Mike Greenberg, who many sports fans will remember as the co-host of ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike”, has hosted ESPN’s “Get Up!” since the show’s beginning in early 2018. The show has seen success in its first year and recently became a key part of ESPN’s coverage of yet another exciting NBA free agency period.
Greenberg recently sat down Front Office Sports’ Michael McCarthy to discuss the initial success of “Get Up!”, covering NBA free agency, and lessons from nearly 20 years working with ESPN.
Edited highlights appear below:
On being asked to do four “Get Up!” afternoon specials for NBA Free Agency (0:20)
Greenberg: “My answer was hell yes…I mean it’s a fabulous opportunity for us. When you work in one day part, which I’ve basically done now for 20 years, getting exposure for us, for the show, for what we’re doing at a different time of day, I think, is really healthy. “
On when “Get Up!” hit its stride (3:00)Greenberg: “I think if there’s one thing that we launched with it was the idea that we would be a little more of a full-service morning show…a little pop culture mixed in with the sports. The immediate reaction I felt from our audience was, ‘no, we want you to do sports.’ That I think was the single biggest thing that we had to adjust and I think we did almost immediately. So I think we had it pretty close to right from the start. I think it took us a few months to sort of get it to where I felt, okay, I know every single day when we come in in the morning, what it is we’re going to try to do today, which I think was normal.”
On the duties of the host on a show like “Get Up!” (05:48)
Greenberg: “How good I am is really going to be dependent on the people you put around me…My job would be to bring out the very best version of [the talent]. That’s what I do. That’s what a host does. So whether you give me Jalen Rose or Marcus Spears or Jay Williams or Richard Jefferson or Bobby Carpenter, it doesn’t matter. If I’m doing my job well, then they’re going to go to the places where they are most comfortable, where they have the most expertise and we’re going to keep them away from places they are least comfortable.”
On reacting quickly to breaking and developing news stories (7:02)
Greenberg: “Nimble is the most important word in my opinion. When you are live, you better be ready to do a lot of different stuff because there are many days when we will have a plan…And then 10 minutes before you go on, Kevin Durant announces he’s signing with the Knicks or whatever it may be…In my opinion, whenever Kevin Durant announces where he’s going, or Kawhi Leonard, or Kyrie Irving or any of these top-level stars, if I’m the viewer and I put on ESPN, I want them to be talking about that.”