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

Thirty years ago, the only Rhône grape most Americans knew about was Syrah. Then a French family and an American family together purchased some land west of Paso Robles, in the Adelaida wine district. They set out to import Rhône grape varieties to the Central Coast, with the aim to grow them using organic, dry farming and other sustainable methods. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

Work will resume this week on closing the El Campo Road and three other median crossings on Highway 101 in San Luis Obispo County. The project will permanently block four openings connecting the northbound and southbound lanes; motorists will no longer be able to make left-hand turns on to and off the highway via those medians.

On this week’s Issues & Ideas, we learn more about the large, immersive new light and art installation called Sensorio Field of Light coming to Paso Robles. 

Courtesy of the San Luis Obispo Parks & Recreation Department

San Luis Obispo County officials heard an update this week on plans for El Chorro Regional Park. The park’s golf course has been partially closed for the past year, but it may soon become a golfing destination again—for people of all ages—with miniature golf and go karts.

Nick Franco, head of the county parks department, spoke to the county’s board of supervisors Tuesday.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

San Luis Obispo city officials gave the second annual “State of the City” address Thursday. Mayor Heidi Harmon and City Manager Derek Johnson touted plenty of accomplishments in 2018, but also shared some financial uncertainty about the year ahead because the city is facing a liability of $150 million.

On this week’s Issues and Ideas, we hear about a local mission to preserve the story of winemaking in our region. The Wine History Project of San Luis Obispo County is a museum without walls; we speak with Heather Muran and Libbie Agran about the effort to bring the county's wine history to life through unique exhibits. Also, learn more about the sleep disorder narcolepsy from local patient-activist Ashley Allen.

Courtesy Cal Poly Campus Dining

Cal Poly's Academic Senate, the governing body for the university's faculty, voted Tuesday overwhelmingly in favor of removing a Chick-fil-A restaurant outlet from the university's San Luis Obispo campus. The resolution was proposed in light of recent news the fast food chain's charity arm, the Chick-fil-A Foundation, continues to give money to anti-LGBTQ organizations. The vote by the Academic Senate comes after another university and two cities moved to block Chick-fil-A outlets from opening in recent weeks due to the company's perceived opposition to the LGBTQ community. 

CDC

Following a measles quarantine of hundreds of students at Los Angeles universities, Central Coast health officials are on high alert, they say. Since January, over 700 cases of measles have been reported in 22 states.

Courtesy of the Hind Foundation

A north San Luis Obispo County government office may close or possibly reduce services. The county’s clerk-recorder says time constraints and looming budget cuts are prompting reconsideration about operations at its small Atascadero office. But for north county residents who frequent the office, this may mean more expense and longer drives to San Luis Obispo to file documents.

On this episode of Issues & Ideas, we revisit how the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II affected the Central Coast, in a conversation with local historian Jim Gregory. We also speak to the director of a documentary looking at the long history of negligence and institutional failings around what's called the deadliest aircraft in the U.S. military.

Greta Mart/KCBX

This week San Luis Obispo County officials voted to ask the state transportation agency to close middle sections of Highway 101 south of Arroyo Grande to prevent further collisions and deaths.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

$5.5 million dollars was awarded to San Luis Obispo County homeless agencies and organizations this week. It came from a pool of hundreds of millions in state grants offered to help house the homeless and create services for homeless youth in counties across California. At Tuesday’s board of supervisors meeting, many in attendance were excited about the generous new funding opportunities, but many others weren’t happy with where the money may be spent in south San Luis Obispo County.

Courtesy Visit SLOCal, Shumash Sanctuary, and Michael Pollan

On this week's episode of Issues and Ideas, we talk with author and journalist Michael Pollan about his latest book on psychedelic drugs, and the resurgence of research into how these substances can be used to treat addiction, depression and help us understand consciousness. We'll also hear part two of a recent documentary exploring the proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary, with interviews of various stakeholders in the waters off the Central Coast. We'll have more on a California State Parks plan to make significant changes to the Oso Flaco Natural Area and Oceano Dunes SVRA in San Luis Obispo County. And we get a history lesson on San Luis Obispo County's missions and libraries. 

Courtesy of the Morro Bay Police Department

A rash of thefts in Morro Bay and other Central Coast locales has local authorities asking residents to be sure to lock their cars at night. Police say they have arrested two people who may be responsible for the Morro Bay thefts, but suspect more thieves are still in the area. 

Courtesy of the Morro Bay Police Department

A rash of vehicle thefts in Morro Bay has local authorities asking residents to be sure to lock their cars at night. Police say they have arrested two people who may be responsible for the recent thefts, but think more suspects are still in the area. And the crimes aren’t limited to the central San Luis Obispo County coast.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

A group of architecture students from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo met with Governor Gavin Newsom's office Thursday afternoon. The students have been working to reimagine Paradise, California, with plans to rebuild the town mostly destroyed by November’s Camp Fire. They're presenting an update of their work to the Paradise community Friday.

