. He joined NPR as a part-time newscaster in 1975. Why sign off now? Kasell jokes that he's just tired of waking up every morning at 1 a.m.
Carl Kasell's radio career spans more than 50 years — 30 of them at NPR. He joined NPR as a part-time newscaster in 1975. Why sign off now? Kasell jokes that he's just tired of waking up every morning at 1 a.m. Tony Nagelmann/NPR
After delivering the news for NPR for three decades, Carl Kasell will give his final newscast on Dec. 30. But the broadcast veteran — his radio career has spanned more than 50 years — will continue to serve as official judge and scorekeeper on NPR's Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!
Fascinated by radio at a young age, Kasell recalls playing DJ with his grandmother's windup Victrola in Goldsboro, N.C. He worked at a local radio station part time during high school and was an actor in local theater. He majored in English at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Before moving to the Washington, D.C., area in 1965, Kasell was morning DJ and newscaster at WGBR-AM in Goldsboro. He spent 10 years at radio station WAVA in Arlington, Va., first as morning anchor, then as news director.
Kasell joined NPR in 1975 as a part-time newscaster for Weekend All Things Considered and later became a full-time NPR newscaster for Morning Edition. Kasell hosted NPR's Early Morning Edition, a one-hour news program created in 1997 and incorporated into Morning Edition at the start of 1998.
Kasell was in the newscast booth the day that Iranian students took over the American Embassy in 1979, and a decade later when the Berlin Wall fell. He says that Sept. 11, 2001, was the most memorable day in his long broadcast career.
Kasell phones in an update to Wait Wait's Peter Sagal. Kasell is also an accomplished magician and UNC basketball fan.
Kasell phones in an update to Wait Wait's Peter Sagal. Kasell is also an accomplished magician and UNC basketball fan. Tony Nagelmann
Talk of the Nation's Neal Conan hosts a conversation with Kasell in NPR's Studio 4A — they'll be joined by several of Kasell's colleagues from his 50-year career in news:
Peter Sagal, host of NPR's Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me
Bob Edwards, host of The Bob Edwards Show and Bob Edwards Weekend, on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio; former host of NPR's Morning Edition
Katie Couric, anchor and managing editor of CBS Evening News with Katie Couric; correspondent for 60 Minutes; hired as an intern by Kasell at WAVA
Paula Poundstone, comedian and panelist on NPR's Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!