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

From The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX, Reveal is for anyone who is interested in stories that break news and change our understanding of how the world works.  Reveal examines what governments, businesses and communities are doing behind the scenes, hidden from public view.

Glen Weldon, author of Superman: The Unauthorized Biography (and panelist of the great Pop Culture Happy Hour) talks us through the iconography of our first superhero and why Supes has managed to stay relevant for 75 years.

Life of the Law: “Bad Constitution”  Alabama has the longest constitution, not just in the country, but in the world, with 885 amendments and counting.  Hear why it got that way, and how it affects everything in the state from school desegregation to pig farms.

After more than a decade, the Northern California alternative hip-hop triumvirate of Del the Funky Homosapien, Dan the Automator, and Kid Koala -- a.k.a. Deltron 3030 -- are back with a new album, Event 2

Hear them talk with Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot and perform in-studio on this week's Sound OpinionsSunday at 2pm.

Theory of Everything: "F is for Fake": To bot or not?  Host Benjamen Walker talks to data scientist Gilad Lotan about "fake followers" and online reputations, and Jason Q Ng, author of the book Blocked on Weibo, tells us why the Chinese government hates on-line bots.

Thursday at 5:30pm.

You know the saying: you can’t judge a book by its cover. With magazines, it’s pretty much the opposite. The cover of a magazine is the unified identity for a whole host of ideas, authors, and designers who have created the eclectic array of stories and articles and materials within each issue.   This is the anatomy of a magazine cover, starting from the top. Literally. Listen here. 

Last year, Sound Opinions hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot racked up lots of frequent flier miles during the Sound Opinions World Tour with trips to Sweden, Japan, South Africa and Mexico. This year, just in time for the Winter Olympic Games, they grab their passports once again and head for Russia, Moscow-based music critic Artemy Troitsky serves as their guide, revealing Russia's complicated rock ‘n’ roll history.  Sunday at 2pm.

Theory of Everything: "Artifacts (2 of 2)"  The unpredictable, unfolding implications of the transition from analog to digital photography -- and why we're all "animals of code" now.

The Memory Palace: "Harriet Quimby" Remembering a pioneering aviator.

The best in public radio podcasts, Thursday at 5:30pm.

On this week's 99% Invisible: Late in 1928 Walter Chrysler, founder of the Chrysler car company, came to New York and bought a plot of land and decided to build, what he referred to as, “a monument to me.”  What followed was an epic back and forth struggle for the glory of ruling the New York City skyline.

Listen here.

Fugitive Waves: "Edison" The Kitchen Sisters explore the ups and downs (and ups and downs and ups) in the life of the great American inventor.  Fugitive Waves is one of the shows featured in Radiotopia, the new podcast network from PRX.

StoryCorps, the national oral history project where loved ones interview each other, is now at the San Francisco Public Library's main branch. 

Visit the StoryCorps website to hear stories recorded in San Francisco, or make a reservation for you and someone you care about to visit the booth and tell your story. 

Life of the Law:  "School DisciplineAs the number of law enforcement officers on school campuses has gone up, so have the number of arrests. This month the Obama Administration issued recommendations for alternative forms of discipline -- but as the story of Kyle Thompson demonstrates, in the real world of schools, the issues are tricky.

Join KALW Tuesday at 6pm for special coverage of President Obama's State of the Union Address.

We'll begin BBC's with live coverage from Washington, and when the President's speech ends, Rose Aguilar will bring you reaction from independent analysts, and take your calls.

99% Invisible "New Old Town" The rebuilding of post-war Warsaw.

The Memory Palace "Shadowboxing" The stories that were told about legendary boxer John L. Sullivan, and the stories he told about himself.

Sunday 12/22 

9-11pm:  A Paul Winter Solstice.  Malian singer Abdoulaye Diabate joins The Paul Winter Consort with Paul McCandless and gospel vocalist Theresa Thomason at the New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

Monday 12/23

7pm:  Backstory: "Naughty & Nice."  The History Guys examine the history of the “holiday season” in America.

