Alex Wagner

Alexandra Swe Wagner (born November 27, 1977) is an American journalist and author. She is the co-host of The Circus on Showtime[1] and the author of FutureFace: A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging (One World/Random House). She is also a contributor for CBS News and a contributing editor at The Atlantic.[2][3] Previously, she was the anchor of the daytime program Now with Alex Wagner (2011-2015) on MSNBC. From November 2016 until March 2018, she was a TV co-anchor on CBS This Morning Saturday. She has also been a senior editor at The Atlantic magazine since April 2016.[4]

Alex Wagner
Alex Wagner (MSNBC) filesl.j.jpg
Wagner in December 2011
Alexandra Swe Wagner

(1977-11-27) November 27, 1977 (age 42)
Alma materBrown University
  • Television host
  • author
Sam Kass (m. 2014)
WebsiteMSNBC: Now With Alex Wagner

Early life and educationEdit

Alex Wagner was born and raised in Washington, D.C. Her mother, Tin Swe Thant, is an immigrant from Rangoon (now Yangon), Myanmar (Burma), who became a naturalized U.S. citizen before attending Swarthmore College.[5] Her father, Carl Wagner, from Lansing, Iowa, was of Luxembourgish and Irish descent. He was a prominent Democratic Party political consultant who co-chaired Bill Clinton's presidential campaign.[6][7] She attended Woodrow Wilson High School[8] and graduated from Brown University in 1999, having studied art history and literature.[9][10] Wagner was raised Roman Catholic.[11]


Wagner has worked as the cultural correspondent for the Center for American Progress.[12] From 2003 to 2007, she was editor-in-chief of The Fader magazine, covering music and cultural movements from around the world.[13] She also served as executive director of Not On Our Watch Project, an advocacy organization focused on mass atrocities and human rights violations.[13]

Wagner then became the White House correspondent for Politics Daily, a political news magazine under AOL News.[13] She moved to The Huffington Post after it was acquired by AOL.[14]

As an analyst on MSNBC, Wagner appeared on Countdown with Keith Olbermann and The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell.[15]

On November 14, 2011, Wagner began hosting Now with Alex Wagner weekdays (originally at noon ET, but later at 4 PM ET).[16] On July 30, 2015, MSNBC President Phil Griffin announced that the series had been cancelled in an effort to transition the network's daytime programming to more breaking news reporting and less political commentary and opinion. The next day the program aired its final episode. MSNBC later announced that Wagner would host a weekend program, but those plans were later abandoned.

On April 26, 2016, The Atlantic announced that Wagner was leaving MSNBC to join the magazine as a senior editor. In addition to writing for The Atlantic, Wagner would moderate events with AtlanticLIVE and help with developing video and TV projects with The Atlantic Studios.[4]

In November 2016, Wagner replaced Vinita Nair on CBS This Morning Saturday.[17] March 17, 2018 was her last appearance on CBS This Morning Saturday as she confirmed she would be leaving that show to co-host The Circus for Showtime, replacing Mark Halperin.[18] She remains a correspondent for CBS News.

In 2020, Wagner launched a podcast with Crooked Media and Cadence13 that addressed the COVID-19 pandemic.[19]

Political viewsEdit

She has described herself as progressive.[20] On matters involving Israel, she believes that there is an element of "trepidation that inhibits a robust discussion about Israel in the American media" due to fears of being falsely slurred as an anti-Semite.[21]

Personal lifeEdit

On August 30, 2014, Wagner married former White House nutrition policy advisor and assistant chef Sam Kass in a ceremony held at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, a restaurant in Pocantico Hills, New York.[22] The wedding was attended by then U.S. President Barack Obama and his family, as Kass is a family friend of the former president.[22][23] In 2017, Wagner gave birth to their son, Cy.[24] She gave birth to her second child on April 16, 2019.


