Steve Burton is the sports director for WBZ-TV

Burton has been at WBZ since 1994, serving as sports reporter and anchor on both WBZ and TV38. He has been a fixture on the Patriots pregame shows, as well as on Patriots Fifth Quarter, where he is usually stationed inside the press conference room at Gillette getting reaction to the game, and has mastered the technique of interviewing with one-word statements. He also hosts Patriots All Access.

Prior to joining WBZ, Burton worked for NESN between 1988 and 1994, hosting pre and post game shows for the Red Sox broadcasts. He has been a regular on WEEI’s Big Show in the past as well.

Burton was raised in Framingham, and attended Northwestern University, where he was on the football team. He is the son of former Patriots player Ron Burton, and his brother Phil Burton works as a sports anchor for WFTV in Orlando, Fl. His brother Ron Jr works as Children’s Athletics Manager for the Red Sox, and brother Paul Burton works for WBZ as a general assignment reporter.


33 thoughts on “2011 Approval Ratings – Steve Burton

  1. I'm just throwing it out there- An empty suit, held upright by the thinnest of presumptions, wild assertions and plain old hot air.

  2. In his show on Sunday Night 9/4/11 while interviewing Reiss and DeOssie at around 12:05 AM he was wondering why Ocho was struggling. Claimed that a friend told him that in Cincy they had a lefty QB and maybe he was seeing the ball come out differently vs. Brady. This seriously happened. Fugging Deossie and Reiss were incredulous. Burton was flustered for a few seconds after they corrected him and blamed his friend. So in an effort to further my tv enjoyment particularly because Burton is harmless, Approve.

    1. Sorry, can't agree and must disapprove. On the same Sports Final show he also butchered his segment with the Boston Cannons players. While it's perhaps easy to dismiss this as only being lacrosse, Steve first brought up the team's semifinal win but had no clue of the final score, then called the championship hardware the 'Steinfield' trophy (I'm going out on a limb he probably isn't familiar with league founder Jake Steinfeld). But is it asking too much of a professional sports broadcaster to at least research what he is not familiar with so as to not go on the air and make a fool of himself, as clearly illustrated with the Cincy QB situation?

  3. I would call Steve Burton an affirmative action hire gone wrong but the guy grew up with plenty of privilege and affluence. Like John Dennis he seems to emulate Ted Baxter. MANDB97 just yesterday pointed out one of a plethora of examples where the guy says boneheaded things because he can. He has a job because he looks good and speaks articulately not because he has any sense what so ever. He occasionally does Big Show guest duty and I can't listen. Having said all that…he is a local sports TV anchor…no one watches local news casts anymore and even fewer people watch local affiliate original sports programming…so if he is working relatively cheap…WBZ probably has other things they need to fix first.

  4. Given his pedigree, Its amazing what a huge dissapointment he truly is. He brings NOTHING to the table

  5. The emptiest of empty suits.

    A couple seasons ago Tim Wakefield was threatening 20 wins (never reached it) while another pitcher on the team (whose name escapes me) had several less wins at the time despite an ERA something like 2.5 runs better. Burton was incredulous that anyone would vote for the other pitcher over Wake if Wake managed 20 wins. Just completely incredulous.

    That's about all I have to say about him.

  6. He's probably the proverbial "good neighbor" and a decent human being, but man, you can grab 78,374 other people in the Greater Boston area — minimim — who know more and could do his job better. Imagine if all of them were actually, you know, sober. Thumbs down.

  7. i'm puzzled by his lack of ambition. america seems to prefer their friendly black tv personalities with more weight on them like james brown or roker. some glasses would also help him appear less clueless.

  8. During pre-season Patriots' broadcasts, Steve might as well be wearing a 'Will Shill For Food' sandwich board. Everything he says is either delivered with his trademark aloofness or is a pitch for some product or another. Watch as Steve nods his head like a bobble-head doll, while clearly exhibiting a vacuous-looking stare during said segments.

  9. We've all heard the phrase "Master of the Obvious" before. What do you call someone who hasn't even done that? Besides "Steve Burton" or "Butch Stearns" that is.

    BTW, is it true the Pete Shepard is starring in the new movie about Chaz Bono?

    1. Disagree with your comment regarding "Masters of the Obvious" as it applies to Burton and Stearns. Larry Johnson is the ultimate "MOTO". Burton and Stearns fail to grasp the obvious.

  10. Steve waved at my mom at a playoff game, so he's good people to me.

    But yeah, he's not exactly good at his job or anything. Seems like a super nice guy (all the Burton kids do)… but….. the Stevie B method of interview is: (a) State a "theme" word. (b) Probe for response from interview subject. (c)….. (d) Profit! For example, if I were Steve and I were interviewing Bruce, it would go as follows:

    Me-as-Steve: "Bruce…. sports blogging. How's that going?"
    Bruce: [slight confusion, general response]
    Me-as-Steve: "Sports bloggers — people in basements, am I right?"
    Bruce: [slight annoyance, general response]
    Me-as-Steve: "Red Sox. Big, big story. How's that work?"


