Tyler Freese,
Head of College Radio at

1 )  Tell us a bit about the career path that led to where you are now.

I went to school in Cleveland, Ohio at a small school called Baldwin Wallace. I worked at the radio station there, WBWC, for all 4 years and was the Music Director for my last 2 years. I came out to the CMJ Marathon my senior year to network and ended up spending a lot time with my current boss, Jess Weber. We hit it off and she ultimately ended up offering me a job at co-sign, which is where I’ve been for the past 4 years. I started off as a promoter for College Radio and now currently head up the College and Alt-Specialty promo departments.

2 )  Why does college/community radio matter in today’s fragmented environment?

The reason college/community radio matters is the exact same why it has always mattered. I don’t think that the digital era changes that at all. Yes, since all music is online these days, it’s much easier to access things and discover new music, but often times even those discoveries are limited to getting on a certain Spotify playlist, or getting covered by a *cool* blog. College and Community radio are still the ones taking chances on brand new artists or artists that don’t fit nice and squarely into conventional boxes. I would much rather turn on a random College station for an hour to find something new and intriguing than to check out my Discover Weekly each week. People > algorithms.

3 )  What is your favorite experience you’ve had in your career? Perhaps a musical idol you got to meet? A festival you were able to attend? A project you were involved with promoting?

Most exciting project I was able to be apart of was working on the last City and Colour album. He’s been one of my favorite artists over the last 10 years, so getting to be apart of the team on his last record was really incredible. Favorite show/moment was going to one of Run The Jewels’ 4 (or 5?) sold out shows at Terminal 5 this spring. I’ve been fortunate to be able to work on every Run The Jewels record and it’s been so amazing to work with them the last 4 years and witness them completely explode. Watching 2 guys hit the height of their popularity in their early 40s is super inspiring and it’s been amazing to be apart of their team. All of that really sunk in when I saw them sell like 15k tickets for their NYC shows and every kid in the place knew the words.

4 )  What band/artist outside the realm of college/community radio would people be surprised to hear you love?

I have a (not so secret) love for Sheryl Crow. I’ve seen her close to 10 times.

5 )  What job do you think you would you be doing if you weren’t a promoter?

I had this exact thought the other day when I was touring Brooklyn Brewery. I was so fascinated by everything there and told myself that if I was ever looking for a drastic change, I would take up brewing, so maybe that? But more realistically, I probably would’ve pursued an on-air position at a station back in Ohio.

6 )  Do you think college/community radio will ever actually be an all-digital format? And if so, when?

NO! Which saddens me so much. The amount of stations that I’ve seen go digital in the last 4 years has been so minimal that I couldn’t even fathom every single station going digital. As long as artists make CDs, stations will hang onto the older technology.

7 )  What is your dream travel destination?

You’d think it’s Ohio with how often I talk about it, but probably somewhere tropical and beach-y. Haven’t had a vacation where I just did nothing in a long time. Always find myself hiking or doing something exhausting for “vacation.” Have been dying to visit France again as well.

8 )  What TV show are you obsessed with atm? Or are you one of ‘those people’ that doesn’t watch TV?

I am one of ‘those people’ that watches too many shows. Currently I’m going through Twin Peaks (original), SVU, Veep (again), Cheers (yes, Cheers), Silicon Valley, Bloodline and more I’m sure. Current favorite goes to Ray Donovan though. Just recently got into that and it’s phenomenal RIYL House of Cards or Breaking Bad.

9 )  What is your favorite restaurant in town?

There’s too many.. IT’S NEW YORK! I love this Italian spot in Greenpoint called Anella, and Park Luncheonette is my jam for a sit down pizza joint.

10 )  You’re stranded on a desert island. What five well known people (dead

or alive) would you like to have there with you?

Tom Petty for campire songs, LeBron James because Cleveland, Sheryl Crow (see #4), Killer Mike for guaranteed excellent conversation and I just want to ask him a million questions, Bernie Sanders because Killer Mike