Nation & World

NPR newscaster and 'Wait, Wait' announcer Carl Kasell dies at 84

'In a word, he was a gentleman'

NPR’s News Broadcaster Carl Kasell wraps up a sound check for his final appearance on “Wait Wait ... Don’t Tell Me: Carl Kasell’s Farewell Show,” at the Warner Theater in Washington on May 15, 2014. (Washington Post photo by Nikki Kahn.)
NPR’s News Broadcaster Carl Kasell wraps up a sound check for his final appearance on “Wait Wait ... Don’t Tell Me: Carl Kasell’s Farewell Show,” at the Warner Theater in Washington on May 15, 2014. (Washington Post photo by Nikki Kahn.)

LOS ANGELES — Carl Kasell, whose Southern baritone was a presence on National Public Radio programs for more than three decades, died on Tuesday in Potomac, Maryland, from complications from Alzheimer’s disease, NPR said. He was 84.

Kasell was best known in recent years as the announcer and scorekeeper for the NPR news quiz show “Wait, Wait ... Don’t Tell Me!” for which he would record answering machine and voice mail greetings for the show’s winners.

Kasell, a member of the National Radio Hall of Fame, recorded more than 2,200 greetings between the show’s premiere in 1998 and his retirement in 2014.

“Carl was warm, funny, caring, and put up with our nonsense with a knowing smile and a wink. In a word, he was a gentleman,” the “Wait, Wait ... Don’t Tell Me!” show’s account said on Twitter.

Goldsboro, North Carolina-born Kasell first joined NPR in 1975 as a part-time newscaster for its “Weekend All Things Considered” program and ascended to full-time newscaster on its weekday news program “Morning Edition” from its inception in 1979 until 2009.

In announcing his death, NPR’s Neda Ulaby described Kasell as having a “lively sense of humor” behind the “unflappable authority” his voice lent to the news.

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