    Again, seems like a legitimately great guy. But give me Larry Ridley (who, when you get past the goofiness, is actually a pretty decent interviewer when he sits in as host of 7's Sports Xtra) any day.

  11. Says insightful comments like "the Patriots REALLY wanted to win today" as his entire argument. Thank God someone finally smartened up and took him off the WEEI airwaves, along with Ordway's other cronies that always made him seem like the smartest blowhard in the room, which is pretty tough to do.

  12. Just for being in bed with Canseco, this guy deserves a "disapprove." Ultimate empty suit, sycophant, "tell me about…" TV talking head. No. No. No. Next….

  13. Steve Burton seems like a nice guy but I have been saying for years that Burton is awful at his job. I find it hard to believe that Steve and Paul are related because Paul is pretty good at his job. Steve continues to do the following:

    1) He will ask three questions consecutively before he receives an answer for the first.

    2) The questions he does ask make absolutely no sense. As others have mentioned the Ochocinco situation is latest in head scratchers.

    3) When Burton does get an answer, he seems baffled that the expert would come up with the answer that does not make any sense to him, so he repeats the question over and over. Bob Beers looks like he would rather have a root canal without an anesthetic then talk to Burton.

    When WBZ let Bob Lobel go, they should have sent Burton with him. Dan Roche could have been the head of the sports department, Alice Cook, who was a really good interviewer, could have stayed and Levan Reid could be the third person. WBZ has been last in the ratings for years now and there is no excuse for it. The ratings for CBS shows are very good. In this economy, it sucks when people lose their jobs but If I ran WBZ I would continue to make major changes like letting Steve Burton go and see what happens.

    1. There were rumors that while Lobel was still employed by WBZ, Burton was being 'trained' to watch and emulate Bob's style so he would be ready to seamlessly slide into the big chair when the time arrived. How's that working out for him?

      1. And WBZ wants to know why they are last in the ratings. It is like WEEI went to Mike Mutnansky and said watch John Dennis and Glen Ordway carefully. It how sports talk radio is done.

  14. Disapprove. I feel that Burton brings nothing to the table. He's the member of your circle of friends that throws awkward statement/questions that don't show insight. You get the feeling that he is pretending to be knowledgable saying things like "Redsox, can they win it?" He does seem like a genuinely good guy, but sadly for him, the only thing I will remember him for is that he would eat alot of food while on the Big Show, and that cackle laugh.

  15. Good husband. Good father. Good brother. Good sport. THere's a lot of good in Steve Burton, but what he's missing is "Good at his job." He gets all distracted then excited about shiny objects. You get the sense that many of the new items he reads don't entirely make sense to him and that he's less than lightning-fast in live interview situations. His innate ability to confuse comments with questions ("Great game. Eh?") is clearly a gift from God, but not a god you'd want ruling the universe. I'm sure that Burton would be an ideal next door neighbor who would happily lend you his tools, but other than being handsome and affable, he's bringing no added value to the sports events he covers. He's a very lucky man, and I think he knows it.

  16. I’ll never forget him “breaking the news” that Phil Kessel had testicular cancer, before the Bruins and Phil were ready to go public with it. Absolute POS. The kid was 18 at the time. And I don’t want to hear that lame argument, that’s his job. I don’t care if it was his job, it wasn’t right. The fact that Phil turned out to be a DB should be beside the point. Reporters are often so caught up in breaking news that they don’t stop to think if they should. They’re like the same jag offs that write “First” on every blog or YouTube post.

  17. A couple of yrs ago, when Brady was at the podium after a game, Burton, as he normally does, asked the first question: "Hey Tom, good game, huh?" Brady looked at him and grinned. No doubt he was thinking, "what an idiot". Burton might ask the dumbest, most ridiculous questions of any reporter in Boston tv history. After all these yrs it's clear that he isn't capable of (in his case) the long rise to mediocrity which would make continued employment as a reporter somewhat understandable in a small market in a remote area of Montana, or New Mexico, or…anywhere but Boston.

  18. Here is a poll within a poll:

    What is a bigger surprise thus far?

    A) Mike Felger getting a 66% approval rating

    B) Chris Gasper getting a 70% approval rating

    C) Steve Burton only getting a 62% disapproval rating

    I say B because I would never imagine Gasper getting more approve votes than disapprove. I find him to be the typical Globbie when it comes to his Patriots coverage and on air he is simply dreadful.

  19. Annoying and a major suck up and wind bag. Not to mention incredibly annoying. Full of fraudulent enthusiasm which will never be confused with actual talent. This guy has never asked a tough question or conducted a substantive interview in his entire career! That being said, I wonder if being (apparently) a nice guy and the son of the great Ron Burton is the reason his career has successfuly progressed. How does WBZ rationalize this?

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