Fox News Mourns Deaths of Colleagues Matt Napolitano and Adam Petlin

After Fox News reporter Matt Napolitano, 33, as well as Chicago director of operations Adam Petlin, 58, died over the Christmas holiday, the network paid tribute to the staffers.

By Jess Cohen Dec 29, 2023 3:46 PMTags
Watch: In Memoriam: Fallen Stars of 2023

Fox News is honoring the legacies of two late staff members.

Following the deaths of sports reporter Matt Napolitano and Chicago director of operations Adam Petlin, Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott reflected on their careers.

"Matt did everything from anchoring to writing and producing for our audio platforms," Scott said in a memo to staff, obtained by NBC News, "and loved being able to work in the journalism field that he trained for his entire life."

According to a heartbreaking announcement from Napolitano's husband Ricky Whitcomb, the 33-year-old passed away on Dec. 23. Whitcomb later shared that Napolitano "had an auto immune disease that he was diagnosed with almost 20 years ago and died as the result of an infection."

After news of Napolitano's death emerged over the holidays, New York City Mayor Eric Adams paid tribute to the journalist. 

"Matt Napolitano had a big future ahead of him," Adams wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Dec. 26. "His enthusiasm, intelligence and sense of humor—which we all saw first hand at the annual @InnerCircleNY dinner—made him a great reporter."

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"33 is far too young," he added. "My thoughts are with his family, loved ones and colleagues tonight."


Fellow Fox News staff member Petlin also passed away on Dec. 23 following a "brief illness," his family confirmed. He was 58.

In a separate tribute, CEO Scott shared that Petlin was "an integral part of the field and production team and a gifted still and television photographer."

Scott also noted that Petlin, who began his career with the network in the late '90s, was beloved by his colleagues. "Adam was also highly regarded by numerous correspondents," the statement continued, "and anchors that were fortunate enough to have been on location with him on nearly every major news story of the last 27 years." 

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