Matt Napolitano, a seasoned out gay reporter and anchor for the Fox Audio Network has passed away at the age of 33.
Napolitano’s husband, Ricky Whitcomb shared the heartbreaking news on X (formerly Twitter), only seven months after the couple’s wedding.
“With a heavy heart I have to share that my husband @MattNapolitano passed away yesterday morning. He loved his job, and he loved bringing the news to your radios and televisions. An honest journalist who truly cared about facts,” Whitcomb wrote on X.
Napolitano was a big New York Jets fan, a fact Whitcomb highlighted following the team’s triumph over the weekend.
On Sunday, the Jets secured a 30-28 victory over the Washington Commanders, sealing the game with a field goal in the closing moments. “You can thank him for the last minute Jets win today,” Whitcomb added on X.
Whitcomb shared in another post that his husband of seven months, “had an autoimmune disease diagnosed nearly 20 years ago and passed away due to an infection.”
With a heavy heart I have to share that my husband @MattNapolitano passed away yesterday morning. He loved his job and he loved bringing the news to your radios and televisions. An honest journalist who truly cared about facts. You can thank him for the last minute Jets win today pic.twitter.com/I4fszUMAeh
— ricky (@whickywhit) December 25, 2023
A Rising Star
Napolitano became a sports anchor for Fox News Radio on “its SiriusXM channel, Fox News Headlines 24/7. During his time, he covered major events such as the Super Bowl, World Series and the Daytona 500. Napolitano was a graduate of Hofstra University and had also made appearances on Neil Cavuto’s Fox Business Network show.
He was a two-time recipient of the Associated Press Journalism Award for Best Overall Newscast, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott wrote a memo to employees announcing his death which read, “Matt did everything from anchoring to writing and producing for our audio platforms and loved being able to work in the journalism field that he trained for his entire life. He began his Fox career in 2015 as a writer for our dedicated SiriusXM news channel FOX News Headlines 24/7. There, he quickly demonstrated his writing, producing and on-air skills. He soon became a sports reporter for the service and further excelled in that position.”
View this post on Instagram
Tributes For Napolitano
“He showed off his talent outside the studio as well, having been a runner up on Jeopardy! and making it to the bonus round of Wheel of Fortune, but it was his love of journalism that we were lucky enough to benefit from throughout his time at Fox”, Scott wrote.
Tributes for Napolitano have flooded in, with several people sharing their love for the sports journalist and their experiences with him throughout the years.
Sportswriter Jerry Beach urged everyone to keep Napolitano’s family in their thoughts on Christmas Eve. Beach tweeted, “On this Christmas Eve, please keep in your thoughts the husband, family & friends of Matt Napolitano, who died this weekend. He was an unbelievably funny & talented person & it was a privilege to get to know & befriend him when he was a Hofstra student covering sports at the U.”
Sports anchor Casey Viera shared his reaction to the news of Napolitano’s passing as a “tough one” to hear, adding it was “hard to figure out this world sometimes”.
He described Napolitano as “one of the most entertaining and enthusiastic people I’ve had the chance to work with during my career. Above all else, a caring man and friend”. Viera concluded with a heartfelt, “Rest in peace, Matt Napolitano”.