Matt Martin

General Manager

Matt Martin became KALW’s general manager in 2006.  Under his leadership, KALW has grown into one of the most productive and innovative stations in public radio.  Programs launched at KALW during Matt’s tenure as GM include the award-winning local newsmagazine Crosscurrentsthe design podcast 99% Invisible, and the Spanish-language narrative journalism program Radio Ambulante.  He helped create the station’s Audio Academy, a year-long program aimed at developing new talents in public radio, and led the first broad-based strategic planning process in the station’s history.

Matt grew up in Des Moines, Iowa, where he listened to Bob Edwards on Morning Edition while walking his newspaper route.

After earning a Master’s Degree in U.S. History at the University of Minnesota, Matt came to the Bay Area in 1997. He got his start in radio at KPFA in Berkeley, where he participated in the station’s news training program and went on to report, produce, and serve as a programming coordinator for the station, as well as getting arrested during the 1999 Pacifica lockout. 

In November of 2001, Matt came to KALW as a producer for Working Assets Radio – the program now known as Your Call.  In five years with the show, Matt worked with a great group of hosts, including Laura Flanders, Farai Chideya, and Rebecca Roberts.  In 2006, Matt took the reins as General Manager from his mentor Nicole Sawaya, and continued her emphasis on the development of high-quality, innovative local programming, in tandem with the best from global public broadcasters.

“Public radio has played an important role in my life – as a source of information and community, a place where I’ve discovered ideas and music, and am regularly reminded of the things in life that matter.  I want to make sure this resource keeps evolving to serve future generations of listeners.  And I can’t imagine a better place to tap its potential for crossing boundaries and opening minds than right here in the San Francisco Bay Area.”

Ways to Connect

After 31 years on the air, Wisconsin Public Radio has told Michael Feldman that it will end production of Whad'Ya Know on June 30th.

Shipra Shukla

On February 18th, Kamau Right Now! was broadcast live from The Swedish American Hall in San Francisco.  Joining W. Kamau Bell were feminist culture critic Lindy West, top Bay Area comic Kaseem Bentley, cheap living expert Broke-Ass Stuart, and San Francisco police officer Yulanda Williams. Plus, original music from rapper-comedian Zach Sherwin!

While life-saving medical treatments continue to advance, many potential pitfalls await us as we age and become frail or terminally-ill. Get answers to your questions from frontline emergency medical and critical care providers. February 11 at 7pm. 

The Guardian

On this week's Revolutions Per Minute, Sarah Cahill welcomes a remarkable group of guests to the program.

Reveal: Pumped on Trump

Jan 29, 2016
Rachel de Leon/Reveal

We’ve heard a lot from Republican candidate Donald Trump since he announced his bid for the presidency.  Trump is buoyed by a rising legion of supporters: people who want to help Trump make America not only great again, but “bigger, better and stronger.”

Olivia Henry

On January 21st, Kamau Right Now! broadcast live from The New Parish in Oakland.  W. Kamau Bell's guests included comedian Zahra Noorbakhsh, Oakland city council member Rebecca Kaplan, artist & agitator Favianna Rodriguez, and Ryan Coogler, director of Fruitvale Station and Creed. Plus, music from Antique Naked Soul

It was an amazing show --  subscribe to the podcast to hear it and future episodes, plus podcast-only features.

KALW News is launching a new, crowdsourced reporting project called Hey Area. What is crowdsourced reporting? And how does fit in KALW’s mission? General manager Matt Martin sat down with reporter-producer Audrey Dilling and digital strategist Olivia Henry to learn more.

On this week's Sound Opinions, Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot discuss David Bowie's legacy and review his final album, Blackstar.  Producers and long time Bowie collaborators Brian Eno and Tony Visconti also share their memories of the pop chameleon.

Dawn Gross, MD, PhD has been caring for people with life-threatening illnesses for over a decade. She is committed to revolutionizing the way we talk about — and prepare for — death.  On her special KALW series Dying To Talk, she and her guests will create a safe space to transform the experience of end-of-life conversations from dread to discovery.

Tuesday at 6pm, President Barack Obama will deliver the final State of the Union address of his historic presidency.   Tune to KALW for NPR's live anchored coverage of the President's speech, as well as the Republican response from South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.

Station manager Matt Martin kicks off KALW's 75th year in listener-supported style, with the Manager's Report to the Listeners

Click here to see KALW's latest program guide.

On New Year's Eve, join KALW's Africa Mix for a great night of African music, from 9pm until midnight.

Owen Bennett-Jones and leading BBC correspondents discuss and give their predictions about what will shape the world in the year ahead.

Tune in to hear the 2015-2016 New Year's edition of Politics Takes a Holiday from The Capitol Steps.  You'll have two chances to catch it on KALW:  Thursday, December 31st at 1pm and New Year's Day at 11am.  

As 2015 comes to a close, BackStory is winding back the clock to hear what some favporite moments from the show have to say about the year’s major news stories.

What does the 19th century populist movement tell us about the 2016 presidential campaign? And how does the 1897 battle over America’s first long-distance oil pipeline connect to the Keystone XL debate? 

Hear all about it on BackStory, Monday, December 28th at Noon.

On Christmas morning from 10am to noon, KALW will continue its tradition of broadcasting A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, a live service of spoken-word and music (choral and organ) broadcast from the chapel of King's College in Cambridge, England.

The 30-voice King's College Choir performs the legendary Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols service of Biblical readings and music.  

Elisabeth Fall/

Monday, January 4th at 5pm, tune in to hear “Stories from San Quentin,” a special broadcast from Life of the Law featuring powerful human stories of prisoners, staff and volunteers at California's oldest prison.

The public radio holiday tradition continues as we bring the winners of the2015 TC/Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition to national airwaves via Best of the Best, hosted by Third Coast's Gwen Macsai.  Wednesday, November 25th from 10pm-Midnight and Thanksgiving Day from Noon to 2pm.

Adrianne Mathiowetz, Courtesy “Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host.”

Join us at Zellerbach Hall Saturday, December 12th at 8pm or Sunday, December 13th at 3pm to see Ira Glass in “Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host.” And on Saturday, KALW members have the chance to join Ira at a special pre-show reception.

On this week's Revolutions Per Minute, Sarah Cahill will be joined in studio by one of our greatest living composers: Kaija Saariaho

Thanks to all the local businesses who provided food and drink during KALW's most recent membership campaign.   Take a moment to see who they are, and if you have the opportunity, please thank them for supporting Local Public Radio.

Join Rose Aguilar at The Roxie Theatre in San Francisco on Wednesday, October 7th at 7pm for a special screening of the award-winning documentary  3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets, featuring a Q&A with Jordan Davis's father Ron Davis and Oscar Grant's mother Wanda JohnsonTickets now available at The Roxie's website.

Afropop Worldwide's "San Francisco: Afropop By the Bay" tells the unlikely story of how a group of superb African musicians-from Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa-landed in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1970s and early '80s.

Sound Opinons: Isleys!

Aug 28, 2015

The Isley Brothers have scored hits in six different decades thanks to an ever-evolving sound, stretching from doo-wop to psychedelic funk to disco. This week on Sound Opinions, guitarist Ernie Isley joins Jim Kot and Greg Derogatis for a career spanning discussion. 

Sunday at 3pm.


On July 14th, the New Horizons spacecraft will fly by Pluto – sending back the first detailed views of that small world.  What will it see, and what will we learn?