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

Make a contribution of $91.70 to KALW's May campaign to receive our punny “Kale-W” tee, conceived and designed by our own Ali Budner and Ashleyanne Krigbaum.

Out in the Bay - gay radio from San Francisco - celebrates 10 years of broadcasting LGBT stories to the world with a party and show taping at the Oasis Nightclub & Cabaret in San Francisco this Wednesday, April 29th from 5-8pm.

All the information is at Out in the Bay's website, and tickets are available from SFOasis.com.

On the April 10, 2015 edition of 99% Invisible:

Though its official name is JFK Plaza, the open space near Philadelphia’s City Hall is more commonly known as LOVE Park, after the Robert Indiana sculpture installed there. 

On the April 11, 2015 edition of Bluegrass Signal, Peter Thompson celebrates 40 years of broadcasting with a program of live recordings by a few of his favorites, from the Stanley Brothers and Bill Monroe to the Kentucky Colonels and Hazel & Alice to the Good Ol’ Persons and Hot Rize to Mac Martin and Vern Williams.  Music from the true vine!

Read Peter's reflections on 40 years in community-based radio in the latest KALW program guide.

The special features funny, poignant, and thought-provoking stories and conversations that touch on the plagues, on slavery, on food, on the act of story-telling and more, and are meant to appeal to people of all religious (and non-religious) backgrounds. Hosted by Sara Ivry and Jonathan Goldstein (WireTap, This American Life), the show’s contributors include Israeli writer Etgar Keret, DC food historian Michael Twitty, and radio producers Sally Herships, Debbie Nathan.

From Tablet Magazine’s podcast Vox Tablet and PRX.

UnderCover is thrilled to present a tribute to Bob Marley’s Exodus.

1 band per song, 10 Bay Area bands, over 75 artists, all curated by guest Music Director Rupa Marya.

The 1977 album is timeless, with themes that are relevant today. The night was curated with themes of diversity and community in mind.

On the March 20, 2015 edition of 99% Invisible:

On Thursday, March 19th at 5pm, KALW General Manager Matt Martin will go on the air for his quarterly Manager's Report to the Listeners.  Matt will give an update on the latest developments at Local Public Radio, and open the lines to your questions and ideas about KALW.

On the March 13, 2015 edition of 99% Invisible:

POSITION AVAILABLE

91.7 KALW-FM, San Francisco seeks candidates for the position of Program Information Manager, the station’s point person for managing programming, event, and sponsorship information, both within the station and to the public.

Responsibilities include:

The Superintendent's Message for Tuesday March 10, 2015

On the March 5, 2016 edition of 99% Invisible:

If you want to follow conversation threads relating to this show on social media—whether Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, Tumblr—you know to look for the hashtag: #99pi. In our current digital age, the hashtag identifies movements, events, happenings, brands—topics of all kinds. The “#” didn’t always have this meaning, though.  It’s had a few different lives.

On the February 27, 2015 episode of 99% Invisible:

Disruptive camouflage?  Think about zebras: it’s hypothesized that their stripes make it difficult for a predator to distinguish one from another when the zebras are in a large herd. The stripes also might make zebras less attractive to blood sucking horseflies. This is called disruptive camouflage.

When it comes to humans, the greatest, most jaw-droppingly spectacular application of disruptive camouflage was called Dazzle.

On the February 20, 2015 edition of 99% Invisible:

Right now there are fewer than two hundred active trademarks for sounds. A surprisingly small number, considering sound has the power make—or break—a brand.

Friday at 7:45am & 4:45pm and Saturday at 8:35am.

On this week's episode of 99% Invisible:

In 1945, Berlin was the fallen Nazi capital, carved up into two sectors—with western countries controlling the west of the city, and the Soviet Union controlling the east. West Berlin had a booming postwar economy, but life was tougher in East Berlin.  So in the decade that followed, more than 2 million people fled from east to west.  And East Germany was losing face with every East Berliner who chose to defect.

Sandip Roy, whose "Dispatches from Kolkata" are heard every Wednesday as part of KALW's presentation of Morning Edition and All Things Considered, is in the Bay Area for the month to talk about his debut novel Don't Let Him Know

Here's where you can see Sandip in the coming weeks:
    Wednesday, February 4th at 7:30pm at Kepler's in Menlo Park, in conversation with Richard Rodriguez.  

