In 1994, after completing his junior year at Pepperdine University, Matt Smith decided it was time to start thinking about his career. As a pre-law Student (Double Major: Political Science and Speech Communications) he did the logical thing: He took a job answering phones on a morning show at a modern rock station.
Waking up at 4 A.M. caused Matt to lose a year of his college social life, but those 18 months proved to be invaluable. He turned KROQ Program Director Kevin Weatherly on to some great new music, including a little band called Sublime. He not only worked with Kevin and Bean, but his love of sports brought him close to then “Sports Guy” Jimmy Kimmel. He was given the nickname “Money” and soon found himself on the air doing an assortment of comedy bits.
After graduation, realizing he needed to support himself (and pay back 38K in student loans), Matt left KROQ for a job at Polygram Records. He quickly moved through the ranks, and after two years, left Polygram as one of the first hires at newly created DreamWorks Records. Before signing a contract for either job, Matt’s insisted that Lakers season tickets be included in his deal.
In 1998, while drinking a Bud Light in Kimmel’s backyard, Jimmy, Kevin Weatherly and Kevin and Bean’s Kevin were discussing what they should do about sports with Jimmy having left to start The Man Show. They decided even though Matt had a full-time Job, he was the only person that had a shot to successfully follow Kimmel.
For the next five years, Smith worked two jobs: KROQ from 6 a.m. until 8:15 a.m., and DreamWorks from 9 a.m. until sometimes as late as 11 p.m. To say he has a good work ethic is an understatement.
With Universal purchasing DreamWorks in early 2004, Matt was courted by Weatherly to work full time at KROQ. He acquiesced, and became a much bigger part of the morning show, and also served as KROQ’s Music Director.
The constants through Matt’s life have always been his family, sense of humor, and of course, sports. His playing career ended in high school, but he woke every morning to sports radio, read the sports pages front to back, and survived for years on Top Ramen and PBR to spend what little extra money he had to go to games.
It’s a long way from Constitutional Law, but Matt will tell you it’s where he always knew he would end up.