Medford-based radio station Kiss 108 launched a 40-hour celebration of longtime radio host Matt Siegel Tuesday, in honor of Siegel’s 40th year on the air.
Siegel, 70, hosts the station’s morning show, “Matty in the Morning,” on WXKS-FM alongside cohosts Billy Costa and Lisa Donovan. Tuesday morning’s show featured tributes from artists like Billie Eilish and Gwen Stefani, former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, and fellow radio host Ryan Seacrest as part of the 40-hour tribute to Siegel.
The show opened with the Justin Bieber song “Lonely”, which was quickly cut off by a voice pronouncing “not today,” in reference to Siegel’s distaste for the song.
“That was the best thing ever,” he said after.
Siegel said he never imagined being on the air for 40 years when the show launched in 1981.
“In my wildest dreams, I never thought I would see this day,” Siegel said in a statement. “I am forever grateful to my wonderful radio team, the great company I work for and the terrific people of Boston.”
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh declared Tuesday “Matty in the Morning Day” while Governor Charlie Baker issued a citation honoring Siegel, according to a press release from the radio station.
“Good morning everybody, today’s my 40th anniversary and my team’s done all these wonderful things and a lot of nice people have called in, I’m overwhelmed, I love you guys,” Siegel said on the show Tuesday. “Part of being able to do this act, this radio show is me being a wise guy, when you’re kind of a wise guy... you put yourself down... so this is overwhelming and I love you guys.”
In 1981, when Siegel’s show launched on Kiss 108, he said he was excited to blend his TV experience with his radio experience.
“Now I’m back in radio and it’s like combining the two — except now it’s just me and the microphone 20 hours a week,” he told The Globe.
Siegel earned several accolades throughout his long career, including two Marconi award wins for “Personality of the Year - Major Market” and a Massachusetts Broadcast Hall of Fame induction in 2012.
Tom Poleman, iHeartMedia chief programming officer and president, called Siegel’s show a “Boston institution” in a statement.
“Matty is a Boston institution. If you’ve spent any time in Boston, you know how big ‘Matty in the Morning’ is,” Poleman’s statement reads. “Forty years working in this industry is an impressive accomplishment, but 40 years hosting a top-rated morning show for one station is truly special.”
Popular venues across the city, like TD Garden, The House of Blues, and the Wilbur Theatre displayed congratulatory messages to Siegel, according to the press release.
iHeartMedia Boston Senior Vice President of Programming Dylan Sprague praised Siegel for his storytelling ability and comic timing.
“He’s the ultimate storyteller with impeccable comic timing and an authentic, unfiltered view of the world,” Sprague said in a statement. “He’s perfectly in tune with Boston and has found a way to continually evolve the show and capture the next generation of listeners year after year – all without changing who he is. That’s why he’s number one. Congratulations Matty on 40 years at Kiss 108!”
Charlie McKenna can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on twitter @charliemckenna9.