Carl Kasell, longtime NPR newscaster, dead at 84

National Public Radio's Carl Kasell delivers one of his last newscasts during the Morning Edition program at NPR December 30, 2009 in Washington, DC. A newscaster with NPR for 30 years, Kasell will take up the duty of roving ambassador for the network and continue his work on the game show Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me! (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Longtime NPR newscaster Carl Kasell has died at the age of 84, his longtime radio home announced Tuesday.

NPR said the newsman died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease in Potomac, Maryland.

For 30 years, Kasell was the voice of NPR’s top-of-the-hour news updates, and, starting in 1998, added a quirky new role as the scorekeeper for the weekly NPR news quiz show “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!”

Call-in listeners who aced a news quiz received a unique and coveted prize among the public-radio set: A custom recording by Kasell for their home answering machines, and, in later years, cell-phone voicemail. He recorded more than 2,000 messages before retiring from the radio show in 2014, NPR said.

Kasell joined the network in 1975 in a part-time capacity, and later became a full-time announcer for Morning Edition, where he continued until 2009, when he left the news side of the network.

His work on “Wait Wait” revealed a surprising, humorous side that was all but undetectable during his many decades of serious news delivery.

“The greatest thing about Carl was anything we came up with, he was game,” said Peter Sagal, the host of the Chicago-based game show.