Martin Webb moved to Nevada City in 1998 and was quickly introduced to KVMR, falling in love with the genuineness of the programming and broadcaster banter, as it was obvious they were real people not bound by scripts and commercial profit-making motives of selling the latest pop tunes and advertisers’ viewpoints. They were local folks, chatting with the listener as if they were sitting down in the living room with you, playing eclectic music and focusing on local views and news.
Every since he was a little boy growing up in the Washington, DC area, he dreamt of being a radio DJ, not realizing it would actually be possible through the magic of community radio and the KVMR Broadcasters Training Course. After a friend (Edie Lerman) casually invited him to help co-host her late night variety show in 2001, he was hooked and signed up for the next Training Class right away, earning certification to be a broadcaster and opening up a world of wonder and promise!
Originally tapped in 2002 to host a regular 2-hr evening show called Not Your Father’s Radio Hour, Martin created a fun segment called Big Fun Comedy News, a 15-minute satire news show that was a reaction to the craziness of the world around him, back when “fake news” was funny and less ironic. This segment proved to be such a hit that he would come in and re-read the BFC News on then-morning show host’s Diana Fox drive time show, and would also read it live over the phone for sister station KZFR in Chico and occasionally on KDVS in Chico.
He additionally became infamous for his extensive and growing list of “fake underwriters” that he would sprinkle in between reading all the real underwriters at the top of every hour. He was most proud of the time when a listener called in to the station after being fooled by fake underwriter “Everything Amish,” wondering if they could get contact info for the imaginary store in downtown Grass Valley, where “spring butter churning classes are starting up.” Fake underwriters included everything from “The Color Orange” to “My Left Leg.”
After wanting to do something more service-oriented for the community, a Thursday 12-1pm public affairs slot opened up and he dropped the Not Your Father’s Radio Hour in 2004 and applied to host and produce a monthly show called The Energy Report, which went live in April 2005 and has been running continuously for the past 13 years as a monthly show airing the second Thursday of every month, from 12-1pm following the BBC News.
He said the desire to create The Energy Report came out of the disappointment of watching the 2004 Presidential Debates between George W. Bush and John Kerry, and not having energy or the environment come up as a noteworthy topic, even though this was years after 9/11 had happened and the nexus between energy, geopolitical strife, warfare, terrorism and the environment had all been exposed and discussed greatly. He also noticed that at the time much of the most interesting energy-related news was buried deep in the back of the business section of newspapers or hidden on obscure websites, where the general public would miss the info and continue to be kept in the dark.
Thus, The Energy Report was born, presenting the most interesting and salient news and info each month, related to the production, distribution and consumption of energy, both on the micro/local level and on the macro/global level. Tune in each month and find out how to conserve energy, use energy, and what the good, bad and the ugly facets are of our current energy transition away from fossil fuels in the pursuit of clean renewable energy sources. Occasionally there are call-ins, occasionally there are guests, but there will always be important news and views to hear.
For his career, Martin has been in the renewable energy field for 20 years, with a strong focus on solar power, and has run his own solar company as well as worked for solar panel manufacturers, bringing an insider’s perspective to a growing segment of the energy world. He lives in Penn Valley and is the proud father of two children, and is the drummer for local reggae/rock band Northern Roots.