Matt has stepped into just about every community in the Delaware and Lehigh Valleys in his many years of street reporting, plus tackled assignments that took him across the country and around the world: California, Brazil, Nevada, England. He also headed into the skies in a life-changing flight with the Blue Angels. He has covered three political conventions (St. Paul and two in Philadelphia), interviewed two presidents (President Obama and President Trump) and covered countless pivotal stories that have shaped our region over the last two decades.
Beginning his career in upstate New York just days after graduating from the University of Delaware, Matt served as a do-it-yourself news reporter at WICZ-TV in Binghamton covering local news and politics - including the 1994 New York governor's race where he interviewed George Pataki, the eventual winner, twice. His next move brought him to WSTM-TV in Syracuse, New York where he tracked down an accused murderer for an exclusive interview, visited a community that saw 300+ inches of snowfall in one season and provided daily coverage of a gruesome series of deaths that one day became the basis of the cable series "Village of the Damned."
Matt's big break was when he was called back to Philadelphia to join the Action News team, a place he has worked at proudly ever since.
He joined the Air Force National Guard on a trip to England shortly after 9/11. He flew supersonic with a member of the Blue Angels over Atlantic City. He lived in the Brazilian rain forest for four days with experts from the Philadelphia Zoo to help protect the golden lion tamarin. He interviewed Barack Obama, John McCain, Sarah Palin, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump when their presidential campaigns brought them to the region. He spent two days along the Jersey Shore awaiting the arrival of Hurricane Irene, which nearly became the first hurricane to hit New Jersey in more than 100 years. He has greeted Kevin Bacon, Morgan Freeman, Naomi Judd and James Brown during their visits to town. He has joined the Eagles on a playoff run, he was there for the Eagles and Phillies championship parades. He has visited nearly every town in the region, covering the triumphs, tragedies, highs and lows of Action News viewers throughout the years.
Matt joins the Action News Morning team every weekday, bright and early, to help the sleepyheads of the Delaware and Lehigh Valleys wake up, a news anchor position he has held since 2004. Matt and Tamala Edwards also alternate as host of Inside Story where they engage panelists to debate the important issues we face and challenge newsmakers who make the decisions.
The True Philadelphia Podcast is Matt's most recent project where he sits down with the people who help mold the ongoing conversation on what is great about the Philadelphia area: Jay Wright, Madeline Bell, Larry Krasner, the original Phillie Phanatic David Raymond, Elena Delle Donne, Preston Elliot, Sharon Pinkenson, Tom Wolf, Charlie Dent. The podcast can be streamed on Apple Podcasts, Google Play and YouTube.
Matt lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with his wife, two children and dog Bailey. He plays drums in a local rock band and competes in a number of local golf tournaments. Matt still hopes to be the first reporter to do a live shot from Mars.
Retired doctor wraps up summer season as rookie lifeguard in Atlantic City
After a 30-year career in medicine, it didn't take Dr. Marc Plotnick long to figure out how he wanted to spend his retirement.
Jim Gardner discusses retirement, upcoming launch of new podcast
Matt O'Donnell had a chance to catch up with Jim Gardner about his retirement and why you will be hearing more from him very soon.
Living without a cellphone? Meet the people who are choosing to go 'hands-free forever'
Perhaps you may have wondered what your world would be like if you didn't have a cellphone...and we mean, not owning one at all. Meet the people who never pack a screen in their pocket.
Center City coffee shop features local poet's work in unique way through public poetry project
April is National Poetry Month and some local poets are sharing their works in a unique way at a Center City coffee shop that will leave you feeling fulfilled both inside and out.
Former Philly Mayor Michael Nutter eyeing another run, Action News has learned
Action News has confirmed that various community and business leaders in Philadelphia are urging former Mayor Michael Nutter to run in the May primary for a third term and that he is considering it.
Southampton, Pa. couple's 'Grey Nose Society' pairs senior dogs with older adults
A couple running an animal rescue with an adoption center in the far Northeast is helping senior dogs find their forever homes with older adults.
How waste from old coal mine is powering a Bitcoin mine in a Pennsylvania town
Nesquehoning, tucked into a valley in Pennsylvania coal country, is the site of America's newest, large-scale Bitcoin mine.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney on his comments about the Philadelphia July 4th shooting
Mayor Kenney speaks at length about his emotional response to the July 4th shooting on the Parkway, which led to calls for his resignation and an apology from Kenney, and his legacy as Philly Mayor.
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw on guns, South Street mass shooting and declining enrollment
In this wide-ranging interview, the city's top cop speaks about the tragic South Street mass Shooting, the uptick in Illegal gun sales and the growing feud between Mayor Jim Kenney and District Attorney Larry Krasner.
Tracking origins of super-powered meth as overdoses rise in Pennsylvania
In a country that is still recovering from an opioid crisis, law enforcers are starting to see the emergence of super-powered versions of meth.
More TOP STORIES News