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

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. 

Courtesy of Five Cities Fire Authority

At the end of February, when Arroyo Grande city staff floated the idea of leaving the Five Cities Fire Authority (FCFA) in San Luis Obispo County, it threatened the future of fire services for the city, as well as Oceano and Grover Beach. This week, the Arroyo Grande city council decided the fire department shouldn’t disband yet. And now all three communities served by the FCFA—Arroyo Grande, Oceano and Grover Beach—have six months to come up with funding plan all agree on.

Flickr/Håkan Dahlström

As part of a plan to increase affordable housing, this week San Luis Obispo County officials took some first steps: passing higher development fees on some new homes and streamlining the environmental permitting process in an effort to get homes built faster. Not everyone was happy about it, but did agree the county needs more housing stock. 

Courtesy of the National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education (NCWGE)

Title IX is a federal law that is part of the Education Amendments Act of 1972. Its goal is to prohibit discrimination at educational institutions that receive federal funding. One area Title IX presents itself on college campuses is in addressing allegations of sexual misconduct. A recent California court ruling has public universities scrambing to rewrite rules for how these investigations are conducted, but the coming changes have some administrators and students concerned. To learn more, KCBX's Tyler Pratt sat down with San Luis Obispo Tribune reporter Monica Vaughan, who's been covering this issue. 

KCBX News

On this week's Issues & Ideas, it's been 100 years since San Luis Obispo County set up its first library, and this year the SLO Library system is celebrating. In digging through its archives for centennial material, staff came across a wrong they thought needed righting. San Luis Obispo's first librarian is buried in a local cemetery with no grave marker, so staff and volunteers started a Go Fund Me campaign to raise the money to buy a headstone for Francis Margaret Milne. KCBX heads to San Luis Cemetery to learn more. Also, we discuss diversity and inclusion at Cal Poly with the university's first Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Award recipient, Camille O'Bryant. And a 30-year-old San Luis Obispo city law means students are living “off lease," is it illegal? We'll talk to the student reporter investigating the issue in SLO. Finally, Father Ian Delinger dives into dahl and diversity with Ermina Karim, former CEO of the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce.

Cal Poly

Diversity and inclusion have been ongoing issues at San Luis Obispo's California Polytechnic State University, long before a series of racist incidents in 2018 highlighted the need for more racial awareness on the campus. In January, at Cal Poly’s second annual Martin Luther King Jr. dinner—featuring a keynote dialogue with American philosopher, political activist and social critic Cornel West—Camille O'Bryant was named the inaugural recipient of the campus' Martin Luther King Legacy Award for her effors in advocating for underrepresented students.  O'Bryant has taught at Cal Poly for over two decades and is an associate dean in the College of Science and Mathematics. 

Conner Frost/Mustang News

"A 30-year-old San Luis Obispo city law is causing Cal Poly students to live off lease and it may be illegal." That's the headline of a recent article by Cal Poly student media outlet Mustang News. Student reporter Ashley Ladin stopped by the KCBX studios to discuss her story about the law, how students navigate it and what is—or isn’t being done—to change it.

Randol White/KCBX News

San Luis Obispo County officials chose this week not to switch to a new voting system for the 2020 election, created by the state legislature aiming to modernize voting in California. The county’s election official presented options, and community members shared their support, but the price tag may have swayed supervisors from changing, for now.

Five Cities Fire Authority

Arroyo Grande city officials and community members met for over four hours this week to consider if Arroyo Grande should stay in the Five Cities Fire Authority (FCFA), which isn’t actually comprised of five cities, it’s three—including Oceano and Grover Beach. The meeting came after city staff recommended Arroyo Grande leave the fire department, essentially dissolving it. Now San Luis Obispo County officials may be stepping in to help save it.

David Middlecamp/San Luis Obispo Tribune

Hannah Allen, a senior at San Luis Obispo's Cal Poly, developed bulimia as a student-athlete during her freshman year. Her story was recently chronicled in the San Luis Obispo Tribune, and she recently sat down in the KCBX studio—along with with Tribune reporter Monica Vaughan and dietitian Libby Parker—to discuss bringing attention to Eating Disorder Awareness week, and the illnesses that may affect up to 10 percent of college students.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

A group of architecture students from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo has been working to reimagine Paradise, California. The students are creating plans to rebuild the city mostly destroyed by November’s Camp Fire, with input from residents. The students presented their concepts to the Paradise community at Chico State on February 22.

KCBX News

On this week's Issues and Ideas, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla stops by to discuss big changes coming to California elections in 2020. Also, the CEO of San Luis Obispo health and wellness tech company MindBody breaks his silence following a multibillion-dollar acquisition. We talk with Rick Stollmeyer about future plans for MindBody, if the company will stay in San Luis Obispo and what the acquisition means for the Central Coast tech industry. And we get to know more about eating disorders on college campuses through the eyes of a survivor, a dietary expert and a reporter who has been covering one student's journey.

MindBody

The billion dollar deal that puts San Luis Obispo's MindBody in the hands of a San Francisco  investment company is finalized. The health and wellness tech company filed its final documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commision on February 15, and is now under the ownership of Vista Equity Partners.

MindBody CEO Rick Stollmeyer—who founded the company 19 years ago—has been tight-lipped on the deal until it went though. But Friday morning, Stollmeyer stopped into the KCBX studios to talk about the merger.

The city of Paso Robles is going back to the drawing board when it comes to regulating short-term rentals. The city council passed an urgency ordinance earlier in February to address growing noise and parking complaints, but this week the council had to repeal that ordinance due to a conflict of interest.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla was in San Luis Obispo this week to crown Cal Poly the winner of the inaugural California University and College Ballot Bowl. That's a new competition from the Secretary of State's office and various nonprofits aiming to encourage voting among California's students. Of the schools that competed, Cal Poly students and administrators registered the largest number of students to vote in the 2018 election: 3,178.

Flickr user Duanephoto99

What will California's climate feel like in 60 years? For many urban areas, possibly just like much warmer and drier areas of Mexico. That’s according to a new interactive map based on global climate data released this week, which features several Central Coast cities.

KCBX News

On this week's Issues & Ideas, we talk with retired Nuclear Regulatory Commission judge Alex Karlin, who is calling for independent panel to monitor the Diablo Canyon decommissioning. We find out more about the financial crisis and recent loss of leadership in Paso Robles schools, and talk about the 32nd annual "Share The Love Foundation Fashion Show." And we get to know San Luis Obispo police chief Deanna Cantrell and her poetry. Those stories and more on this week's episode of Issues & Ideas.

(left) courtesy of Karla Hernandez/(right) Tyler Pratt

Teenagers from across San Luis Obispo County will gather February 8 to celebrate their love of poetry. The high school students have been memorizing and reciting poems in their classrooms with the aim of performing them in front of their peers. It’s part of the nationwide Poetry Out Loud competition.

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