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

At the age of 67, Nicolas “Nicky” Frausto became friends with 18-year-old Alexander “Lexi” Snyder. They met at OutLoud Radio's San Francisco Inter-Generational Storytelling Project, an event that celebrates Bay Area LGBTQ history. Their story gives a little insight into the nature of love from two men that are two generations apart.

This interview was facilitated by Sophia Simon-Ortiz of San Francisco StoryCorps in conjunction with OutLoud Radio. It was produced by Wendy Baker.

On the next Your Call, we'll have a conversation about the state of the opposition movement inside Burma, where elections are taking place on April 1. Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi recently gave her first campaign speech, saying the reform process has yet to deliver democratic gains. It's been almost five years since the massive uprising in Burma. What do you want to know about the struggle for democracy there? It’s Your Call, with Rose Aguilar and you.


Bo Kyi, former political prisoner and international human rights activist from Burma

On the next Your Call, we’ll mark the 75th anniversary of Dr. Seuss’s first children’s book by talking about classic kids books, and the remarkable children’s literature being written right now.  Why are the bonds we make with those special children’s books so powerful?  And when stories like The Lorax head to the big screen – or the iPad -- how does the magic of a grown-up reading to a kid change? 


Carla Kozak, children’s librarian at San Francisco Public Library. 

 Tune in this Thursday to Africa Mix, when Emmanuel Nado's guest will be Ethiopian-born, San Francisco-based singer songwriter Meklit Hadero.

Meklit erupted to national notice with the 2010 release of her CD "On a Day Like This" bringing her music to a whole new audience.  She performs next Friday, March 23rd at the Herbst Theater for SFJazz.  Hear her on KALW this Thursday at 9pm.


 On today’s Your Call, we’ll have a conversation about the corporate tax system and President Obama’s plan to overhaul it. How much do corporations pay in taxes? From 2008-2011, 30 major corporations paid no taxes, according to Citizens for Tax Justice. How much should they pay? Join us at 10 or email What is the economic impact of corporate taxation? What changes would you like to see? It’s Your Call, with Rose Aguilar and you.


It's an amazing world.  It used to be that whatever life served you that's what you got.  You didn't like your nose, skin, class or gender?  Too damn bad.   But times have changed and nothing is fixed.  If you don't like what you see in the mirror, start anew.  But are there limits?  Are there boundaries, internal or external?  How much can you really change and how much can you demand the universe change for you? 

Stories of our plastic selves on this week's Snap Judgment, Sunday at 3pm and Wednesday at 1pm.

On today’s Your Call, it’s our Friday media roundtable. This week, we’ll discuss coverage of the recent education rally in Sacramento, where over 70 people, most of them students, were arrested . We’ll also talk about of AIPAC’s gathering in Washington DC and the drumbeat for war with Iran. We’ll be joined by citizen journalist Spencer Mills, the Contra Costa Times’ Matt Krupnick, and the Middle East Report’s Chris Toensing. Join us at 10 or email What was your story of the week? It’s Your Call, with Rose Aguilar and you.


Nearly a year after Japan was struck by a huge earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, tune in Wednesday and Thursday at 5:30pm for a special two-part report from the BBC on radioactive fallout, health effects, decontamination efforts, and government response to the Fukushima disaster.

On this week's Open Air, Alan Farley talks with composer and performer Meredith Monk.  Monk has a prominent role in the San Francisco Symphony's American Mavericks Festival.  He also visits with Michael Gene Sulllivan, who is directing "Julius Caesar" for the African American Shakespeare Company.   Here the broadcast anytime this week via KALW's Local Music Player.

Bullseye: Key & Peele

Mar 1, 2012

Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele are actors, comedians, and the creators and co-stars of the new Comedy Central sketch show Key & Peele

On this week's Smiley & West, a conversation with Arun Gandhi about his grandfather's legacy, and the future of nonviolence.  Friday at 1pm.

On February 29, 1932, the BBC launched its Empire Service on shortwave – 80 years later, you know it as the World Service, and hear it throughout the day on KALW. 

Alan Farley talks with filmmaker Eva Soltes about her documentary "Lou Harrison - A World of Music," which will premiere at the Castro Theatre next week.  Hear the Open Air broadcast anytime this week here.           Thursday at 7pm, the filmmaker talks with Eric Jansen on Out in the Bay.

Beena Sarwar is a veteran independent Pakistani journalist and documentary filmmaker.  Hear her take on Pakistan, its relationship with the US, and the state of journalism on this week's Alternative Radio, Monday at 1pm. 

Sarwar is the Pakistan editor of Aman ki Asha, a joint initiative of “The News” in Pakistan and “The Times of India.” She was a producer for GEO TV, the largest 24/7 news channel in Pakistan.

Sister Fa is the most popular hip hop artist in Senegal, and one of the most powerful critics of female genital mutilation in her country.  Hear her story on The State We're In, Monday at Noon. 


