Tyler Pratt

Reporter/Host/Producer

Tyler Pratt is a reporter, host and producer at KCBX. You can hear him on weekdays filing news reports and hosting afternoon programming. Tyler hails from the deserts of West Texas but likes to call the the swamps of Louisiana home. He fell in love with public radio over a decade ago while studying improv comedy at the Second City in Los Angeles. He spent so much time in his car listening to KCRW while driving between auditions and various jobs that he eventually became inspired to switch careers from acting to radio journalism.

Since then he’s worked as a reporter, host and producer at Austin public radio stations, KUT and KUTX, and New York Public radio station, WNYC. He has also worked with a variety of news organizations and media outlets like NPR, the CBC, WBUR, Mother Jones, the Southern Foodways Alliance. In 2016, Tyler earned his master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University in New York.

When he’s not out reporting, working on long-form radio projects or listening to podcasts, you will probably find Tyler outdoors exploring the gorgeous Central Coast of California. If it’s football season, he’ll definitely be in front of a TV somewhere cheering for the New Orleans Saints. He’s also a not-so-secret Bravo TV fan. And if anyone has suggestions on new wines to try, he’ll take your recommendations.

Ways to Connect

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

Cambria’s Coast Unified School District’s superintendent has resigned. After four years on the job, Victoria Schumacher will leave her post at the beginning of 2019. The move comes after almost all of the district’s teachers voted no-confidence in Schumacher earlier in the year, and follows a recent school board evaluation of her performance.

aetv.com/shows/live-pd

A Central Coast police department is making its debut as the star of an upcoming reality television show. Cable channel A&E’s documentary series “Live PD” will air its season three premiere from Salinas this weekend. Unlike other police reality television shows, “Live PD” offers a real-time view of a night of police operations. The Salinas Police Department is the first California agency to appear on the show.

Greta Mart/KCBX

The San Luis Obispo County jail has been under scrutiny for several years over inmate deaths inside the facility. The issue came to a head in 2017 after the death of Andrew Holland, a mentally ill inmate who had been tied to a restraint chair for almost two days. About 10 days ago another inmate inside the jail committed suicide.

Flickr/Nathan Rupert

Electric scooter rentals may be coming to San Luis Obispo, but not Thursday, as scooter company Bird had planned. City officials said they’ve been in contact with Bird, which deploys e-scooters and runs an app that allows electric vehicle sharing. It appears the company had planned a “rogue launch” of its e-scooters without city approval.

Cuesta College

The new school year is already underway at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo County. The community college went through a leadership change this summer when the school's former president, Dr. Gil Stork, retired after half a century with the school. After a nationwide search, Dr. Jill Stearns became Cuesta College’s seventh superintendent and president in July. Dr. Stearns recently sat down with KCBX's Greta Mart and Tyler Pratt to discuss her background and her vision for the school's future.

Southern Poverty Law Center

The KCBX Central Coast Curious project provides you the opportunity to ask the KCBX News team questions about the Central Coast. We posted a Central Coast Curious voting round this summer that included some listener questions related to nationwide issues. The winning question from the voting round was: “Are there any active, known and 'out' members of white nationalist or violent racist organizations in San Luis Obispo County?”

Flickr/Omar Bárcena

California’s Department of Motor Vehicles announced this week new efforts to reduce wait times, such as a new text notification program, self-service kiosks and extended hours. On the Central Coast, part of that reprieve is new Saturday hours at the Salinas and San Luis Obispo offices. San Luis Obispo County specifically has seen a huge jump in wait times over the past year, almost doubling. They’re not the longest wait times in the state, but long enough to have customers lining up outside every morning.

Vagabond Ink

A Saturday night music event for your radar- if you're in San Luis Obispo Saturday on August 11th, there will be an installment in the For The Folks benefit concert series at Bang the Drum Brewery. The showcase works to present emerging bands in new ways for audiences. Each show is crafted to the style of music in order to create the best experience possible for performers and an audience. For example, Saturday's show has been billed as having an 'everybody dance' atmosphere. KCBX's Tyler Pratt sat down with For the Folk's organizer Ben Bellizzi to talk about what the music scene is like on the Central Coast and why it's well situated for someone to discover a wide variety of music.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

Cascarones — or confetti eggs — are a long-standing Mexican tradition. Chicken eggs are hollowed out, cleaned and decorated, then filled with toys or confetti. And often, the resulting party favor is then cracked over people's heads as a gag. The colorful creations are frequently seen around Easter, as well as other holidays and festivals, like Santa Barbara’s Fiesta, a celebration of the city’s culture and heritage. But this year, state officials descended on the event, threatening to issue citations to cascarones vendors, unless they started paying state taxes on their sales.

CityofSalinas.org/data

This week, the city of Salinas joined other cities across the U.S. that have created open data portals. Such portals are web tools that let anyone have a closer look at data that have been collected by different city agencies. Cities like Salinas provide data in the interest of being more transparent with their residents, but the practice could also help local governments function a little better.

www.flickr.com/photos/fairywren

In mid-July, after several months of Santa Barbara city officials engaging with restaurants and businesses in an effort to reduce waste in the city, the Santa Barbara city council voted to pass local laws banning plastic straws, stirrers and cutlery and polystyrene—also known as Styrofoam—food containers

But at their July 24 meeting, council members voted to dial that back a bit. City of Santa Barbara Environmental Services Outreach Coordinator, Bryan Latchford, worked on both ordinances and spoke with KCBX’s Tyler Pratt to help explain what happened.

