Tony Wagner

Digital producer

SHORT BIO

I work on digital and publishing strategy for Marketplace's podcasts “Make Me Smart,” “The Uncertain Hour” and “Corner Office,” along with upcoming projects and the podcast versions of our flagship radio shows.

What was your first job?

I was a "party coach," serving pizza and cutting cake at The Play Station, a birthday venue in my hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It was kind of like a Chuck E. Cheese, but train-themed.

What is something that everyone should own, no matter how much it costs?

A good pair of boots is not cheap, but they'll last your whole life.

What’s something that you thought you knew but later found out you were wrong about?

I used to think I didn't like tacos, because when I was growing up in a small mostly white suburb in the Midwest, "tacos" meant ground beef, limp lettuce, pre-shredded cheese and a seasoning packet in a hard shell. It took moving to LA for me to realize how narrow my view was and start exploring the endless varieties and rich history of my absolute favorite food.

What’s the favorite item in your workspace and why?

For Christmas a few years ago, my good friend (and Marketplace colleague) Sarah Menendez gave me a framed photo of the animatronic baby Grinch from the 2000 Jim Carrey adaptation of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." It's been on my desk ever since, and when people ask, I say he's my son.

Latest Stories (397)

The Marketplace podcasts to listen to right now

Mar 17, 2020
Whether you want to learn more about the coronavirus and the economy, or *anything but* that, here's what to stream when you're self-isolating.
"This Is Uncomfortable" host Reema Khrais
Ben Hethcoat/Marketplace

Five signs your workplace might be turning into a cult

Mar 10, 2020
There's cultiness all around us, at workout classes, in fandom, even at work. That's not always a bad thing, but here's what to look out for.
The Polyphonic Spree (not a cult, but definitely cult-y) at SXSW in 2004.
Jana Birchum/Getty Images

Six things to know about financial abuse

Feb 13, 2020
Of abusive relationships, you sometimes hear people ask "Why didn't they leave?" The answer normally comes down to money.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Alexis Coe didn't realize all of the opportunities a history major brings

Feb 12, 2020
Like our own Kai Ryssdal, Alexis Coe is a history-student-turned-podcaster, but when she was in grad school, her path wasn't always so clear.
Historian and hyphenate Alexis Coe.
Sylvia Rosokoff

What's greener: a real Christmas tree or a fake one?

Dec 24, 2019
It depends! The Christmas tree a potent symbol not just for the season but for the sustainability of many things we buy.
It's not easy being green.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

How "The Nutcracker" became a holiday classic

Dec 13, 2019
Tchaikovsky's ballet is a holiday institution and a big cash cow for dance companies. But it wasn't always that way.
"The Nutcracker" wasn't always a holiday tradition.
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

How to send us a voice memo

Dec 3, 2019
They're just as easy to submit as voicemails — once you know how to do it.
Chaloner Woods/Getty Images

What you need to know about the NCAA and paying student athletes

Nov 13, 2019
This week on "Make Me Smart," we're talking about a longtime controversy that's starting to boil over. Here's a refresher.
The Virginia Cavaliers celebrate with the trophy after their 85-77 win over the Texas Tech Red Raiders during the 2019 NCAA men's Final Four National Championship game at U.S. Bank Stadium on April 08, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images