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

On this week's episode of 99% Invisible:


On October 22nd, the Second District PTA hosted a forum featuring eight candidates for three seats on San Francisco's Board of Education.

The forum was moderated by San Francisco Chronicle Education Reporter Jill Tucker, and was co-hosted by Parents for Public Schools of San Francisco, San Francisco Education Fund, Support For Families Of Children With Disabilities, and the San Francisco Parent Political Action Committee.

On November 2nd, Radio Ambulante returns to San Francisco with a brand-new show called Outsiders, to be performed for one night only at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

NPR's hit show Snap Judgment is back to electrify the Nourse Theater in San Francisco.  It's an ALL-NEW special performance created in association with the Bay Area Science Festival.  Led by Snap's Glynn Washington, the world's top storytellers are coming to rock the Snap stage with brand new stories on moments of discovery.

It's "Storytelling, with a beat...." LIVE! Come be part of an amazing performance filmed for Snap Judgment and recorded for broadcast on NPR. 



91.7 KALW-FM, San Francisco seeks candidates for two part-time announcer-operator positions:

CUESA, the Urban Agriculture Alliance and the SF-Marin Food Bank recently hosted Your Food, Your Vote, a food-focused forum with State Assembly District 17 candidates David Chiu and David Campos.


On this week's episode of 99% Invisible . . .

The Stanford Storytelling Project and KALW are proud to present The Moth: True Stories Told Live at the Dinkelspiel Auditorium on the Stanford campus on Friday, October 17th at 7:30pm.

99% Invisible: Holdout

Sep 26, 2014

On this week's edition of 99% Invisible:

“Holdout”  Around 2005, a Seattle neighborhood called Ballard started to see unprecedented growth.  Developers offered a woman named Edith Macefield $750,000 for her small house.  Macefield turned down the money, and developers went ahead and enveloped her house on three sides with a shopping mall.

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


99% Invisible: “Holdout”  Around 2005, a Seattle neighborhood called Ballard started to see unprecedented growth.  Developers offered a woman named Edith Macefield $750,000 for her small house.  Macefield turned down the money, and developers went ahead and enveloped her house on three sides with a shopping mall.

Superintendents Message

Sep 23, 2014

The Superintendents Message for Tuesday 9/23/2014

We did it! Thank you!!

Sep 18, 2014

KALW's September membership campaign wrapped up right on time, and at 99.3% of our $350,000 goal.

Thanks to the more than 2200 listeners who helped make the campaign a success, and to the big community of volunteers, programmers and radio-lovers that keeps KALW creative, independent, and non-commercial!

On this week's edition of 99% Invisible:

IKEA hacking is the practice of buying things from IKEA and reengineering -- or "hacking" -- them to become customized, more functional, and often just better-designed stuff. 

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

Make a gift of $91.70 or more to KALW, and you can add KALW's new 3-magnet set to your refrigerator along with any other thank you gift you choose

Your gift to KALW's September campaign will help us keep the drive short and the programming uninterrupted.  Thank you!

Thanks to Ashleyanne Krigbaum for going overboard with Photoshop on this one

Radiolab's Jad Abumrad comes to the Nourse Theatre in San Francisco on October 1st.  Get a pair of tickets, plus the chance to meet Jad at a pre-show reception for your contribution to

Cities, like living things, evolve slowly over time. Buildings and structures get added and renovated and removed, and in this process, bits and pieces that get left behind.

99% Invisible.  Friday at 7:35am and 4:45pm, Saturday at 8:35am.

This week on KALW's showcase for the best in public radio podcasts:

Youth Radio Podcast: “Prescription Drug Abuse In College”  Correspondent Cyrus Abusaba explores the lethal trend of recreational prescription pill usage among college students.

It's the last day of KALW's September membership campaign, and we're trying to reach our goal by 6pm while keeping the pitch breaks short, and the programming uninterrupted.

Keep KALW independent and innovative:  Make an donation right now.


What happens when we build big?  For people who distrust the big project, Edward Tenner’s 2001 essay   "The Xanadu Effect"is some comfort. Tenner, a visiting scholar at Princeton University, ponders the ways in which obsession with bigness can presage hard times for a business or even a nation.

99% Invisible.  Friday at 7:30 am & 4:45pm.  Saturday at 8:35am.

This week on KALW's showcase for the best in public radio podcasts . . .Radio Diaries: Strange Fruit - Voices of a Lynching” Poet and songwriter Abel Meeropol wrote “Strange Fruit” after seeing a photograph of two black teenagers hanging from a tree.  Decades later, a box of recordings was found in a basement containing the recollections of people who witnessed or took part in the events of that day.

On the latest Manager's Report to the Listeners, KALW General Manager Matt Martin talks about some big news at KALW:  After 14 years at the station, News Director Holly Kernan is going to be leaving KALW.  Matt shares his thoughts about Holly's departure, and his appreciation for the visionary work she has done creating and growing Crosscurrents and KALW News.  He also responds to listener e-mails about coverage of Gaza, the station's new fundraising partnership with My Broker Donates, and the pilots of the new music show Liner Notes.


Producer for Your Call on 91.7 KALW-FM, San Francisco.


Your Call is a listener participation program broadcast weekdays from 10-11am on KALW-FM public radio in San Francisco, KUSP/Central Coast Public Radio, and streaming live on the internet. 

As humans have developed cities and built environments, we have also needed to develop ways to find our way through them.  Today, signage and other cues to help you find your way come from the field of environmental graphic design, or “wayfinding.”  Chances are that any signs in an airport, in a hospital, or on a freeway, were created by professional wayfinders.

99% Invisible.  Friday at 7:35am & 4:45pm.  Saturday at 8:35am.

This week on KALW's showcase for the best in public radio podcasts . . .

Radio Ambulante Unscripted:  "Building Bridges and Smuggling Books"  Daniel Alarcón speaks with writer and activist Tony Diaz, - a.k.a. Librotraficante - one of the leaders of a nation-wide movement in favor of Mexican-American and Ethnic Studies.

From the August 15,2014 edition of the Your Call media roundtable:  Stories recommended by panelists Jonathan Landay, national security and intelligence reporter for McClatchy Newspapers; Martin Chulov, Middle East correspondent for The Guardian; and David Barstow, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the New York Times.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Lawyers have an ethics code. Journalists have an ethics code. Architects do, too.

According to Ethical Standard 1.4 of the American Institute of Architects (AIA):  "Members should uphold human rights in all their professional endeavors." 

This week on KALW's showcase for the best in public radio podcasts . . .

One with Farai "Hacking Race & Technology" Technologist Kimberly Bryant talks with Farai about why she founded the nonprofit Black Girls Code.


99% Invisible: "Duplitecture"The best knock-offs in the world are in China. There are plenty of fake designer handbags and Rolexes but China’s knock-offs go way beyond fashion. There are knock-off Apple stores that look so much like the real thing, some employees believe they are working in real Apple stores.  And then there are entire knock-off cities.

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

Radio Ambulante Unscripted: "Riding The Beast" Host Daniel Alarcón talks to investigative journalist Oscar Martinez about his experience riding the "The Beast," the infamous train that takes migrants through Mexico on their way to the United States.