Finding Bob Boilen

Nikki Hartel searching for Bob Boilen. Bottom image featuring Bob Boilen and Swell Season. Obtained at and taken by Paul Farhi.

Finals are a crazy time for graduate students.  I have three final projects that stand between graduation and me.  I have already endured three semesters worth of finals, so I get the drill, but nonetheless it is still a rigorous obstacle course.

This semester, I have a unique final project in my Managing and Licensing Intellectual property.  During class, we had to pull three potential final examination assignments out of a “hat”.  The theme of the final is to contact a person with whom you can discuss a relevant pick.  (Continue reading, it will make sense).

My three picks:

  1. Performance on NPR’s “Tiny Desk” concert series
  2. Album included in Amazon MP3 $5 sale
  3.  Album displayed in Target endcap

It was an obvious choice: NPR’s Tiny Desk series.  I am interning for Audiotree, who hosts a similar online show featuring rad bands.  Plus, I love the concept and, of course, the bands on NPR’s Tiny Desk series.  So my goal is to find the person in charge of making it happen.

I know that NPR’s talented Mr. Bob Boilen is the producer of the show.  So if you have read this far into my blog post and have an NPR contact that can help connect me to THE MAN himself, let me know in the comment section below or e-mail me at

The final write-up needs to be 1,000-2,000 words.  We are to get the name, address, phone number, and e-mail address of the person who can “book” the act.  We also need to explain how we found them.  Also, we need to talk about their career path and how they got to where they are today.  We need to discuss what criteria this person uses when making their decision to book a particular artist/band.

Also, we need to ask them how their organization measures their success.  Do they use any statistics to measure increased value?  How important do they feel these statistics are?  The last question is if an artist or band wants to be featured, what is the best way to go about getting booked?

If I am not able to reach the man himself, there is a back up plan, which is to write about how I was not able to contact him.  I would really like to conquer this assignment, so I welcome any advice!

Check out a Tiny Desk episode featuring Wilco: