About Us

Palestra.net is the college network– an online home for everything college students care about.

When the site launched in 2006, the goal was simple: build a network of on-campus reporters that would provide students an opportunity to work as paid journalists, while creating unique, entertaining and diverse content for an audience of their peers.

Today, the network has grown to nearly 100 schools and more than 120 student reporters. Reporters have covered every BCS bowl game, college basketball’s Final Four, the Super Bowl, the Sundance Film Festival, the Bonnaroo Music Festival and the 2008 Republican and Democratic National Conventions. Our student reporters have filed stories from all 48 continental states.

1275 Kinnear Road, Suite 132

Columbus, OH 43212



Name: Joe Weasel
Position: CEO & Co-founder
University: Ohio State University, Xavier University
Major: Bachelor of Arts, MBA
Hometown: Columbus, OH

Joe Weasel is the chief executive officer and co-founder of Palestra.net. Joe is a former professor of journalism at The Ohio State University and syndicated columnist with Scripps Howard News Service, Washington D.C. In addition, he was a features and sports reporter for NBC4 (WCMH-TV) and morning show co-host for CD101 (WWCD-FM). Joe earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Ohio State and a Masters in Business Administration from Xavier University. In June 2008, Broadcast & Cable magazine named Joe one of a dozen media figures who are changing content on all platforms.


Name: Tom Orr
Position: Executive Producer
School: The Ohio State University
Major: Journalism
Hometown: Ridgefield, CT

Tom Orr is a 2000 graduate of The Ohio State University, where he majored in Journalism. After graduating, he worked as a sports producer at WCMH-TV in Columbus and in the news department of WXYZ-TV in Detroit. Tom is a native of Ridgefield, CT. He began working with Palestra.net in 2004 as the associate managing editor. He is now also the general manager of UWIRE.com.

Name: Ryan Cost
Position: Senior Producer/Reporter
School: Indiana University ‘06
Major: Broadcast Journalism
Hometown: West Harrison, IN

Ryan is a native Hoosier. He hails from a small Indiana town just outside of Cincinnati, Ohio. Ryan is a proud graduate of Indiana University, and yes, he owns a pair of candy-striped warm-ups. As a senior producer and reporter with Palestra.net, Ryan has covered a multitude of college sporting events and campus traditions all across the country, including the BCS National Championship Game and NCAA Final Four. He also followed the 2008 campaign trail as a Palestra.net Fox News Channel contributor covering the youth vote and other news events. Now, Ryan oversees the day-to-day operation of Palestra.net including video production, student management and recruitment. Outside of work Ryan enjoys working out and chilling with his dog, “Hep” (named for late Indiana football coach Terry Hoeppner). He is also a self-proclaimed Cincinnati Bengals freak. Who-Dey!

Name: Raj Nair
Position: Graduate Reporter/Producer
School: The Ohio State University ‘08
Major: Journalism
Hometown: Upper Arlington, OH

Raj has been with Palestra.net since August of 2006 and has seen the company grow exponentially in that time. He was the Ohio State Palestra.net reporter for two years and now is a full-time producer/reporter. Palestra.net has enabled him to travel all around the country for everything from the 2007 Summer Tour to Ohio State’s past two BCS National Championship Game appearances. Raj now manages the Palestra.net bureau in Los Angeles where he is in charge of west coast production, which includes plenty of time on the red carpet! Traveling is his biggest passion… well that and Ohio State football. Go Bucks!

Name: John Tsarouchas
Position: Senior Producer
School: Northwestern ‘06
Major: Broadcast Journalism
Hometown: Chicago, IL

John is a native Chicagoan and proud alumnus of Northwestern University and the Medill School of Journalism. Before joining Palestra.net John worked as Sports Director for the Northwestern News Network, anchored NNN’s SportsNight, wrote for the Northwestern Chronicle, and worked in NU’s media services department. In 2002 John played football at Northwestern as a walk-on. John was one of the Palestra.net’s first student reporters and full-time employees. If you’re traveling with him, you’re going to have to head bang a little–he’s a huge Metallica fan. Everyone calls him “T”.

Music/Creative Department

Name: Nick Jones
Position: Producer/Music Department/Creative Production
School: Otterbein College ‘05
Major: Broadcast with a minor in Journalism
Hometown: Urbana, OH

Nick got hooked on broadcasting ten years ago as a high school junior in Urbana, OH. Prior to his Intro to Video Production class Nick was planning on becoming a courtroom lawyer and living in New Orleans’ French Quarter. Nick really had no idea what kind of work that would take, he had just read a lot of John Grisham books.

During his senior year at Otterbein, Nick began work as a sports producer at NBC4 WCMH in Columbus, OH where he worked with Palestra.net’s CEO Joe Weasel. Nick started full-time work for Palestra.net the day after Ohio State beat Notre Dame in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl.

This company has given Nick the opportunity to combine his two favorite hobbies; video production & listening to music.

Name: Brian Phillips
Position: Music Director/Producer
School: Washington State ‘87
Major: TV Production
Hometown: Port Angeles, WA

In January of 2008 Brian ended a 20-year career in the radio business. The last 14 were at CD101 in Columbus. Most of that span Brian was the morning show host. From 1990 to 1994 he was the morning show producer, and a weekend DJ at KXRX in Seattle. Brian’s career began with stints at KONP in Port Angeles, and KXRO/KDUX in Aberdeen, Washington.

Brian became involved with Palestra.net through his morning show co-host, company CEO Joe Weasel. After working part time in 2006 and 2007, he joined the company full time in January of 2008.

Name: Dan Hoffman
Position: Creative Production Staff
School: Ohio University ‘03
Major: Video Production, specializing in Art & Journalism
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

After packing a 1993 Isuzu Amigo full of what was left of Dan’s college experience, he headed to Columbus, Ohio to work in the mind-numbing, non-creative world of corporate video. In efforts to escape this world, Dan spent his free time making music videos for local artists and exploring the world of online video. Jeff Hopson, a good friend and BBQ enthusiast, was aware of Dan’s creative appetite and introduced him to Palestra.net … a place that welcomed creativity, passion, and a DIY attitude. Finally, Dan was given the opportunity to wear a tool belt and use a hammer. From here on out, Dan joined a team of people everyday to build the sweetest tree house possible. Now, Dan spends his free time exploring hot sauce, cooling off with a pale ale, and standing next to his lady friend, Robin.