Courtesy of Cal Poly

This week, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) placed Cal Poly on probation for two years. The college athletics governing body said the university didn’t monitor its book scholarship program and will have to pay a fine, and possibly vacate wins.

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office

Law enforcement officials say they have solved a pair of 41-year-old San Luis Obispo County cold cases by identifying a suspect in two Atascadero murders with the assistance of DNA evidence. The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday they consider the now-deceased Arthur Rudy Martinez as the killer of 30-year-old Jane Morton Antunez and 28-year-old Patricia Dwyer in the late 1970s.

Amelia Meyerhoff

A student’s senior project at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo went live on the web this week. It calls out the university as a place where sexual assault is common and victims don’t feel supported. The project is called “The Clapback: An Investigation of the Sexual Assault and Rape Culture at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo,” and features interviews with 61 rape and sexual assault survivors.

KCBX News

On this week's Issues & Ideas, we explore the proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary, via a recent documentary that focuses on different stakeholders in Central Coast waters. We hear from California Secretary of State Alex Padilla about Census 2020 and what an accurate count means for the region. We get to know some Central Coast chefs who are doing things just a little differently to bring food to the table. And we learn about an upcoming chorale concert series taking place in San Luis Obispo and some scientific effects of music on singers.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

Spencer Johnston is the chef/owner of Danior Kitchen, a catering company in San Luis Obispo. He recently launched at pop-up dinner series called the Turntable Supper Club, an intimate and curated food and wine experience. Johnston stopped by the KCBX studios with fellow chef A.J. LaRosa of the wood-fired catering company, Bear and the Wren, and Lannon Rust, owner of Rust Wine Company and former wine director of Thomas Hill Organics in Paso Robles, to talk about the region's access to incredible food products, the challenges of opening a restaurant on the Central Coast, and how they are doing things a little differently to bring food—and wine—to local consumers.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

San Luis Obispo County officials, service providers, non-profits and residents gathered Wednesday to discuss what to do with millions of dollars in state funds, aimed at supporting the county’s homeless population. But the meeting became a passionate debate between recognizing a need for more homeless services, and concern over where to put them, particularly a shelter proposed in South County.

Greta Mart/KCBX

KCBX News' Central Coast Curious is an ongoing series for which we invite listeners to ask questions and the newsroom reports back with answers. Since we launched the series last year, we've received several questions asking, "when will the Avila Pier reopen?" The pier is currently now open about a third of the way, but it's uncertain when the entire pier will be accessible to visitors. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

KCBX News' Central Coast Curious is an ongoing series for which we invite listeners to ask questions and the newsroom reports back with answers. Since we launched the series last year, we've received several questions asking, "when will the Bob Jones Trail extension be built?"

David Middlecamp/San Luis Obispo Tribune

For more than a century, mecury mines were active across San Luis Obispo County. The roughly 150 mines not only drove the county's economy, they helped establish Cambria as a city in the 19th century. They also played a role in America’s history—from the California Gold Rush to World War II. All of the county's mines have long since shuttered, but are still hiding in plain sight.

Paso Robles Police Department

In January, a new statewide police transparency law—SB 1421—went into effect, mandating police records be made public in cases of sustained findings against officers who commit sexual assault, use excessive force or engage in dishonesty-related conduct. However, the agencies that investigated criminal allegations against a former Paso Robles police officer have not turned over any documents relating to the case, as required under the new law.

On this week's episode of Issues & Ideas, major newspapers and public radio stations across California—including KCBX—are collaborating on a statewide project to look at personnel records from local enforcement agencies. 

Courtesy of the US Air Force

A first-of-its-kind missile test of national defense systems launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base [VAFB] on Monday. The United States Department of Defense is heralding it as a success, striking a target sent into the atmosphere from the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Greta Mart/KCBX

On New Year's Day, 2019, a new state law went into effect. SB 1421 insists that California police departments let the public see formerly-confidential misconduct records. Since then, more than 35 California newspapers and public radio stations—including KCBX—have joined forces to request those records. 

Issues & Ideas: SLO growth, economic vitality and wildflowers

Mar 20, 2019

On this week's Issues & Ideas, we hear about the Hourglass Project, a new economic vitality venture aimed at bringing future jobs and industries to San Luis Obispo County. We'll also hear two sides of the ongoing conversation about downtown San Luis Obispo, and what should be done to encourage a wide-range of businesses while nurturing the city's unique characteristics. UCSB neuroscientist Kenneth Kosik talks about studying a genetic mutation that causes early-onset Alzheimer's disease, and our colleagues at KCRW explore what's behind California's current wildflower super bloom, and where you can see carpets of spring flowers. 

Pages