It was a year ago today that our phones began ringing, as expected. Word came to us, the staff of NewsRadio 740 KTRH, that our associate, mentor, and center of gravity, Matt Patrick, had quietly died of cancer at home surrounded by his family.
Matt, a two-time Television and Radio Hall of Fame honoree, made his last appearance on KTRH the prior Thursday, the six-year anniversary of his first show in Texas. His voice was weak, hoarse, slow, but Matt was on the air where he belonged, announcing to many of the people he loved most that he would not be going back to the hospital, would not have any more surgeries, and would not accept any more treatments. He wanted to thank his loyal listeners. Within 72 hours Matt would be gone.
A very successful career that began as a disc jockey on an Ohio radio station specializing in ballads had morphed for six years into a career as a morning talk show host in Houston, where Matt gave free and exercised vocal reign to his most closely-held values, beliefs, principles, passions and love for people affiliated with the military and police. Not content to only work for hours every weekday morning, Matt also met listeners every weekday afternoon for what he called “The Sandbox,” his other show on iHeartRadio Houston sister-station KPRC AM 950. Matt loved to talk, and loved nothing more than to serve his community of listeners. The quintessential professional, Matt showed up at the station long before dawn snappily dressed in a collared-shirt and tie, and would arduously assemble the pieces of the day’s shows, even on those days for almost two years while undergoing chemotherapy, radiation, and surgeries. Matt’s dedication to his profession was unsurpassed and unstoppable, until it stopped too soon.
We, his friends and associates, are still recovering. We have embraced new morning man Jimmy Barrett with an unbridled love informed by temporal constraints, and every time each of us enter the KTRH studio, we glance to the Matt Patrick “Sandbox” plaque on the wall, nodding with gratitude and a lingering affection that does not fade away with time.
We miss you, Matt, and love you still.
- Nikki Courtney -