Wednesday, February 11th at 7:30pm at Booksmith in San Francisco, in conversation with Holly Kernan.  

Thursday, February 12th at 5pm at the Institute for South Asian Studies at UC Berkeley.  

Wednesday, February 18th at 7pm at Book Passage in Corte Madera. 

Public media’s first investigative reporting radio show isback. Tune in to KALW Friday, February 27th at 11am to catch the new episode of Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX.On this week's episode: The secrets of church, state and business.

On this week's Backstory:

On this week's episode of 99% Invisible:

You see them on street corners, at gas stations, at shopping malls. You see them at blowout sales and grand openings of all kinds. Their wacky faces hover over us, and then fall down to meet us, and then rise up again. Their bodies flop. They flail.  They are men. Men made of tubes. Tubes full of air.

Friday at 7:45am & 4:45pm and Saturday at 8:35am.

On this week's episode of 99% Invisible:

Vexillologists—those who study flags—tend to fall into one of two schools of thought. The first is one that focuses on history, category, and usage, and maintains that vexillologists should be scholars and historians of all flags, regardless of their designs.

The other school of vexillology, however, maintains that not all flags are created equal, and that flags can and should be redesigned, and improved.

James Davies

On this week's episode of 99% Invisible:

“A Chair is a difficult object. A skyscraper is almost easier.” — Mies van der Rohe.

The chair presents an interesting design challenge, because it is an object that disappears when in use. The person replaces the chair. So chairs need to look fantastic when empty, and remain invisible (and comfortable) while in use.

Friday at 7:45am & 4:45pm and Saturday at 8:35am.

On this week's episode of 99% Invisible:

Winning an early pinball game was much more about luck than skill, since there were no buttons to activate flippers on the sides. You basically had one action: pull the plunger and watch the ball go. Without the flippers, pinball was a truly a game of chance—perfect for gambling.

Friday at 7:45am & 4:45pm, Saturday at 8:35am.

99% Invisible: Unbuilt

Dec 12, 2014

On this week's episode of 99% Invisible:

There is an allure to unbuilt structures: the utopian, futuristic transports; the impossibly tall skyscrapers; even the horrible highways. They all capture our imagination with what could have been.  Producer Sam Greenspan spoke with Andrew Lynch (aka Vanshnookenraggen), creator of Hyperreal Cartography, a Tumblr of unbuilt cities across the globe.

In the December 7th edition of his "Radio Waves" column in the San Francisco Chronicle, Ben Fong-Torres profiles Your Call host Rose Aguilar. Read the full article at SFGate:  "Aguilar goes from KALW guest to host"

On this week's episode of 99% Invisible:

Near the end of World War II, architects were anticipating the post-war housing shortage. Wallace Neff was L.A.'s start architect at the time, and wanted to create a solution that would not only meet this demand, but address the need for housing worldwide.

On the November 25th, 2014 edition of Your Call:  Monday night's announcement that a grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri had decided not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the killing of unarmed black youth Michael Brown led to outrage and protest nationwide.  President Obama and Michael Brown's parents called for peaceful protest -- but what does that mean, and how far should it go?  What will keep the focus on continued racial inequities in policing?  And how does the story of Ferguson resonate in the Bay Area and Northern California? 

On this week's episode of 99% Invisible:

The Ouija board is so simple and iconic that it looks like it comes from another time, or maybe another realm. The game is not as ancient as it was designed to look, but those two arched rows of letters have been spooking people for over 125 years.  To understand where Ouija boards (generically called “talking boards”) come from, you have to go back to middle of the 1800s, to three sisters in New York.

On Tuesday, November 18th, KALW General Manager Matt Martin went on the air for his quarterly Report to the Listeners, giving updates on station programming and taking listener calls and e-mails. 

If you missed the broadcast, you can still send Matt your questions or comments at matt@kalw.org.

On Tuesday, November 18th, KALW General Manager Matt Martin went on the air for his quarterly Report to the Listeners, giving updates on station programming and taking listener calls and e-mails. 

If you missed the broadcast, you can still send Matt your questions or comments at matt@kalw.org.

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