Media

‘Matty in the Morning’ host Matt Siegel retires after 41 years

"I love you guys, more than words can express."

Kiss 108 Matty in the Morning host Matt Siegel
Kiss 108 'Matty in the Morning' host Matt Siegel. Nic Antaya for The Boston Globe

Matt Siegel, the longtime host of Kiss 108’s “Matty in the Morning” show and a giant of Boston talk radio, is calling it a career.

Siegel, 72, announced on Tuesday’s “Matty in the Morning” that he would be leaving the show after 41 years.

“My great wife and my great kids talked with me over the last several weeks and helped me come to a decision,” Siegel said. “And the decision is this: As of now I am retired, leaving Kiss 108 and starting my new life as a mediocre golfer.”

Siegel debuted on Kiss 108’s morning show in January 1981. He was inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcast Hall of Fame in 2012.

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Following the announcement, longtime “Matty in the Morning” co-host Billy Costa, who stated that he will be taking over as the show’s main host, tried to put Siegel’s career in perspective.

“What he’s done for Boston radio, New England radio, and all of you guys is unprecedented,” Costa said. “Forty-one years, but he also ruled the airwaves. For 41 years. That’s impossible to do in this industry. What he did was create more than a number one radio show and award-winning radio show. He created an institution.”

The announcement came after an unexplained absence from the show by Siegel and co-host Lisa Donovan. Neither had appeared on-air since April 19.

Donovan did not participate in Siegel’s farewell show, with Costa later saying that she had been attending to her sick mother in South Carolina.

“We love Lisa Donovan, we wish her well,” Costa said. “We hope everything goes well, and she gets back to us as soon as she possibly can.”

Last year was a “rough” year for Siegel, by his own admission.

There were highs, like a 40th anniversary show in January that featured tributes from Billie Eilish, Gwen Stefani, David Ortiz, and Ryan Seacrest.

Then there were lows, like when Siegel walked off the show and threatened to quit after claiming station management told him to tone down his commentary on pop star Demi Lovato, who had come out as non-binary. The same week, Siegel angrily upbraided co-host Rebekah “Bex” Maroun on air; she announced her departure less than a month later.

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“I got brain surgery, I had a broken foot. I started getting a little grumpy on the radio, which I hate,” Siegel said on Tuesday. “Because all I want to do is make people laugh. That’s my job just to make people laugh. And I got off-target.”

No one made note of those incidents on Tuesday’s goodbye, with the show’s hosts instead focusing on the positives of Siegel’s 41-year career.

Siegel closed his announcement with a message to the listeners who consistently made “Matty in the Morning” the top-rated radio show in Boston.

“I love you guys, more than words can express,” Siegel said. “I’ll miss you terribly. This is really bittersweet. [But] I agree with my family that it is time to walk away.”

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