Insider Interview: Matt Siegel

By Paul Kix | Boston Magazine |

THE CELL PHONE INTERRUPTS him. Matt Siegel has just left the studio, and, sitting now in his office, he wants to finish a story about Billy Costa, his cohost on Kiss 108’s Matty in the Morning radio show. Siegel is in an expansive mood: celebrating his 30th anniversary at the station this year, still number one in the ratings — always number one in the ratings —  his feet on his desk, a cashmere sweater on his back, a $7,000 Panerai watch on his wrist. But the ringing phone — he can’t figure out how to open it or shut it off quickly enough. He grimaces. “Please, in the name of God, don’t let this be my children,” he says. “Oh,” he says, seeing who it is. “Even worse than my children. An ex-wife.” He fumbles with it some more, finally getting it open. “Go away.”   

And with that, Matt Siegel, crass as he may be, has endeared himself once more. Who else consistently says publicly what many of us think privately? Really, who doesn’t want an ex-wife to go away?

Siegel is an aberration: a 60-year-old morning-show host who doesn’t know the Top 40 music his station plays; a guy’s guy — a golfer, a football-watcher, and an on-air ménage-à-trois fantasist — whose show is geared toward female listeners. That the program succeeds at all, never mind that it’s succeeded for three decades, or that it’s done so in a media market as brutal as Boston’s, has everything to do with Siegel’s honesty. There is no shtick with the show. Very little about it is prepared; Siegel is in his seat by 6:15 and goes on-air at 6:17. All he does, day after month after year, is reveal his imperfections, his embarrassments, and his wit — until every listener of every age finds something to relate to. And then they listen the next day.  

“Yes, it’s about honesty,” Siegel says. But even that sells it a bit short. Because honesty on the radio is only as good as the person shaping it. Earlier this morning, for instance, Siegel talked on-air about this very interview, how he imagined he would give credit to his staff for the show’s success. He let his silence drag on a bit, and Costa picked up on it. “Yeah, but you’d be lying,” Costa said. Siegel agreed. The truth, Siegel said, is that “I am a genius.”

  • Donna

    I love Matty and his staff and the fact that his show is No.1, says more than this article will ever say. Luv ya Matty( no more tickets for this guy, right?)

  • Keke

    Matty’s appeal is due to his self-deprecation. Yes he acts like he does everything, but you know that isn’t true, and that he appreciates his team. I have been listening for over 10 years, and will continue to do so because I really feel like this is a family, and they pick on each other, but love each other. The honesty is the best part.

  • Jenna

    I actually heard some nasty things about him, this article sums him up. We all listen our of habbit but he is a monster

  • Robin

    I like Matty, I listen to the show everyday but I do get a bit sick of hearing about how rich he is. He talks to people like he doesn’t understand what it’s like to struggle financially. Other than that I do love his humor.

  • Robin

    I like Matty, I listen to the show everyday but I do get a bit sick of hearing about how rich he is. He talks to people like he doesn’t understand what it’s like to struggle financially. Other than that I do love his humor.

  • Robin

    I like Matty, I listen to the show everyday but I do get a bit sick of hearing about how rich he is. He talks to people like he doesn’t understand what it’s like to struggle financially. Other than that I do love his humor.

  • Robin

    I like Matty, I listen to the show everyday but I do get a bit sick of hearing about how rich he is. He talks to people like he doesn’t understand what it’s like to struggle financially. Other than that I do love his humor.

  • Lisa

    I have been listening the whole 30 years (I’m 50) and my 22 year old daughter loves him too. We talk about him like he is family, his crew is great and I wouldn’t change a thing about him….let’s hope he has another 30 years or at least 15 until I retire, who else would I start my day off With…Love you Matt!!

  • Annie

    I am 24 and live in NYC. I moved to NY when I was 18 and I still listen to Matty every morning online and on my iPhone. So what if he’s an asshole sometimes or talks about money. We all talk about money, whether we have it or don’t have it. He’s absolutely hilarious and he has a good heart. If you listened to him on his 30th anniversary, you know he appreciates his staff and his listeners very much. And he makes fun of himself just as much as anyone else. If you don’t like it, don’t listen, but the rest of us will. Go Matty. :)

  • Maria

    What makes this radio show great is the ensemble – Matty, Lisa, Costa, Jim and the others. Matty’s comic timing is legendary…he could stand up but as he would say, why bother when he can do it on the radio! yeah, he’s crass, sometimes belittles his callers, but he has found the right balance and that’s why I tune in

  • Hao

    I used to be work as a package delivery driver in Boston for around a decade…Matty was always the voice that calmed me down a little bit, as I made my way to my first stops. His main skill is the a

  • Hao

    To finish my thought, Matt’s main skill was his ability to connect with people. But my one memory of him was of him on his late night tv show, flirting with some girl at a gathering and her response

  • Hao

    Her response was…”If you want to play, you have to pay!!!”