Tuesday 12/24

Sunday 12/22 

9-11pm:  A Paul Winter Solstice.  Malian singer Abdoulaye Diabate joins The Paul Winter Consort with Paul McCandless and gospel vocalist Theresa Thomason at the New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

Monday 12/23

7pm:  Backstory: "Naughty & Nice."  The History Guys examine the history of the “holiday season” in America.

Tuesday 12/24

On Tuesday, December 17th, KALW GM Matt Martin went on the air for his end-of-year Manager's Report to the Listeners.

Join GM Matt Martin on Tuesday, December 17th at 5pm for an end-of-year Manager's Report to the Listeners. Matt will update you on programming changes for the New Year, including Dr.

On today's World Have Your Say, hear global reaction to the Nelson Mandela memorial in Johannesburg, where thousands braved the rain to honor the life of Mandela, freedom fighter and father of modern South Africa.  Tuesday at 11am.

On today's Your Call, we revisit a conversation with longtime media reform advocate Robert McChesney about his new book Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy. We'll also discuss the economics of journalism, media reform, and coverage of the revelations by former NSA whistle blower Edward Snowden.  On the next Your Call, with Rose Aguilar, and you.  Friday at 10am & 5pm.

Youth Radio podcast:  Civic Education for a New Generation

Contrary to popular belief, nearly 90 percent of high school students take a civics class. But what's the quality of those classes? This week's Youth Radio podcast looks at how racial and political diversity in the classroom affects what young people learn about politics and society.

99% Invisible:  Symphony of Sirens

State of the Re:Union is the public radio show that tells the story of America, one community at a time -- hosted by Public Radio Talent Quest winner Al Letson.

The Fall 2013 season of State of the Re: Union airs on KALW throughout November, Mondays at noon and Tuesday nights at 9pm.

StoryCorps is celebrating its 10th anniversary, and founder Dave Isay is traveling around the country with a new book:   Ties That Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude from the First Ten Years of StoryCorps, which contains some of the most powerful and important stories StoryCorps collected.

Dave Isay will be in San Francisco on Monday, November 4 at 6:00pm at Book Passage  at the Ferry Building.

Monday, November 4, 2013 | 6:00PM
Book Passage
San Francisco Ferry Building Store
1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Alan's voice

Oct 21, 2013

It was a year ago today that our friend and colleague Alan Farley passed away.


For more than 35 years, Alan's voice helped define the sound and sensibility of KALW.


You'll be hearing Alan at the top of the hour throughout the day, a small tribute to the contribution he made to KALW and this community. 


Co-founder of and author of Cool Gray City of Love: 49 Views of San Francisco, Gary Kamiya talks about the city's absurd beginnings as a distant and moth-eaten colonial outpost to its instantaneous fame during the Gold Rush; from its apocalyptic destruction by earthquake and fire to its perennial embrace of rebels, dreamers, hedonists and misfits of all stripes. 

The 1990 Institute seeks to broaden understanding and built trust between the people of China and America.  On this episode of Looking At Education, Carol Kocivar talks about the organization's work with its director Daniel Chow and Burton High School librarian Pete Hammer.

Be part of a live Sound Opinions taping in San Francisco! On Friday, October 4th at 3pm at The Independent in San Francisco, Jim DeRogatis & Greg Kot will record an episode of Sound Opinions featuring an interview and performance by Thee Oh Sees.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to KALW during our “small, but mighty” September membership campaign.  More than 2500 people gave during the campaign, including more than 450 new members. 

As the drive wrapped up, KALW listeners had contributed more that $292,000 to support Local Public Radio.  That was short of our goal of $350,000, but given that we made a commitment to a shorter drive, and the fact that we’d already extended it  by a day, we decided to wind the fundraiser down.

Fortunately, thanks to the generous support of the community in recent years, KALW is in a good financial position – and in the coming weeks, we're confident that people who care about and appreciate this station will help us close the gap.

These campaigns are a wonderful time to reinforce this connection to this amazing community.  Thanks for always being there with us, and here’s to doing much more together.

Smiths fan alert!  Johnny Marr joins Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis on this weeks Sound Opinions. Plus a review of Run the Jewels, the latest collaboration between MCs Killer Mike and El-P.  Sunday at 2pm.

This as an expanded version of an article written by Tangents host Dore Stein published in the Summer 2013 KALW program guide.