Matt Martin | KALW

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

Olivia Henry

A huge thanks to everyone who supported KALW's September campaign.  When all was said and done, more than 2000 listeners donated over $367,000 to Local Public Radio.

That's 98% of our ambitious goal of $375,000, making this the most successful September campaign ever at KALW.  The station is strong and ready to invest for the future, with no more on-air fundraising until next May.  

Dan Roth

On Thursday, September 22, 2016, Kamau Right Now! broadcast live from the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco.


Tune in to KALW tonight at 6pm for NPR's live coverage of the second debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.  Then join the post-debate conversation on Your Call, Monday at 10am.

Brooke Anderson

At the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights' 20th anniversary celebration in Oakland on September 8th, W. Kamau Bell moderated a panel featuring Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, Equal Justice Society's founder and President Eva Paterson, and Equal Justice Initiative's founder and Executive Director Bryan Stevenson

Radiolab host Robert Krulwich on how he made it official with KALW. Join him in supporting the station in our September campaign.

Illustration by Tom Deja

KALW went on the air in September of 1941 – that means we are celebrating 75 years on the air. We want you to participate in a special campaign to raise awareness and community support for local public radio.


Hear the latest Manager's Report to the Listeners, with General Manager Matt Martin, as well as listener calls and e-mails.

Cabrillo Festival

KALW is proud to be the broadcast partner for the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music’s 2016 season, and to present the complete orchestra concert broadcasts in four special programs hosted by Sarah Cahill, host of Revolutions Per Minute.

Dan Roth

On Thursday, August 18, 2016, Kamau Right Now! broadcast live from the Swedish-American Hall in San Francisco.

Host W. Kamau Bell was joined by comedian Hari Kondabolu, adult entrepreneur Nenna Joiner, and the San Francisco Chronicle's Rachel Swan.  Kamau also has an Awkward Talk with a Bay Area Trump supporter and welcomed back musical guest Brontez Purnell.

Dan Roth

On Thursday, July 14, 2016, Kamau Right Now! broadcast from the New Parish in Oakland.  Host W. Kamau Bell was joined by comedian Irene Tu, storyteller and showman Jamie DeWolf, and urban ethnographer Nikki Jones.

Tom Deja / Bossman Graphics

Celebrate KALW's 75th anniversary at a very special night with Kronos Quartet and Bruce Cockburn, Thursday, August 4th at 8pm at the Nourse Theatre in San Francisco.

Erik Kabik/Las Vegas Philharmonic

On this week's Revolutions Per Minute, host Sarah Cahill welcomes Donato Cabrera to the studio to share some of his favorite recordings. 

Soraya Matos

On June 16, 2016, Kamau Right Now! broadcast live from the Starline Social Club in Oakland.  

On this week's Revolutions Per Minute, guest host David Latulippe welcomes Paul Dresher and Amy X Neuburg to talk about their upcoming collaboration "They will have been so beautiful".  

Alvin Wu/Daily Californian

KALW is proud to be a media sponsor for the second annual Bay Area Book Festival, this Saturday, June 4th  and Sunday, June 5th in downtown Berkeley.  

Thanks to everyone who helped make KALW's May campaign a success.  It's the station's historic 75th year on the air, and this was a big campaign for the future of KALW.   And thanks to you, we have reached our goal!

Station manager Matt Martin talks about upcoming changes to the weekend schedule, and listeners share appreciations of morning host Joe Burke, who is retiring after 28 years at KALW.  

  “If I had a magic wand, what would you wish for?”  April 16th is Advanced Care Planning Day - an opportunity to have a conversation with loved ones about what matters most in life, and how we want to face death. 

Dan Roth

On Thursday, March 17th, Kamau Right Now! was broadcast live from Impact Hub in downtown Oakland.  Joining W. Kamau Bell were social justice leader Lateefah Simon, journalist and hip hop historian Dave "Davey D." Cook, poet-comedian Bucky Sinister.  Plus, an "awkward talk" with Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and music from Bhi Bhiman.   

Feeling lost, overwhelmed, and invisible -- these are just some of the challenging emotions nearly all caregivers encounter.  

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.