Fox News Radio reporter Matt Napolitano, a graduate of Hofstra University and a resident of Franklin Square, died Dec. 23 of an infection, his husband Ricky Whitcomb said on social media. Napolitano was 33.
Napolitano worked as a sports anchor, covering the Super Bowl, World Series and Daytona 500, among other major sporting events. He also appeared regularly on Neil Cavuto’s Fox Business Network show.
On his LinkedIn profile, he posted proudly that he was a two-time Associated Press Journalism Award winner for Best Overall Newscast. A former radio update anchor for the New York Islanders, Napolitano made his bones working in radio while serving as the program director in college for Hofstra’s WRHU.
Whitcomb on Christmas Eve wrote on X: “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.”
In a later post on X, Whitcomb noted that Napolitano “had an auto immune disease that he was diagnosed with almost 20 years ago and died as the result of 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
Napolitano earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Hofstra in 2012. His broadcasting career took off in 2015 when he came on board at Fox with the network’s SiriusXM channel Fox News Headlines 24/7. Later, he moved to sports reporting and then joined Fox News Audio.
Napolitano also fulfilled lifelong dreams by appearing as a contestant on “Jepoardy” and “Wheel of Fortune.”
FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott paid tribute to the young journalist in a company-wide memo sent out on Dec. 24.
“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,” Scott said in her letter to employees.
Other tributes have poured in from Napolitano’s colleagues and others on social media, including kind words from New York City Mayor Eric Adams.
Matt Napolitano had a big future ahead of him.— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) December 27, 2023
His enthusiasm, intelligence and sense of humor—which we all saw first hand at the annual @InnerCircleNY dinner—made him a great reporter.
33 is far too young. My thoughts are with his family, loved ones and colleagues tonight. https://t.co/W85Ef2ceLp
Napolitano’s co-worker at Fox, Guy Benson, wrote that he was stunned by Napolitano’s passing.
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
“He was one of the funniest and kindest people I’ve ever known,” Napolitano’s friend Justine posted on Facebook.
Funeral visitation services for Napolitano will be held at Krauss Funeral Home, 1097 Hempstead Turnpike in Franklin Square, on Thursday, Dec. 28, from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 29, at St Anne’s Roman Catholic Church, 35 Dartmouth St. in Garden City.
Top photo: Matt Napolitano (Source: X)