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Marketplace Morning Report
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This Is Uncomfortable
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Marketplace Morning Report
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Marketplace Morning Report

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 from Tony (381)

How to be a...

How to be a Lego designer

by Eliza Mills and Tony Wagner Jun 29, 2018
The company's vice president of design left fashion for his "ultimate childhood dream" of working with the plastic bricks.
Husband and wife Annie and Ed Diment put the final bricks in place on their 400,000-piece "Ice Age" display at a Lego exhibition in London in 2015. The woolly mammoth took nine weeks to build.
Chris Ratcliffe/Getty Images

Let's do the numbers on the Paralympic Games

by Tony Wagner Mar 9, 2018
They're hard to find on cable or streaming, but worth watching.
Joe Howard of the United States celebrates a gold-medal win against Norway in sledge hockey during the Salt Lake City Winter Paralympic Games in Utah in 2002.
Adam Pretty/Getty Images
The Uncertain Hour

Why aren't falconers allowed in the movies anymore?

by Tony Wagner Mar 1, 2018
Technically, they never were.
A still from "The Royal Tenenbaums," which isn't about falconry, but features a falcon as a major plot point.
Buena Vista Pictures
The Uncertain Hour

Counting pages of regulations is a waste of time (and paper)

by Tony Wagner Jan 19, 2018
Politicians on both sides of the aisle will use page counts to demonstrate regulatory burden. It's not an exact science.
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell points to a stack of papers representing what he said are the regulations associated with former President Barack Obama's health care reform as he speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, in 2013.
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

"Star Wars" economics: What it takes to turn a planet into an insane superweapon

by Tony Wagner Dec 15, 2017
Let's do the numbers on Starkiller Base.
Starkiller Base, in all its sun-extinguishing, planet-destroying glory.
Disney/Lucasfilm
The Uncertain Hour

A drugmaker used “The Wizard of Oz” to sell OxyContin

by Tony Wagner Dec 15, 2017
In an internal sales document, Purdue told sales reps to “follow the yellow brick road” and get doctors to prescribe the opioid.
Publicity photo from the 1939 adaptation for "The Wizard of Oz," which inspired a pharmaceutical sales document.
CBS via Wikimedia Commons
The Uncertain Hour

You can write the government, but who's listening?

by Tony Wagner Nov 22, 2017
Bureaucrats are always looking for your comments on new rules. Here's how it works.
Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, Chairman Tom Wheeler, Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel and Commissioner Michael O'Rielly watch as protesters are removed from the dais during a hearing at the Federal Communication Commission on Dec. 11, 2014. in Washington, D.C.
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

The average cost of a Thanksgiving dinner is less than you think

by Tony Wagner Nov 21, 2017
And it's at a five-year low.
How much does that Thanksgiving feast cost?
John Moore/Getty Images
The Uncertain Hour

Everything you didn't know you didn't know about peanut butter

by Tony Wagner Nov 17, 2017
Is that jar of brown mush in your cupboard natural? Do you have to stir it? Ever wondered why?
Jars of Skippy peanut butter.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Want a more diverse and younger theater audience? There's an app for that

by Jana Kasperkevic and Tony Wagner Nov 3, 2017
Broadway looks to tech to lure millennials.
Katie Szajkovics and Christoper Huey, two of TodayTix concierges, stand outside the theater and distribute tickets to customers. 
Jana Kasperkevic for Marketplace