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

Minds Over Matter

Jul 22, 2012

The Bay Area's Favorite Game Show  July 22, 2012 

Check out's new feature on Roman Mars and 99% Invisible, the tiny show about design that started at KALW, has since had more than 2 million downloads on iTunes, and is currently in the midst of a hugely successful Kickstarter fundraising campaign.

Your Legal Rights

Jul 18, 2012

July 18, 2012  Chuck's guest is Dr. Maryanne McGuckin, a medical specialist in infectious disease prevention in hospitals.


On the today’s Your Call, we’ll have a conversation about hydraulic fracturing, which involves blasting huge amounts of chemicals, sand and water into the ground, which enables trapped oil and gas to escape. How much fracking is happening in California? How should it be tracked and regulated?  Who is pushing for fracking in California? And how are communities organizing against it? It’s Your Call, with Rose Aguilar and you


Dan Jacobson, legislative director for Environment California

with Dana Rodriguez, Gerry Nachman, Steve Rubenstein and Will Rubenstein on trumpet.

On today’s Your Call, we’ll have a conversation about Germany’s plans to invest $270B in renewable energy sources. By 2050, 80 percent of Germany’s energy will come from alternatives. How are they doing it? Join us at 10am pst or email Renewable power generation worldwide is expected to grow by more than 40 percent over the next five years. When will the US follow suit? It’s Your Call, with Rose Aguilar and you


City Visions talks with Rec and Parks' General Manager about the department's budget initiatives for next year, the $195 million parks improvement bond proposed for this fall's ballot, and what all of this could mean for your favorite neighborhood park.

Superintendents Message

Jun 26, 2012

Outgoing Superintendent Carlos Garcia delivers his final message 6/26/12

On today's Your Call, we’ll have a conversation with Marion Nestle the author of "Why Calories Count: From Science to Politics". About a billion people in the world don’t take in enough calories and another billion take in too much. What are calories? And does it make sense for individuals -- or public health officials -- to count them?  Join us at 10.  Email or leave a comment here.  It’s Your Call, with Malihe Razazan and you.


Marion Nestle and Malden Nesheim, authors of Why Calories Count 


How does an openly gay African-American man become a film mogul? He acted like one. Hear Marilyn's interview with D Street Media's CEO Dexter Davis. His global film production and distribution company includes productions in Berlin, Buenos Aires, and Los Angeles. He's currently producing a film in Argentina, and a blockbuster heist film in Hollywood.  


On today’s Your Call, Holly Kernan talks with David Talbot, founder of, and author of the new book Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror and Deliverance in the City of Love.  Talbot chronicles the turbulent times from 1967 to 1982 in Northern California and how some of the hippies, outcast and healers of the 60s became the bombers and murderers of the 70s.  What’s the continuing impact of those times on Northern California?  And what are San Francisco values today? 

What do an accidental pinata-maker, an aspiring hip hop artist, a perennial politician, and a beekeeper have in common? You can hear all of their stories, and more, this Saturday, June 2, at the Polish Club in San Francisco.

Help KALW celebrate the launch of Hear Here: A Pop-Up Radio Project at a live storytelling event. Learn about the diverse characters that make up the cities of Oakland and San Francisco through the words of oral storytellers, local radio reporters, and musicians.

Performers include:

On today’s Your Call, we’ll have a conversation about the new documentary Food Stamped. One out of eight Americans are on food stamps. There are 2.6 million in California . That’s more than ever. The average allotment is about a $1.20 a meal. Americans support doubling food stamp benefits. Is it possible to get enough food on a dollar a meal? What will it take to reverse this trend? It’s Your Call with me, Rose Aguilar, and you.


Yoav Potash, an award-winning filmmaker, writer, and social justice advocate

Farewell, Kathi

May 27, 2012

We were saddened to receive the news that Kathi Kamen Goldmark, longtime producer for West Coast Live, died on May 24 (2012) at UCSF Medical Center after a long battle with breast cancer. 

Kathi had a gift for bringing people together, and putting on a show.  She was great to work with, and had a sense of humor that never stopped. 

Thank you, Kathi, and farewell.

Paul Vercammen / CNN

On the next Your Call, it’s our Friday media roundtable. This week, we’ll discuss coverage of the NATO Summit and protests. Much of the focus was on the future of Afghanistan. On Sunday, 50 veterans threw their medals toward the summit, saying no amount of medals or flags can cover the amount of human suffering caused by the occupation. We’ll be joined by Truthout’s Yana Kunichoff, The Indypendent’s Arun Gupta, and the Guardian’s Emma Graham-Harrison. Where did you see the best reporting this week? It’s Your Call, with Rose Aguilar and you.


