Don Martin has operated WSLM radio station from “radio ridge” in Salem, Indiana since 1953. Martin learned radio technology while serving overseas in the Marines, later applying this knowledge to the establishment of WSLM in his home region. Today, Martin runs the AM, FM, and television stations collaboratively with his children, J.R. Martin and Becky White. The family stays close to Martin’s longstanding programming vision, with offerings that range from local sports coverage to “Swap Shop,” a kind of call-in classified advertising forum. White notes that while WSLM can’t compete with most urban stations, its community-minded ethic helps maintain a dedicated audience.
When I asked about doing some interviews at WSLM, Don Martin requested that I show up very early in the morning. At 6:00 AM on August 6th, I found the television station already up and running, with a number of people gathered in the office area drinking coffee. Things were busy, but Don and J.R. Martin found time to sit down for a brief interview about the station. Click below to hear Don and J.R. discuss the WSLM’s relationship to its listening community.
I was sorry to hear that Don Martin passed away later in the summer. TAI expresses its condolences to Martin’s friends and family. We are honored to have had a chance to meet with Don, and record some of his reflections on his long career in local radio.