In April 2018, Futureface, her book about her Burmese American ancestry was published.[18]


  1. ^ Johnson, Ted (March 15, 2018). "Alex Wagner on the Return of Showtime's 'The Circus': 'We Will Get the Story'". Variety. Retrieved Apr 16, 2018.
  2. ^ Reese, Hope (March 26, 2018). "How I Get It Done: CBS News Contributor Alex Wagner". The Cut. Retrieved Apr 16, 2018.
  3. ^ "The Atlantic Announces Ideas Columnists Ibram X. Kendi, Annie Lowrey, Alex Wagner, and Kevin D. Williamson". The Atlantic. March 22, 2018. Retrieved Apr 16, 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Alex Wagner Leaves MSNBC for The Atlantic". April 2016.
  5. ^ Goodman, Lizzy (April 19, 2012). "Politicool: Alex Wagner". Elle. Retrieved August 11, 2012. Wagner, who is 34 but looks 26, is young to have her own TV show... "I feel strongly about this as the first-generation American on my mom's side," Wagner says. (Her mother is from Burma, her father, Carl Wagner, from Iowa.)
  6. ^ Burmese-American Alex Wagner Hosts Her Own U.S. Political TV Show IIP Digital, U.S. Department of State
  7. ^ ""Futureface": Alex Wagner digs into the "ugly parts" of her family history". CBS This Morning. April 17, 2018.
  8. ^ Neal, Jill Hudson. "Alex Wagner: A Voice for All Things Now". Capitol File. Retrieved April 18, 2013.
  9. ^ Weisberg, Jacob (January 22, 2014). "The Talk of the Town: Alex Wagner and Sam Kass—Politics' It Couple". Vogue. Retrieved Sep 1, 2014.
  10. ^ "Now with Alex Wagner - Biographies". NBCUniversal. Archived from the original on February 28, 2012. Retrieved February 28, 2012.
  11. ^ Real Clear Politics: "Fireworks: MSNBC's Alex Wagner vs. Ron Paul On Syria, Liberty, Anti-Semitism" September 5, 2013 | Wagner: I was raised Catholic, so that's the last thing I'd want to do.
  12. ^ "Alex Wagner". Politics Daily. 2011. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
  13. ^ a b c "Alex Wagner". The Huffington Post. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
  14. ^ Weprin, Alex (October 20, 2011). "Political Analyst Alex Wagner to Host New NoonET Show on MSNBC". TV Newser. Retrieved Oct 21, 2011.
  15. ^ Alvarez, Alex (October 21, 2011). "MSNBC Analyst Alex Wagner Developing Her Own Noontime Show On The Network". Mediaite. Retrieved Oct 21, 2011.
  16. ^ Knox, Merrill (November 11, 2011). "'Now With Alex Wagner' Debuts Monday on MSNBC". TV Newser. Retrieved Nov 11, 2011.
  17. ^ Rob, Owen (November 18, 2016). "TV Q&A: TV news personalities, ABC on demand and a departed national news anchor". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  18. ^ a b Ted Johnson, Alex Wagner on the Return of Showtime’s ‘The Circus’: ‘We Will Get the Story’, Variety, March 15, 2018. URL accessed March 17, 2018
  19. ^ "SIX FEET APART WITH ALEX WAGNER". Crooked Media. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  20. ^ Byers, Dylan (June 9, 2012). "MSNBC's Alex Wagner breaks the old mold". Politico.
  21. ^ Haaretz: "MSNBC host Alex Wagner: Fear of anti-Semitism charge inhibits 'robust discussion' about Israel" by Chemi Shalev. March 15, 2013.
  22. ^ a b Korte, Gregory (August 30, 2014). "Obamas attend wedding of White House chef". USA Today. Gannett Satellite Information Network. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
  23. ^ Steinhauer, Jennifer (August 28, 2014). "Sam Kass, the Obamas' Foodmaster General". The New York Times. Washington, D.C. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
  24. ^ "Alex Wagner on Twitter". Twitter. August 5, 2018. Retrieved April 22, 2018.

External linksEdit