Matt Pauley’s father Bill worked at legendary St. Louis radio station KMOX in the 1960s. Listening to Jack Buck, Mike Shannon and Joe Buck doing Cardinals games ignited the younger Pauley’s love of baseball, baseball on the radio, and radio in general. Today, kids growing up in the Gateway City will listen to Matt Pauley on KMOX. He’s joining the station as the host of the nightly Sports Open Line show and as host of the St. Louis Cardinals radio network.
“Growing up in St. Louis, I have always viewed KMOX as the gold standard of radio stations. Now I am working for the station. It’s amazing,” Pauley enthuses.
Pursing a goal
Setting a target, then proactively pursuing it, is what led Pauley to KMOX.
“Working for KMOX had always been a dream so I had reached out to their Operations Manager Steve Moore just to fully introduce myself in case they ever did have something open in the future. We had a great introductory Zoom call. A few months later this job opened and I went for it and they were already somewhat familiar with me.
“It’s a credit to Steve Moore for taking the time with me. He’s really busy. But if we don’t have that Zoom call months ago, I am just another name on a pile of demo’s.”
In addition to hosting the Cardinals Network, Pauley is also fired up for Sports Open Line. “Hosting Sports Open Line is incredible! It’s one of the most iconic sports-talk shows in the country with an amazing list of people who have come before me to host it. And now I am on that list. Sometimes it is hard to believe that I have THIS job.”
Looking for change
Pauley moves to KMOX after six years as a sports talk host at WTMJ in Milwaukee. He loved the station. However, those duties, coupled with freelance responsibilities elsewhere, sometimes bordered on overwhelming. “It had become clear that was not going to change as long as I was in Milwaukee so I had started to put my focus on how to get into a new position where I could both advance my career and have a better work/life balance,” he states.
Faith has played an important role in Pauley’s career, especially recently when an opportunity for which Pauley felt he was a great fit, didn’t go his way. “As frustrating as that was, when people say everything happens for a reason, this is a great example. I have come out so much better on the other side,” he says.
“God opens doors and closes doors for a reason and we don’t always know those reasons. It’s really hard to just trust what’s happening. I struggled with that. But just a few months later I am sitting here with one of the best sports-radio jobs in the country, hosting an iconic show, working on the network of the baseball team I grew up rooting for and working with people who are just wonderful. I wish I was better at just trusting God and knowing at the end of the day, I am going to be placed where I am supposed to be.”
One place Pauley has been for 15 years is with STAA. “I will always be a member because of [STAA Owner] Jon Chelesnik. Having Jon as a resource is worth every penny. I know I can call up Jon and have a meaningful conversation about anything going on. I am always going to get good and truthful advice. In good times and bad times, Jon is there to talk me through whatever I am dealing with.”
When Chelesnik asked Pauley what excites him about his new opportunity, Pauley replied without hesitation, “First off, it’s KMOX!”