Two Fox News staffers die over Christmas holiday

Matt Napolitano

Matt Napolitano died at the age of 33 two days before Christmas (Picture: Instagram)

Fox News is in mourning after the deaths of two staffers Matt Napolitano and Adam Petlin over the Christmas weekend.

Anchor and reporter Napolitano died on December 23 aged 33, his husband Ricky Whitcomb announced on X, stating he ‘had an autoimmune disease that he was diagnosed with almost 20 years ago and died as the result of an infection.’

Chicago director of operations Petlin also died on the same day after a ‘brief illness’, his family shared in a statement on Facebook.

Paying tribute to his husband Napolitano, Whitcomb shared on social media: ‘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.’

New York City Mayor Eric Adams also remembered the journalist on X and said Napolitano had a ‘big future ahead of him.’

Matt Napolitano had a big future ahead of him.

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

— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) December 27, 2023

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

‘His enthusiasm, intelligence and sense of humor—which we all saw first hand at the annual @InnerCircleNY dinner—made him a great reporter,’ he added.

CEO of Fox News Media, Suzanne Scott, paid tribute to both Napolitano and Petlin in memos to employees obtained by Deadline.

Remembering Petlin, she wrote: ‘He was an integral part of the field and production team and a gifted still and television photographer.

‘Adam was also highly regarded by numerous correspondents and anchors that were fortunate enough to have been on location with him on nearly every major news story of the last 27 years.’

Adam Petlin Fox News

Petlin was at Fox News for nearly three decades (Picture: Fox News)

Scott, meanwhile, praised Napolitano for his tenacious reporting and diverse skill set.

‘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,’ she said.

Napolitano joined Fox News in 2015, beginning as a writer for Fox News Headlines 24/7 before becoming a sports reporter

https://www.instagram.com/p/CuAHMvEOlmT/

After leaving the broadcaster for several months, he returned in 2022, working as an anchor and reporter, creating segments for all Fox News audio platforms.

Outside of journalism, Napolitano was a fan of Jeopardy and applied to appear on the show. He also appeared as a contestant on Wheel of Fortune in 2016.

Petlin worked at Fox News for 27 years, after joining the network in August 1996 as one of the first field photographers hired.

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Petlin is survived by his wife Lauren, as well as his daughter Ava, 18, and son Luca, 14.

Napolitano’s survivors include husband, Ricky, who he married this past May.

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