Mathai anchors the 5pm, 6pm and 11pm newscasts for NBC Bay Area KNTV. He anchors the nightly newscasts for KNTV as well as hosts the series The Interview. The series sets Mathai with newsmakers such as U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, and General Colin Powell. In 2013, Mathai conducted exclusive interviews with John McAfee about his life and his legal troubles including the death and suspected murder of American expatriate Gregory Viant Faull in Belize.
Mathai led the KNTV coverage of the 2013 Asiana Airlines crash at San Francisco International Airport. He was on the air for seven consecutive hours and was the first journalist to interview a survivor of the crash.
Prior to his News career, Mathai was a sportscaster for NBC Bay Area (1998-2010). In 1995 he became the first Indian sportscaster for a network affiliate in the United States when he began sportscasting for KYMA. He worked for NBC affiliates KNSD in San Diego, California, KYMA in Yuma, Arizona, and KSEE in Fresno, California before arriving at KNTV in 1998. He has reported on-location from the Olympics from London, Vancouver, Turin, Athens, and Salt Lake City. He was also an Olympic torch bearer in 1996, 2002, and 2008. Mathai co-hosted Sports Sunday along with Jerry Rice, Nnamdi Asomugha, Jeff Garcia and Ken Norton, Jr. He was formerly part of the NBC broadcast team for the San Francisco Giants along with Jon Miller and Mike Krukow.
Mathai is a 10-time Emmy Award winner, including regional Emmys for "Best On-Camera Talent" in 2016 and 2015, "Breaking News" in 2016 and 2013 for KNTV's coverage of the Asiana Airlines crash and Outstanding Cultural Program in 2012 for his coverage of the London Olympics. He also won regional Emmys for sports coverage in 1998, 2002 and 2011.
Mathai was born in Trivandrum, Kerala, India. He lived in Mumbai until age 7 when he moved Palo Alto, California. He comes from a family of journalists and writers including his father TJ Mathew who ran magazines in India in the 1970s and his uncle T. J. S. George who founded Asiaweek.
Mathai is the cousin of best-selling authors Abraham Verghese and Jeet Thayil. He is also the nephew of Thomas Kailath, noted Stanford Professor.
Mathai attended Los Altos High School and San Diego State University where he graduated with a degree in journalism and political science in 1993. Prior to his career as a broadcaster, Mathai was a public relations assistant with the San Diego Chargers. He was also part of the Super Bowl staff for the National Football League in 1993 and 1994.