Meet the Reporters
Steve Kastenbaum came to Westwood One from CNN where, for the past year, he has worked as a producer, reporter and CNN Newsource correspondent out of the network’s New York bureau. Recently, he reported from Ferguson, Missouri on violent clashes between protesters and police. His coverage of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and investigative work on the so-called “Bridgegate” scandal resulted in several exclusive reports. Steve was a correspondent for CNN Radio for seven years after starting his career at all news radio station WINS in NY. He’s won more than a dozen local and national awards for his reporting, including the 2013 Edward R. Murrow Award for Reporting: Hard News and the 2013 Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Use of Sound.
Bob Costantini joined Westwood One from NBC News Radio. His career includes reporting for Fox News Channel, Tribune Television, and CNN Radio. He has covered the White House and Capitol Hill, Supreme Court, and the political game. Bob has also covered many other major stories out of Washington over the years, and was in the Roosevelt Room at the White House when President Clinton made his famous finger-wagging denial about Monica Lewinsky.
Jim Roope came to Westwood One as a veteran broadcast journalist. He spent 13 years as the West Coast Correspondent for CNN Radio, where he was the recipient of 12 Golden Mic and three Peabody Awards for excellence in journalism. Before joining CNN, Jim worked in Los Angeles at such storied stations as KABC, KFWB and KNX as a general assignment reporter, and as news director for K-NEWS and Operations Manager for KKGO/KGIL.
Meet the Anchors
Jim Asendio trained at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. He has been a newspaper reporter/photographer and a radio reporter, news director and anchor during his award winning career. Jim has worked at some of the nation’s leading commercial and public radio all news and news/talk stations including WINS and WCBS in NYC; KDKA in Pittsburgh; WIND in Chicago; KFWB in Los Angeles; KFBK in Sacramento; WLIU on Long Island and WAMU in Washington, D.C.
Ann Cates has spent nearly two decades as a national news anchor, including 15 years at the MarketWatch Radio network, where she also served as managing editor before joining Westwood One News. Ann has also worked as an anchor at WTOP and other radio stations in Washington DC, WLIF in Baltimore and WDEL/WSTW in Wilmington, Delaware. She is a graduate of the University of Delaware and recently earned a certificate in gerontology from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
Christopher Cruise has anchored at the Voice of America, the CNN Radio Network and CNN Headline News. He was an Army broadcaster, and worked as an anchor in Portland, ME, Greensboro, NC, Atlanta, GA and Washington, DC. In his spare time, Chris teaches American political history.
Elliott Francis has extensive experience as a TV and radio news anchor. As a TV news reporter in Washington, DC, Elliott covered the infamous sniper shootings and investigation. His work in Boston, MA earned him two Emmy Awards for reporting, and he has also received the AP Mid Atlantic radio news award for breaking news. Elliott is an adjunct professor with Boston University, teaching beat reporting in Washington DC.
Evan Haning has been a fixture on the air in Washington, DC. For nearly a decade, he was a reporter and anchor for WTOP. More recently, he anchored afternoon drive for WNEW-FM. After more than seven years behind the scenes and behind the mic on the internationally-syndicated Dr. Gabe Mirkin Show, Evan joined Westwood One News as anchor and fill-in host, and since 2015 he was been full time host of the Westwood One News morning magazine show First Light.
Barbara Kusak always approaches news with a curiosity, wanting to know what’s behind the headline. That was her guiding principle as a radio news anchor and reporter in Detroit and Las Vegas and as a TV news writer and producer in New York. While living in the southwest, Barbara’s love for writing led to a monthly chef’s feature for InStyle and 101 North magazines. Barbara earned her BA at Wayne State University in Detroit.
Michael Toscano began his work in Washington DC as a White House and Capitol Hill correspondent for several major television groups, before serving stints at C-SPAN and as a writer for the Washington Post. He was a national political analyst and program host for the Wall Street Journal Network prior to joining Westwood One News. Michael grew up in Connecticut, where he was a staff announcer at WTIC radio and TV, then moved to WRAL Raleigh NC as morning drive anchor and politics reporter for WRAL-TV.
John Trout is a radio and television broadcaster and has worked in a wide-range of capacities within the radio industry, including on-air host, newscaster, sales manager, and program director. He’s a two time recipient of the Achievement in Radio award. His radio stops include Indianapolis, Virginia Beach, Pittsburgh, PA and Washington DC. Trout is a graduate of the Mississippi State University Broadcast Meteorology Program and has worked as a television meteorologist at WLFI-TV in Lafayette, Indiana and WBOC-TV in Salisbury, Maryland. Since 2015, John has hosted the Westwood One News morning magazine program America in the Morning.