Ben Johnson

Former Host, Marketplace Tech and Codebreaker


Ben Johnson is the former host of Marketplace Tech and the podcast Codebreaker. He joined Marketplace in 2012 and became the host of Marketplace Tech in early 2014.

Ben started his career in journalism in 2003, working as a features and general assignment reporter for the Day newspaper in New London, Connecticut. While there, he won a regional award for feature writing and was recruited to write a weekly entertainment column for the Tribune Media Service. In 2006, Ben relocated to New York City to be an entertainment and music reporter at the Staten Island Advance newspaper, where he soon moved into hard news, working the cops beat and as a weekend city desk editor.

In 2010, he began to work as a freelance web producer at the Takeaway, a national radio show produced out of New York’s WNYC Radio in partnership with WGBH, The New York Times and the BBC. Ben went on to be a freelance radio producer at WNYC, serving as the digital editor for the Takeaway while also doing live and features reporting for the station on everything from Occupy Wall Street to New York's last functioning ship graveyard. While working at WNYC, Ben started blogging for Slate Magazine's breaking news blog, the Slatest.

In 2012, Ben left WNYC to manage a partnership between Slate and YouTube, producing daily breaking news videos and other content for SlateV, the magazine's video department. He also wrote regularly for Slate's Future Tense blog and drew the extreme ire of his fellow Radiohead fans by asking the band to stop touring.

Ben doesn't like to brag about it, but over the years, he has interviewed Jay Z, Hillary Clinton, Luciano Pavarotti, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, Josh Homme, Biz Stone, Guy Kawasaki, Col. Chris Hadfield, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Neil Young and more. He enjoys and engages in ’80s movie references, plus pie baking and high-fives. His Twitter feed has never been polluted by a subtweet. His interest in swimming knows no bounds, especially if there is a high dive and a high-five involved.


Latest Stories (245)

CBS' new "Star Trek" series will also stream on Netflix

Jul 31, 2017
The network and on-demand service will simultaneously release episodes.
Netflix also has the rights to all 727 episodes of "Star Trek," including the original series.
Getty Images / Handout

Goodbye, Flash

Jul 27, 2017
Adobe will phase out the browser plugin by 2020.
 A window on the Mozilla Firefox browser shows the browser has blocked the Adobe Flash plugin. 
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Would you let your boss microchip you?

Jul 26, 2017
The vending machine firm sees radio-frequency identification chips inserted directly into the hands of their employees as the future.
A microchip implant like the kind Three Square Market uses, inserted under the skin.
Adam Berry/Getty Images

Tech jobs are spreading to other parts of the country

Jul 25, 2017
But, according to data from Indeed, they tend to offer little growth and lower pay.
Higher-paying tech jobs are becoming increasingly concentrated in eight tech hubs.

Could this app bring together the next Sonny and Cher?

Jul 24, 2017
Treble is like LinkedIn for musicians, CEO Matt Bond says.
Cher and Sonny on a visit to London in August 1965.
Dove/Express/Getty Images

Driverless cars can't figure out kangaroos

Jul 21, 2017
The marsupial accounts for 80 percent of animal-related auto accidents in Australia.
Watch out for the kangaroos.
Paul Kane/Getty Images

Every product at this new online grocery store is $3

Jul 13, 2017
"Brandless is about limiting the choice. It's about curating the just what matters," says co-founder Tina Sharkey.
Brandless co-founders Tina Sharkey and Ido Leffler
Courtesy of Brandless

Hyperloop One had its first successful test run

Jul 13, 2017
But you probably won't see this speedy travel technology in the U.S. anytime soon.
Hyperloop tubes displayed at the Hyperloop One Test and Safety Site in 2016 in North Las Vegas.
David Becker/Getty Images

Should the internet be a free market?

Jul 12, 2017
Two experts debate net neutrality.
Visual hunt

How to fix tech's sexual harassment problem

Jul 7, 2017
Sarah Kunst, founder and CEO of sports media company Proday, said hiring more women is only the start.
Sean Gallup/Getty Images