Feb 26, 2012

On this week's Philosophy Talk, the subject is pantheism: the doctrine that the world is either identical with God or an expression of His nature.

This Saturday at 3:30pm, the Noise Pop Festival in San Francisco will be giving love to public radio at “Hear Ye, Hear Ye: Musicians Pay Tribute to Public Radio.”  Among the musicians on hand to talk about public radio as a vital platform for independent music: Thao Nguyen, John Vanderslice, Kevin Johnson, Zoe Keating, Quinn Deveaux, Sean Hayes and Jhameel – and they’ll be joined by Snap Judgment producer Stephanie Foo. 

If your business or nonprofit is ready to make an important contribution to San Francisco’s future, consider hosting a student intern this summer.

San Francisco public high school students pursuing in careers in finance, information technology, biotech, hospitality, law, and health science  are looking for summer internship opportunities.  They're motivated and ready for real-world work experience.   

On the next Voicebox, hear Stanford Music Professor Stephen Hinton discuss the vocal music of Kurt Weill and the singers who have helped to seal the German composer’s reputation over decades. 

Weill's Voices on Voicebox, Friday, February 24, from 10-11pm at 91.7FM or


 Daniel Handler delves into his memories of young love and high school frustrations to pen the novel Why We Broke Up -- the twist?

The Syrian city of Homs has seen some of the worst violence in the government's crackdown against opposition activists and armed fighters in the country. BBC reporter Paul Wood and his team managed to slip into Homs as the bombardment of the city was getting underway. Tune in to KALW Thursday at 5:30pm to hear a special report in which Paul tells the story of his four days in Homs - how the story unfolded; how he reported it and what life is like for residents of a city under fire. 

Movies play a large role in modern life. We enjoy watching them; we idolize the actors and actresses who appear in them; we analyze the directors. But how well do movies tackle bigger philosophical questions?  With the help of listeners and special guests, Philosophy Talk hosts John Perry and Ken Taylor turn a philosophical eye to the past year's cinematic offerings, and present their 4th annual Dionysus Awards for the most philosophically-rich films of the past year.

On Today's Your Call, it's our Friday media roundtable. With so much talk about how much Mitt Romney paid in taxes, how are the media covering our tax system? We’ll also discuss the growing debt crisis in Europe and the ongoing debt relief deal talks in Greece where the names of 4,000-tax evaders have been published. We’ll be joined by Reuters’ David Cay Johnston and the Globe and Mail’s Eric Reguly joins us from Rome. Where did you see best reporting this week? It’s Your Call with Rose Aguilar, and you. 


We did it!

Jan 24, 2012

Listener support has made KALW a powerful resource for the public life and creative communities of the Bay Area.  

And in our just-concluded January Membership Campaign, the passion and generosity of KALW listeners helped us surpass our goal of $100,000 and ensure this station is ready to keep innovating and serving the community.

Thank you for keeping Local Public Radio strong and independent.  We love making radio in partnership with you.


Listen anytime via KALW's Local Music Player.  Host Devon Strolovitch celebrates five years on KALW with a special night on Fog City Blues featuring cameo appearances by Elvin Bishop, Quinn Deveaux, Carmen Getit of Steve Lucky & the Rhumba Bums, and Mark Hummel.  Devon will also be giving away tickets to Mark's Blues Harmonica Blowout at Yoshi's Oakland.  Wednesday night at 9pm.

Video Promo: Fog City Blues 5th Anniversary Special

KALW's Your Call needs a new theme song, and in the spirit of grassroots participation, we're having a contest to find it.

  • $500 prize for the winning entry, and runners-up prizes as well.
  • 60-second minimum.
  • No lyrics, please.  Beats & guitars welcome.

Send links to audio files to:, or mail recordings to:

ATTN: "Your Call Theme" KALW, 500 Mansell Street, San Francisco, CA 94134

Photograph: Sunday Alamba/AP

On This week's media roundtable. we’ll discuss coverage of taxes and ongoing budget cuts in California. We’ll also talk about coverage of President Obama saying no, for now, to the Keystone Pipe line and the mass protests in Nigeria. We’ll be joined by the Sacramento Bee’s Phillip Reese, Mother Jones’ Kate Sheppard and freelance journalist Gillian Parker joins us from Nigeria. Join us at 10 or email Where did you see the best reporting this week? It’s Your Call, with Rose Aguilar and you.

On this week's This American Life, a Planet Money special on the economic crisis in Europe. If you're like us, when the words European Debt Crisis pop up in the news these days you feel a little worried, and a little like taking a nap. Turns out, there's a story behind this story. One that's filled with guilt, and drama, and betrayal, and 100-year-old dreams come true.

On this week's This American Life, a Planet Money special on the economic crisis in Europe. If you're like us, when the words European Debt Crisis pop up in the news these days you feel a little worried, and a little like taking a nap. Turns out, there's a story behind this story. One that's filled with guilt, and drama, and betrayal, and 100-year-old dreams come true.