Here at NDH, we are thrilled to honor and recognize Happening People, those native North Delawareans who have achieved Celebrity status – who are making their mark on this great nation. Going above and beyond to push the limits – personal & professional – positively influencing our communities near and far, all while honoring their local roots.
Greg Burton has more than 20 years of sports broadcasting experience. He currently works in Richmond for ESPN Radio 950 hosting an afternoon sports talk show called “Hardly Workin’ with Greg Burton.”
Greg went to Richmond in August 1998 as a sports anchor/reporter for local CBS affiliate, WTVR. During his tenure, he was named Virginia Sportscaster of the Year, Richmond Broadcaster of the Year and won a prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award for Sports Reporting. Prior to his career in Richmond, Burton worked as a sportscaster in Idaho Falls, ID, and in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware. He also worked for the Wilmington Blue Rocks, a Class A minor league affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, and The University of Delaware, his alma mater. Greg was born and raised in the City of Wilmington and is a graduate of St. Elizabeth High School. He and his wife Stephanie have been married for 5 years.
GREG: A lot of fun. I mean, we’re talking sports for 3 hours. Most people would consider this a dream, not a job. That’s actually how we came up with the name or the show “Hardly Workin’ “. The funny thing is a lot of work does go into it. About 5-6 hours of prep every day before we hit the air at 3p. The show is different every day. Sometimes we have a lot of calls and interaction. Other times we are heavy with guests. We may talk about one topic for most of the day, or hit a variety of topics that are local, regional and national.
NDH: What do you love most about Radio?
GREG: The immediate response and feedback. This platform is designed to be a dialogue, a collective conversation with thousands of people. I know some radio guys never shut up but I want to hear what other people have to say. I have my opinions but I want to hear yours. And now, listeners can offer it by phone, text, email, twitter or Facebook. Technology has made it so easy to engage our audience. If you’re going to be a host, you have to have strong opinions but I still come at this like a reporter first because that’s what I am. I gather information.
GREG: I don’t know for sure but I’d bet we’ve had a few drunk callers – Usually around 4-5 on Fridays bitching about how bad the Redskins are. We also catch people going through the drive-thru. We tell them to order us some food and bring it by but they never do.
NDH: We are sure you’ve met a lot of celebrities throughout your career…who made the biggest impact on you and why?
GREG: I am always a little reluctant to make a judgment about athletes we interview or cover because the time we spend with them is so small and not truly representative of who they are. I can say Charles Barkley is great – very friendly and generous. He hosted a golf tournament here for several years. Also, Jeff Gordon is a good guy. One of the first events I ever covered was back in ’91 (I think) DuPont announced they would sponsor a NASCAR team with a new driver named — Jeff Gordon. They held a press event in Wilmington on Rodney Square. Jeff had that cheesy mustache.
NDH: Do you come across many Delawarean rooted Callers?
GREG: I never realized it but I guess I talk about being from Delaware a lot. I always hear from callers who are from Delaware and have transplanted here. One regular caller grew up in New Castle and went to Del Tech so I refer to him as “Del Tech John”. There are a lot of Blue Hens down here too.
NDH: How’s YOUR drive home? What or who do YOU listen to?
GREG: Usually NOT sports. By that time, I am burned out on the sports talk so I listen to music. I have XM and love it. I hit everything from 70s & 80s to classic rock and R&B and country.
NDH: Who was/is your biggest career influence?
GREG: People may remember Jim Hayes. He did the sports on Channel 2 First State News. He let me help him out and really gave me a shot at TV. He was the first person to really get across to me that it’s a tough business and you have to work hard. He works for Fox Sports in St Louis now and does a lot with the Cardinals and Rams. Another guy is Tom Byrne with www.delawarefirst.org. I worked with him at WILM and he is a true pro and outstanding reporter.
NDH: TV vs Radio?
GREG: As far as sports goers, both are great. TV has such an advantage as a visual medium because video can be so powerful. TV has a challenge now because you can get highlights anytime you want on your PC or laptop or phone or iPad. I like what ESPN is doing with the films and long form programming. You have to work a little harder in radio. But I think the passion can come across stronger on radio when you truly believe or are excited about what you’re talking about.
NDH: You’re an adjunct professor too? Tell us about that!
GREG: I started teaching at VCU’s(Virginia Commonwealth University) Center for Sport Leadership about 3 years ago. It’s a masters program, preparing young men & women for a career in sports. My class offers an insider’s perspective on how the media industry works and operates. It’s undergone drastic change recently, especially with social media and continued advancements in technology. I really enjoy teaching and interacting with our students.
NDH: What’s the best advice you can share with aspiring Delawareans?
GREG: I’m a quote guy. Love them. One of my favorites is “Opportunities multiply as they are seized.” So often people are afraid to take a chance for fear of failure. But I have always found when you accept a challenge, it opens doors. The outcome may not always go as planned but it will lead to more opportunities to grow, professionally and personally.
NDH: Any other detail or advice you wish to share?
GREG: I am so proud to be from Delaware. My friends say I am a one-man tourism bureau because I am always talking about how great it is. (and getting defensive when people complain about tolls or traffic) My license plate here in Virginia is “BLU HNS”. Everything I am started back home. From St. E’s to UD, my family and friends. I am the president of the UD Alumni Club down here in Richmond and love when I run into Delawareans. It’s just so unique. If I say I grew up in Wilmington, within minutes we figure out some connection. Whether it’s a mutual friend or they know someone in my family (usually my brother Corky), or we reminisce about Casapulla’s Subs or The Italian Festival. All those memories are still so vivid to me and I love coming back!
Hardly Workin’ Show Mission: LOCAL SPORTS FIRST. Our focus is on the teams you care about: high schools, college, and professional.The teams that are part of our community and we support passionately and consistently. WE TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT – it’s not MY show, it’s OUR show.
And his last sentence says it all – “it’s not MY show, it’s OUR show.” Would you come to expect anything less from a North Delawarean?
We are in search of more Happening People to recognize – like Greg – native North Delawareans who have reached Celebrity status – those who are making their mark on this great nation. Going above and beyond to push the limits – personal & professional – positively influencing our communities near and far, all while honoring their local roots. Do you know someone you’d like to nominate to be our Next Happening People honoree? Email us [email protected]