Matt Napolitano, gay Fox news sports reporter, dies at 35

Matt Napolitano dies Gay fox news sports reporter

Fox News sports journalist Matt, right, Napolitano has died. He was 33. Napolitano’s husband Ricky Whitcomb, left with Napolitano, shared the news of  Napolitano’s passing in a post on X, formerly Twitter. They were married in May. Photos: Instagram/Matt Napolitano

Fox News sports journalist Matt Napolitano has died. He was 33.

Napolitano’s husband Ricky Whitcomb shared the news of his passing in a post on X, formerly Twitter, seven months after they married.

“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.”

Napolitano joined Fox News in 2015 and worked as a one-person show at Fox News Audio, Adweek reports. He then was promoted to a sports reporter, where he appeared on Neil Cavuto’s “Coast to Coast.”

Whitcomb posted another tweet regarding his husband’s death, saying Napolitano “had an autoimmune disease that he was diagnosed with almost 20 years ago and died as the result of an infection.”

In response to some online trolls, Whitcomb concluded by saying, “Do not use my husband’s death to spread disinformation and blatant mistruths.”

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Napolitano was affectionately known as “Matty Naps” to his friends and fans, and was often praised for his personality and sense of humor.

Suzanne Scott, CEO of Fox News, wrote about Napolitano’s death in a memo sent to staff, sharing that Napolitano was one of two staffers who lost their lives over the holiday weekend, according to Adweek. The other person who died was Chicago Bureau operations director Adam Petlin, who also died from an illness. He was 58.

Scott spoke highly of both employees, noting that Napolitano’s talents extended outside the newsroom, reminding fans of his becoming a “Jeopardy!” runner-up and making it to the bonus round of “Wheel of Fortune.”

“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, Variety reports.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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