Carl Kasell Stepping Away from NPR News

By Andrew Gauthier Comment

Chicago Tribune

Carl Kasell Wait, wait … from NPR News in Washington, Carl Kasell is semi-retiring.

Kasell, who did the first newscast on the first edition of “Morning Edition” for National Public Radio 30 years ago this month, is relinquishing that role, as of Dec. 30.

Fortunately for his fans, however, Kasell, 75, will continue as official judge and scorekeeper of the Chicago Public Radio-produced quiz show, “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!” the wry current events program that, his NPR bosses noted in a staff memo Monday, “turned him from a newsman into a rock star.”

And, to fully take advantage of that “rock star” status, NPR plans to deploy Kasell as an ambassador of sorts, sending him to stations for fundraising and other causes as needed.

“So I don’t know that I’m going to be cutting (the workload) a heck of a lot,” Kasell said by phone with the same perfectly understated delivery that’s treasured by “Wait Wait” contestants who vie to win a recording by him for their “answering machines.” More…