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Journalist Matt Napolitano, a rising gay star in radio and sports media, has died

Napolitano was a well-liked, well-regarded member of the sports and radio teams at Fox News.

Matt Napolitano, right, and his husband, Ricky Whitcomb, share a moment of joy in celebration of their wedding.
Ricky and Matt, Zola

Matt Napolitano, an out gay sports journalist and anchor for Fox News Media on their radio platforms, has passed away.

In a heart-wrenching and beautiful post on X, Napolitano’s husband, Ricky Whitcomb, officially shared the news of his husband’s death, just seven months after their wedding.

“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.”

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.

Out gay conservative talk show host Guy Benson expressed his love for Napolitano.

San Antonio sports anchor Casey Viera expressed his shock.

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.

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.