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Retiring KCCI anchor turned struggles with depression into advocacy

River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

When KCCI news anchor Steve Karlin posted to Facebook about his struggles with depression, he said he felt like he needed to "publicly shame" himself.

Being a cheery on-air presence, he felt he needed to show people his authentic self and warn them not to wait like he did to get treatment. It turned out to be the best thing he ever did, Karlin said, and led to him becoming an advocate for mental health awareness. Karlin joined River to River host Ben Kieffer to talk about his upcoming retirement from KCCI after more than three decades working for the central Iowa TV station.

Before that, IPR's Grant Gerlock discusses the recent passage of the school choice bill. Now signed into law, families could receive up to $7,598 of state money per child per year for private school tuition. Opponents say shifting hundreds of millions in education funding to religious and other private institutions will harm public schools, particularly rural ones.


  • Grant Gerlock, education reporter, Iowa Public Radio
  • Steve Karlin, KCCI 8 News anchor
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Dani Gehr is a producer for River to River and Talk of Iowa. Dani came to Iowa from her hometown in the northwest suburbs of Chicago to attend Iowa State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in journalism, international studies and French. Before coming to IPR, Dani covered local government in Story County for the Ames Tribune and Des Moines Register.