Remembering Bill Burton

Bill Burton was President/COO of the Detroit Radio Advertising Group. Burton’s primary responsibility was to $ELL RADIO at the decision-making level. He put on presentations on “WHY RADIO” around the Nation. He’s known for his crazy stunts and attention-getting ways. He believed in Radio and sold it at all levels with a passion.

Burton was born and raised in Detroit. He held a degree in Business and Economics from Michigan State University. He attended law school at the University of Michigan until called to the service in the Army as a company commander. He began his career in sales at the nation’s biggest paper jobber, followed by five years at 3M.

Bill started his path in radio as a salesperson at Eastman Radio — then the largest independent radio rep firm in the nation, headquartered in New York City. As his career progressed, he went clear to the top as President/Chairman of Eastman. Burton said you can skip all the fancy titles and call him a Professional Product Mover, People Builder and Cheerleader.

Well-respected in the broadcast community, Bill received numerous industry awards, most recently the 2005 Adcraft Hall of Fame, Radio Ink’s Broadcaster of the Year and the coveted Kevin B. Sweeney National Award. He was inducted into the Michigan Broadcast Hall of Fame in 2002.

In 2004, Bill was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from Michigan State University’s Broad College of Business and the Broadcast Foundation’s prestigious Pioneer Award.


Bill was well known for his signature line “Be Fabulous. ” It is his way of encouraging others to “Be The Best They Can Be.” Those who knew him will agree his enthusiasm was boundless, his energy extraordinary and his love for Radio was enormous.

Did You Know?

  • Bill coined the famous line, “An automobile is a radio with 4 wheels!”

  • He spoke coast-to-coast on his passion: “Don’t take NO from a person who can’t say YES,” – meaning, get to the decision makers!

  • Bill’s road show also included his exciting presentation, “Why Radio?”

  • He pointed out that 91% of drivers are listening along in their automobile – a captive audience for advertisers.

  • Radio is the frequency medium and frequency is paramount in $elling

Articles Mr. Burton Has Published:

A True Testament to The Man Bill Burton Was

Detroit radio legend Bill Burton passed away on Saturday, December 20, 2014 leaving the entire radio industry reeling at his loss.

Burton, who was 85, was a huge advocate for radio and, at his passing, was president and COO of Detroit Radio Advertising Group.   Famous for his catchphrase “Be Fabulous!,” he was known as a huge cheerleader for radio, frequently traveling the country promoting the industry and helping to keep it vibrant.

Radio’s biggest cheerleader once estimated that during his 30-year-plus career he had contributed about $300 million in radio sales.  This scholarship was created to honor Bill Burton and his lifetime of dedication to the broadcasting industry.