Dave Minsky/KCBX News

The United States Armed Forces just created the first Combined Space Operations Center. For short, it’s called CSpOC (think “See Spock”). It’s a partnership to improve coordination with Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Other U.S. allies like Germany are also involved, as are some private entities. CSpOC, located at Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc, California, is now America's official international militarized space command center. Staff at the facility will keep an eye on about 23,000 objects in the sky.

Wikimedia Commons/Horia Varlan

Santa Barbara officials decided this week to join other cities like San Luis Obispo in banning plastic straws and polystyrene. Most in attendance at Tuesday’s city council meeting were in support of the ban, but questions were raised about enacting one-size-fits-all rules for everyone.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX

UPDATE 07/19/18 9 AM

Calfire has revised the number of acres burned downward to 81 as of Thursday morning, and reports crews are about half-way (47 percent) to containing the blaze. 

UPDATE 07/18/18 5 PM

Calfire reports the forward progression of the fire has been stopped, and the blaze is 20 percent contained. It has burned 120 acres since sparking just before noon. 

Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire

Firefighters have gotten a handle on a wildfire that whipped up late Friday night in the hills above Goleta in Santa Barbara County, and CalFire reports crews held the Holiday Fire at 100 acres. As of Monday, the blaze is 90 percent contained.  

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

Wildfires continue to burn across California. In the northern part of the state, a fire that’s burned tens of thousands of acres and forced many to evacuate has now jumped into Oregon. Over the weekend a rash of high temperatures and dry winds sparked fires across the Central Coast and in southern California. A fast-moving fire in the city of Goleta tore through 100 acres and destroyed 13 homes in a matter of hours.

Courtesy of the Latino Outreach Council

As part of our coverage of the June 5 primary election, KCBX News invited some local candidates to the studio to learn more about their visions, experience and concerns. In this segment, we separately interviewed San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson and his challenger Greg Clayton.

Kevin Baird/Flickr

Tuesday and Wednesday night, the ocean may glow on the Central Coast. A combination of strong winds and cold water have created the perfect combination for a phenomenon called bioluminescence.

SB County Sheriff's Office

UPDATE 4/30/18: The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office is asking the public for more help with the Golden State Killer case. Since a suspect was arrested last week, local investigators are reexamining evidence, leads and tips from when the killer was thought to be operating in Santa Barbara County. Suspect Joseph James DeAngelo is accused of committing crimes from Santa Maria and Carpinteria between 1978 and 1986. Now the Sheriff’s Office has released new sketches and photos of DeAngelo from the 1970s. They are asking anyone who remembers seeing him or knowing him to call the sheriff’s criminal investigations bureau at (805) 681-4150 or leave an anonymous tip at (805) 681-4171 on the sheriff’s website.  

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

Conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos is scheduled to visit San Luis Obispo’s California Polytechnic State University this week, invited as a panelist on ‘fake news’ hosted by the Cal Poly Republicans and Turning Point USA.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX

Racially-inflammatory behavior at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo has become a focal point over the past week and a half, stemming from an incident regarding a student wearing blackface at a campus fraternity party.

On Tuesday Cal Poly's president announced that he was suspending all Greek life on campus - indefinitely. That affects all official activities of fraternities and sororities. The administration also hired a campus diversity specialist, enacted new diversity initiatives, and touted some that are already in place. 

Courtesy of US Chamber of Commerce

Before a system outage hit the Internal Revenue Service Tuesday morning, the deadline for filing federal taxes was April 17 at midnight. Now the deadline has been postponed until midnight April 18 for most taxpayers. But Santa Barbara County residents and businesses qualify for a further extension from the IRS.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX

Hundreds of Cal Poly University students are protesting at this hour, frustrated at what they say is a lack of action on the part of university officials to deal with perceived racism on the campus. 

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

An emergency town hall was held Monday night at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. Hosted by the university’s Black Student Union, the meeting was called in response to the recent release of racially-insensitive photos, one of which showed a student wearing blackface at a fraternity party. 

Instagram user

A racially insensitive photo of fraternity members at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo is circulating on social media, during the university’s annual Polycultural Weekend, a time designed to acquaint prospective students with the university’s social and academic culture. 


Rally calls on state officials to 'Free the CSU'

Apr 5, 2018
Mick Bruckner

Students and faculty from across the California State University (CSU) system gathered at the state capitol in Sacramento Wednesday, with the goal of getting the attention of Governor Jerry Brown and state legislators about what demonstrators say is a continuing decline in CSU funding.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX

April 1 marks the opening of a new facility in San Luis Obispo County aimed at providing mental health services. The county’s Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) is designed to provide urgent treatment to those with psychiatric emergencies. 

Tyler Pratt/KCBX

Controversy surrounding the 2017 death of county jail inmate Andrew Holland dogged San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson at another of his town hall meetings Wednesday. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

Central Coast high school students joined their cohorts around the nation Wednesday in organizing walkouts to support gun control and protest gun violence.

San Luis Obispo County

California officials are always on the lookout to enhance water sources. In San Luis Obispo County, rainfall has been about 21 to 30 percent of normal this season. For the first time, county officials are considering a cloud seeding program to increase the local water supply. 

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