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BPR welcomes Mike Martinez as new announcer

Mike Martinez wearing a jean jacket and sunglasses stands outside the BPR studios smiling.
Catherine Komp/BPR
Asheville artist and musician Mike Martinez joined BPR in September 2021 as an announcer.

BPR is pleased to announce that Mike Martinez has joined the organization as an announcer. Mike will be the local voice guiding listeners through weekday programming like 1A and The World as well as several weekend shows on BPR News and BPR Classic.  

“I have a thirst for knowledge and a dedication to building and connecting my community to that knowledge and that is what attracts me to BPR,” said Martinez. “Public media is how I generally keep up to date on current affairs and hear new points of view, it wakes me up in the morning and drives me wherever I need to go throughout the day.” 

Martinez is known as the frontperson for the bands Natural Born Leaders (NBL) and Beekeepers. In the wake of NBL’s hiatus due to the pandemic, he branched out with an EP of solo material titled “Anti-Virus." From 20015 to 2017, he was the producer and host of Front Porch Radio on WPVM. 

Martinez says his experience as a musician has prepared him for the art form of being an announcer, from understanding the technical aspects of microphones and soundboards to the proper breath technique when speaking.  

“Music teaches me patience every day which I think is essential for all things,” Martinez said. 

“Mike brings a valuable combination of skills to BPR,” said Director of Content Catherine Komp. “His talents as a musician, performer and radio host combined with his passion for mentoring others and building community is a perfect fit for the public service BPR provides. We are thrilled to welcome Mike as a BPR staff member.” 

In 2018, NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest recognized the Natural Born Leaders submission "Abominable Creatures" recorded at a local convenience store. Martinez and the band was then featured by WUNC’s The State of Things with an interview and live performance at the BPR studios. 

Martinez is also recognized for his community engagement work, including serving as an artist mentor for Asheville Writers In The Schools Community, where he is currently a board member and as a performer and liaison with Hood Huggers International.  

“My community engagement work is important to me because as a society we have a habit of leaving behind our most vulnerable members and these programs focus on building up those communities. They allow space for our communities to grow and give hope and inspiration to us. I truly admire and respect everything these organizations do for the folks in our community,” Martinez said. 

Stay tuned for Mike’s debut on the BPR airwaves in the coming weeks.  

Catherine Komp joined Blue Ridge Public Radio in September 2020 as the organization’s first Director of Content, leading BPR’s talented team of local journalists and content creators, overseeing national programming and facilitating collaborations and engagement initiatives.