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KYW Newsradio Reporter Karin Phillips Dies

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Beloved KYW Newsradio community affairs reporter Karin Phillips passed away suddenly on Tuesday after a brief illness.  She was 53.

Karin’s news beat kept the Philadelphia region aware of all the unique organizations, programs, and events that make a difference in our community.

She joined the all-news staff in 1979 as a production assistant, and through the years wore many hats at the station – including reporter, writer, and daytime editor.


KYW Newsradio 1060 Reports:


Before becoming a part of the KYW Newsradio team, Karin worked as a reporter for the Burlington County Times. She was also an anchor and producer for Express Traffic Services.

Karin was an adjunct professor teaching broadcast journalism at Rutgers University, where she graduated in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Spanish, and a minor in journalism. In 1998 she obtained her Master’s degree there.

During her undergraduate studies, she was a reporter and editor of the campus newspaper and president of the Spanish Club. She was named Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges and was honored as one of the 50 finest graduates of Rutgers University-Camden.

Karin was also a member of the Philadelphia Flying Phoenix Dragon Boat team, which raises money for the fight against breast cancer.

pix dragonboat 420x400 KYW Newsradio Reporter Karin Phillips Dies

Karin and some of her teammates at the October 2007 Philadelphia International Dragon Boat Festival. (Credit: George Barth)

As a member of the team, Karin helped pack surplus food for distribution to feeding organizations and helped prepare meals at the Ronald McDonald House, a home-away-from-home for families with children receiving hospital treatment in the region.

Karin was a native of Philadelphia and resided in South Jersey at the time of her death. She was a member of the Christian Bell Choir of Burlington County, which performs in neighborhood churches, senior centers, nursing homes, and for inmates at county prisons and jails.

In 2009, Karin received the Human Rights Award for Arts and Culture from the Philadelphia Commission on Human Rights. In 2004, she received the Outstanding Community Service award from the Philadelphia Council of Clergy, the largest multicultural religious clergy organization in Philadelphia.

Karin’s voice may have been silenced, but it will never be forgotten.

Karin is survived by her mother and brother.


  • Richard in Allentown, PA

    Condolences to her KYW colleagues, family, and friends. Her reports helped elevate community initiatives in the region, and KYW and its management should be complimented for this work. I moved to the area and started listening to KYW regularly in 1979, and it’s always sad to learn of the loss of one the longtime familiar voices at KYW.

  • Ken Berk

    As a listener to KYW since it first hit the airwaves, I was saddened to hear of the passing of Karin. Her work was top notch, but her contributions to the community & her deep faith were unknown to me until now. I’m sorry I never had the pleasure of meeting her. My deepest sympathy to Karin’s family.

  • Lorraine Dischert

    I was deeply saddened to learn of Karin’s passing. As a long-time listener, it was always such a pleasure to hear her voice. My thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends, and her KYW family. She was a blessing. RIP, Karin.

  • Tess

    Woke up today to KYW as always shocked and sadden of Karen passing KYW is like family to me listen every morning. Karen will be missed my prayers go out to her family and friends.

  • George

    Karin was a breath of fresh air to listen to. The content of her stories was often uplifting and I loved the melodious nature of her sign off…Karen Phillips KYW Newsradio. Sympathies to her family and co-workers at KYW.

  • Katie

    RIP, such a sad time, but thoughts and prayers are with you all as well as her family.

  • Anna Iredale

    Terrific reporter, straight shooter and fun to work with…so sorry to hear this.

  • Leigh

    My sympathies to her family & friends.

  • Terry Guerra

    I logged on early this morning to do some work and couldn’t quite start. I am in shock at Karin’s death. I am offering my prayers today for her and her family and loved ones. I loved listening to her stories on events and activities of nonprofits in Philadelphia. I was so elated when in 2004 she came to the launch event for the West Philly (Haddington and Cobbs Creek) neighborhood planning project by ACHIEVEabilty/The Partnership CDC/Wells Fargo Regional Foundation. May Karin rest in peace, and may her good work and spirit be carried on.

  • Pedro Queeman-Dixon

    Thoughts and prayers are with her family and with her family at the radio station. May God opened his arm excepting her for the goodness and wonderful work. She did for all of us.

  • Mike Smith

    Karin was the answer to those who believe the media only leads with what bleeds. She was a go-to person for the nonprofit community, and will be missed.

  • Richard Cirko

    Karin and I were friends. She graciously accepted an invitation to be a guest speaker at my agency’s annual luncheon this past June, which was terrific. She was always upbeat and fun to talk to. My thoughts and prayers are with Karin’s family. I wish you peace during this most difficult time.

  • Jennifer

    So so sad. Thoughts and prayers are with her family and with her family at the radio station. She will be missed.

  • Stephen

    This is the 2nd loss this year for KYW 1060. Two familiar, beloved voices are gone. Karin will be missed…

  • Elaine Mitchell

    GOD bless Karin’s family and her KYW family. I will definitely miss her reports as I listen to KYW during my day.

  • Charmaine Hurst

    I am so shock.I am so use to hearing her report on what is going on around the city of Philadelphia.She had such a soothing and calm voice always pleasent.I am impressed of all her acomplishments of the years.She did a lot.She surely is a inspiration to young people in school and in college to keep going to the top to reach your goals I always like when she ends her commentary,”this is Karen Phillips,KYW NEWS RADIO”.She will be missed and I will miss her part of reporting.:(

  • Karen Cutler

    I had the pleasure of knowing and working with Karin over 20years. She was a true professional. Her voice may be silent but the stories she told will live on forever. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and the entire CBS/KYW family. She will be greatly missed!

  • Amy L. Ringenbach

    Dear Steve and the entire KYW NewsRadio family, What a shock. So sad. Karin was such a skilled reporter, a welcome voice of news and broad interests whose work –and humor! — will be sorely missed. What a year it’s been for your news family, with the loss of Don Lancer, too? Remembering working with Karin and the rest of the mighty Snow Closings “SNOT” team so early on snowy mornings. Warmly, Amy Ringenbach ( fellow KYW1060 newman Harry Johnson’s ex-wife and newsroom staffer)

  • Marc

    You guys have had a rough year…losing her and Don Lancer. Thoughts and prayers for all of you and their families.

  • Renee Oppenheim Handwerk

    i just moved back to Philadelphia after 6 years in Florida and she was one of the voices on KYW that i was glad to hear again. what a shame, a loss for her family and the Delaware Valley.

  • Anne-Marie Wojcik

    What a shock. My deepest condolences to her family, friends and colleagues. Loved listening to Karin on KYW. Karin, you will be missed.


    Met her 7 years ago when she came to my church to do a story on the reaction of the local Russian American community to the Beslan School Terrorist Attack.She greatly impressed me with her professionalism,enthusiasm,empathy,and inteligence.
    I am truly sorry to hear of her passing.

  • Jenny

    That’s really too bad. She was really good. Even if I had not realized that I was making note of her work over these year and listening to her in particular, as soon as I saw the name and read this story about what she covered, the recollection of her work in my own mind was immediate and impressive. This will by a void. :-(

  • Shawn Robertson

    What agreat loss to the family, and the region. Prayers for comfort for the family.

  • Another Jean

    How terribly sad. She was a pleasure to listen to on the radio, and she will be missed.

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