Matt Napolitano, an out gay sports journalist and anchor for Fox News Media on their radio platforms, has passed away.
“With a heavy heart I have to share that my husband @MattNapolitano passed away yesterday morning,” Whitcomb wrote on Christmas Eve. “He loved his job and he loved bringing the news to your radios and televisions. An honest journalist who truly cared about facts.”
And then, a nod to Napolitano’s fandom:
“You can thank him for the last minute Jets win today.”
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
The Jets beat the Washington Commanders on Sunday, 30-28, with a field goal in the final seconds of the game.
Whitcomb and Napolitano married in May.
According to a post by Whitcomb on X, Napolitano “had an auto immune disease that he was diagnosed with almost 20 years ago and died as the result of an infection.”
Napolitano, 33, was a graduate of Hofstra University. He held brief stints at Merlin Media and TMZ before finding a home at Fox News Media’s radio efforts over the last decade or so.
By all accounts, Napolitano — known to many as “Matty Naps” — was beloved by his colleagues for his personality, talent and sense of humor. The tributes for this young man have poured in from all over, including remembrances of his appearances on TV game shows Jeopardy! and Wheel Of Fortune, something Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott mentioned in her memo to staff, noting “it was his love of journalism that we were lucky enough to benefit from throughout his time at Fox.”
Sportswriter Jerry Beach asked everyone to keep Napolitano’s husband, family and friends in their thoughts.
On this Christmas Eve, please keep in your thoughts the husband, family & friends of @MattNapolitano, 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.— Jerry Beach (@JerryBeach73) December 25, 2023
Out gay conservative talk show host Guy Benson expressed his love for Napolitano.
I’m stunned and so very sad to learn of the death of our @foxnewsradio colleague, @MattNapolitano. He was a great guy & appeared on the show numerous times, typically talking sports. 33 years old. My gosh. My prayers go to his family. Gutwrenching. I can’t believe it. RIP.— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) December 24, 2023
San Antonio sports anchor Casey Viera expressed his shock.
This is a tough one. Hard to figure out this world sometimes.— Casey Viera (@Casey_Viera) December 24, 2023
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.
Rest in peace, Matt Napolitano. https://t.co/3aMdPtmS6B
1010 Wins sports guy Marc Ernay didn’t hold back his emotions.
And others across the news and sports media offered their loving thoughts and condolences.
We are all heartbroken. He was an amazing person!! And incredibly colleague!! A wonderful funny man who was tremendous back stage and on stage at the Inner Circle.— CJ Papa (@cjpapa13) December 25, 2023
@whickywhit , I am so very sorry. I’m the president of the @InnerCircleNY Show this year, and shared this tragic news with our members. Matt was incredible, as you know so well, and was a valued member of our organization. May we DM, please? My deepest condolences.— James Ford (@jamesfordtv) December 25, 2023
Im so sorry to hear this!— Taimon R. Turner (@TaimonT717) December 25, 2023
Matt was an incredible person who truly welcomed me at WRHU.
He and I were able to stay friends in our post Hofstra days!
He was incredibly talented and had a gift of making people laugh and smile!
May his memory last forever!
May he RIP! pic.twitter.com/rbs5y5qIAS
Napolitano didn’t lead his public life with being gay, and he didn’t shy away from it, marrying the love of his life, Whitcomb, earlier this year and sharing pro-LGBTQ messages on social media.
“Ricky, I love you so much,” he wrote after their wedding, “even when the Bills beat the Jets.”
Outsports’ deepest condolences go out to Napolitano’s husband and all of his family and colleagues who are feeling the loss of this man taken from this world far too soon.