On Monday morning from 10 to Noon, tune to 91.7FM for two hours of critical conversation about rising poverty and inequality in the U.S., its effects on our society and democracy, and how we can take action. 

This Thursday, May 10th at 8pm, Ira Glass and This American Life will do a live show in New York City that will be broadcast via satellite to theaters across the country.  Ira Glass will be joined by David Rakoff, Mike Birbiglia, Glynn Washington and other special guests, including the band OK Go!

You can be there – and help support KALW’s May Membership Campaign.

On Saturday, more than 1900 people came to The Paramount Theatre in Oakland to hear Tavis Smiley & Dr. Cornel West talk about their new book The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto.  


On today's Your Call we’ll reflect on Earth Day. Environmental journalist Mark Hertsgaard believes that Earth Day is becoming a bland, tired ritual that polluters and politicians have learned to ignore or co-opt. It’s time to reclaim Earth Day and return it to its 1970s roots when millions took to the streets. What will it take to get millions into the streets today? Join us at 10 or email How would you save Earth Day and the environmental movement? It’s Your Call with Holly Kernan, and you.

New research shows students losing substantial academic ground during the summer months. While funds to summer school continue to dwindle, local districts are finding creative ways to keep their students learning throughout the summer break. Host Joseph Pace and guests Katie Brackenridge of the Partnership for Children and Youth, Lara Fox of the Peninsula Boys and Girls Club and Jane O'Brien of Oakland Unified School District had a great discussion about why summer may no longer be the most overlooked part of the school year.

On today’s Your Call, we’ll have a conversation about independent record stores. April 21st  is Record Stores Day. With over 700 independently owned record stories, what’s the value of a brick-and-mortar outlet selling music in the digital age? Join us at 10 or email How have the economics of running an independent record store changed? Do record stores still matter now that you can download just about anything? It’s Your Call, with Rose Aguilar and you.


On today's Your Call, we’ll talk about the history of the death penalty and the moratorium initiative on November’s ballot.  April 2012 marks the 20th anniversary of the resumption of executions in California. Since then, 13 people have been executed, costing an average of $308M each. Will California become the sixth state in the country to repeal the death penalty? Join us at 10 or email  What explains the nationwide shift against the death penalty?  It’s Your Call with Rose Aguilar, and You.

Superintendents Message

Apr 10, 2012

Superintendents Message for 4/10/12

At the end of 2011, KALW piloted Day 6, a new end-of-week current events, culture and big ideas show from the CBC in Toronto.  We asked you to let  us know what you thought, and here are a few of the messages we received:

On today's Your Call, we’ll talk about the year 1968 and why it was such a watershed moment.  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4th, 1968.  In the same year: The Tet Offensive killed tens of thousands in Vietnam.  Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated.  Women threw their bras into a public trash can to protest the Miss America Pageant.  Apollo 8 orbited the moon.  A current exhibit at the Oakland Museum highlights the events of 1968.

On Saturday, April 28th at 6pm, Tavis Smiley and Cornel West will speak about their new book, The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto, at The Paramount Theatre in Oakland.  

This event is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required.  We have now reached capacity for the venue, and have closed pre-registration.

On this week's BullseyeLateef the Truthspeaker - Oakland MC and one of the founding members of the hip-hop collective / record label Quannum Projects, whose members include DJ Shadow, Lyrics Born and Blackalicious.

On the next Your Call, with the election cycle well under way, we'll have a debate about President Obama’s record on healthcare, the environment, and US foreign policy. We'll be joined by Joshua Frank, co-editor of Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, and Faiz Shakir, vice president of the Center for American Progress. How do you assess President Obama's record thus far? Join us at 10 or email

Next week, KALW will bring you NPR's special coverage as the Supreme Court hears arguments on the constitutionality of  the Affordable Care Act, Monday through Wednesday at 6pm.

Hosted by Jennifer Ludden, NPR's special coverage will feature audio highlights from the day's arguments, and analysis from NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg and health policy correspondent Julie Rovner.

Next week, KALW will bring you NPR's special coverage as the Supreme Court hears arguments on the constitutionality of  the Affordable Care Act, Monday through Wednesday at 6pm.

NPR's coverage will be hosted by Jennifer Ludden and feature NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg and health policy correspondent Julie Rovner, as well as audio of each day's arguments from the court.