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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014

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In Sports

Greg Matzek hosts the newly revamped Sports Central alongside Trenni Kusnierek.

In Sports

Matzek on his new role: "I like to believe that they think we're talented individuals and can carry a show."

Milwaukee Talks: WTMJ radio host Greg Matzek


Though he's only in his early 30s, WTMJ-AM's Greg Matzek has already paid his radio dues.

The new co-host of "Sports Central," alongside Trenni Kusnierek, is no stranger to the station, having joined WTMJ is 2001. He started out as a producer of the "Green House" and worked his way up to sports anchor for the station's morning show. He also continues to co-host a weekend show, and, until this latest promotion, Matzek also held a full-time job in marketing.

In other words, Matzek works a lot.

We last spoke to Matzek in 2003, when the Brookfield native won ESPN's reality show, "Beg, Borrow & Deal 2." Since then, a lot has changed in his life, but even more has come full circle.

We caught up with Matzek in this latest Milwaukee Talks.

OnMilwaukee.com: I can't believe it was eight years ago that I sat in your cubicle at "Radio City" and talked to you about reality TV.

Greg Matzek: Did I have hair then?

OMC: Actually, you looked exactly the same. And surprisingly, you're still working at WTMJ.

GM: I don't know how many people knew that, but I always had a full-time job while I was at WTMJ, at least since 2005, anyway, working in the marketing world. Even when I started doing the morning show, I was getting up at 4 a.m., doing that until 8, then going to my marketing job until 6 or 7, sometimes traveling, then coming back home and trying to play softball or get in a workout or watch the game, then collapsing at 9:30. So the schedule was a bit rough.

OMC: When did you realize it was time for a change?

GM: I left one marketing opportunity for another marketing job, and it just wasn't a good fit. That came right around my last review time with my boss at the radio station. I inquired about the opportunity, and at that point, it wasn't really on the table. As time went on, they made it sound like the sports department was going to increase in size and I was a potential candidate. Ultimately, it ended up working out.

OMC: In the back of your mind all these years, were you thinking that someday radio would be your full-time career?

GM: There's a reason I never left WTMJ. When I was producing, and I left that gig, I wanted to make sure I stayed on Sundays. It was a very small shift at that time, but that grew into an opportunity to do a talk show with Jeff Falconio. Then it turned into fill-in opportunities during the evening show during the week. Then that turned into the morning show.

Everything kept growing and growing and growing. Had I left the station cold turkey, that opportunity never would have been there. I had to keep it in my back pocket. It was what I worked toward.

OMC: And you're still doing the morning show, too.

GM: Yeah. I go to work a little after 4, and work until 8:30. Then I pass out for a couple hours, then I get back online, chase stories for the day, cover the Brewers, go to the games, and then get with Trenni a little bit later in the afternoon and do our show. We start at 6, unless we're preempted by play-by-play, and we go until 8.

OMC: And you still have your Sunday show?

GM: Sunday mornings are still happening right now. Eventually, that will phase out when we get to Packers season.

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