5 more years of Matty on Kiss 108

By Johnny Diaz
Globe Staff / July 15, 2011

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Matt Siegel, the popular host of the “Matty in the Morning’’ radio show on WXKS-FM Kiss 108, has signed a five-year extension to his contract.

The extension was effective immediately for the 30-year veteran of the station, according to Clear Channel Radio, WXKS’s owner.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but Siegel, 61, said he is “handsomely paid,’’ adding, “I am lucky.’’

Siegel said the show’s team, including co-hosts Billy Costa, Lisa Donovan, and Jim Clerkin, deserve credit for its staying power. “The success comes from my ability to get into conversations with my team,’’ he said. “We make each other laugh, and the audience laughs with us.’’

Such longevity is rare in the radio industry, and so are long-term contracts, radio analysts said.

“Matty is really an exception to that,’’ said Scott Fybush, who publishes the Northeast Radio Watch newsletter. “He is that rare personality that people want to listen to.’’

Donna Halper, a Boston radio analyst and media professor at Lesley University, said Siegel’s enduring popularity is his ability to appeal to the masses.

“Parents like him, kids like him,’’ Halper said. “The guy is a master at making himself relevant for a new generation, and that’s what the great morning men do.’’

Siegel joined the station when disco music was still in vogue. Over the past 30 years, he has emerged as the signature personality at Kiss 108.

In the June Arbitron ratings, the station had a 10.3 percent share of the market, ranking first in Boston.

Much of that ratings success is driven by Siegel’s show, which ranks first in the market among listeners ages 25-54, a coveted demographic among advertisers.

Siegel’s show also had an average weekly listenership of 669,100 people in June, ahead of WBZ-AM 1030’s morning program, which came in second with 483,500 listeners.

Analysts have said Siegel has cultivated a successful formula in morning talk radio.

People wake up to him to hear his self-deprecating banter with his co-hosts and celebrities who call in. His morning conversations have touched on his family life, such as divorces and the challenges of raising four teenage daughters.

The talk is intercut with entertainment news of the day and the latest pop tunes from Lady Gaga to Katy Perry.

Some of those celebrities he has interviewed, including New Kids on the Block member Donnie Wahlberg and actor Bill Cosby, called into the show last January to congratulate Siegel on his 30th anniversary on the station.

“For some reason, I have been able to go to work and tell little stories and make people laugh,’’ Siegel said.

Johnny Diaz can be reached at