Matt Martin | KALW

Matt Martin

General Manager, 2006-2018

Matt Martin was KALW’s general manager from 2006 through 2018.  Under his leadership, KALW grew 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.”

It's First Time Tuesday -- the day in our September campaign when we make a special invitation to KALW listeners who have never become members to join us.  Whether you've been tuned to KALW for years, have just discovered us, or are new to the Bay Area -- we invite you to join Local Public Radio.

And as an incentive, today only, all new members can receive the KALW Enamel Pin at any level of support.  Click here to donate or call 800-525-9917. 

After 12 years as General Manager at KALW, Matt Martin is transitioning to volunteer status -- so we're putting him to work all day in the phone room!

Give KALW a one-time donation of $180 or more, or become a sustainer at $15 a month to receive a one year digital subscription to the New York Times.

If you’re already a subscriber, you can give this item as a gift. You’ll receive a code and gain access to award-winning journalism for 12 months.

New York Times Digital Subscription includes: Access to and the NYTimes app. Unlimited access, anytime, anywhere. Discounts to the Times Store and Wine Club. Access to 40+ email newsletters on a wide range of topics.

KALW is listener-powered and we appreciate your support! A big thank you to the 1900+ people who participated in our recent membership drive.

We raised $284,000 toward our campaign goal of $375,000. Please help us close this gap by becoming a member and making your gift today.



NO PURCHASE, DONATION OR PLEDGE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN; a purchase, donation, or pledge will not increase your chances of winning.

HOW TO ENTER:   There are two ways to enter the drawing. 

(1) Entry via donation/pledge:  Participants who make a donation or pledge to KALW either on-line or by telephone will be automatically entered into the drawing.  To make a donation on-line, visit  To make a donation by telephone, please call 800-525-9917.

The Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music is America’s foremost festival for contemporary symphonic music — re-imagining the orchestral experience, advancing music and developing audiences for the 21st century.

Thank you to all the local businesses who provided food and drink during KALW's May membership campaign.   Take a moment to see who they are, and if you have the opportunity, please thank them for supporting Local Public Radio!

  Dana Rodriguez hosts the Bay Area's favorite radio quiz show.

A big thanks to the more than 2500 listeners who participated in KALW's May campaign, contributing more than $394,000 to Local Public Radio.  That is within 2% of our goal of $400,000 and ensures that the station is on solid financial footing going forward.  Your support sustains and inspires us, and everything that happens at KALW happens because of you.  We love our listeners!


Journalist and media educator Tina Pamintuan has been selected to serve as the next General Manager of KALW, and will begin her work as the station's leader in September.

This special Manager's Report to the Listeners features a conversation between Tina Pamintuan and current GM Matt Martin.  

Click here to read messages from Matt Martin and Tina Pamintuan about the transition in leadership at KALW.

Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures


On this edition of Your Call, we speak with the filmmakers of RBG, a documentary that traces the steps on Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s path from ambitious young woman to feminist icon.

Lo-Max Records, Ltd.

American Epic is a musical journey across time to the birth of modern recording, when the voices of a diverse nation transformed the way music sounded and how it impacted our lives and the world.  These brilliantly restored recordings from the 1920s were the product of early record labels sending producers and engineers deep into rural America with the latest technology, and artists from isolated communities flocking to have their music preserved and made available to faraway audiences.  Director Bernard MacMahon, Producer Allison McGourty, and Musician Duke Erikson worked for ten years on the project.

You're invited to Sights & Sounds of East Oakland Live!

Join KALW, Oakland Voices, Eastside Arts Alliance & LiveArts in Resistance for this event celebrating the community and the artists who live, work, and create in East Oakland. 

Peter Belanger

Every year, KALW's General Manager presents a "State of the Station" report to the Board of Commissioners of the San Francisco Unified School District, KALW's licensee.

Michael Valdon/Creative Commons license

Tonight at 6pm Pacific Time, President Donald Trump will deliver his first State of the Union address.

KALW will begin special coverage at 5:30pm, when BBC journalists will present stories from Ohio and Kentucky, and share Americans’ report card on the first year of the Trump presidency.

On this week's Bluegrass Signal, Peter Thompson interviews and presents music selected (and played) by Michael Mechanic, author of "The Music I Love Is a Racial Minefield: How I learned to fiddle my way through America’s deeply troubling history,” in the latest issue of Mother Jones magazine.

Sexual harassment and gender discrimination have been met with a grassroots response in the #MeToo moment.

Say farewell to 2017 with song and satire on the New Year's Day 2018 edition of "Politics Takes a Holiday" from The Capitol Steps

To get a sense of what might be in store for 2018, tune in for the BBC Correspondents Look Ahead

On Christmas Eve, tune to KALW for a full evening of holiday stories and musical traditions.

One of the most creative and dynamic stations in public radio is looking for a new leader.

KALW is making some significant schedule changes for the fall.  See all the changes below and find an up-to-date printable program grid here.  You can also hear GM Matt Martin talk about the changes on his most recent Manager's Report to the Listeners.