Benjamin Wagner is a consultant, creative, and founder of Essential Industries, a boutique consulting firm specializing in individual and organizational strategy, transformation, communication, and collaboration.

As Essential Industries Principal, Benjamin offers strategic consulting, professional and executive coaching, editorial, marketing, and communication services, keynote speaking, and workshops.

From his half-decade helping launch Facebook’s Journalism Project globally and his tenure transforming MTV News to his award-winning PBS documentary, Mister Rogers & Me, forthcoming Friends & Neighbors documentary (and current podcast of the same name), or recent album, Constellations, Benjamin's focus is the essential nature of our shared human experience.

Benjamin Wagner is a consultant, creative, and founder of Essential Industries, a boutique consulting firm specializing in individual and organizational strategy, transformation, communication, and collaboration.

As Essential Industries Principal, Benjamin offers strategic consulting, professional and executive coaching, editorial, marketing, and communication services, keynote speaking, and workshops.

From his half-decade helping launch Facebook’s Journalism Project globally and his tenure transforming MTV News to his award-winning PBS documentary, Mister Rogers & Me, forthcoming Friends & Neighbors documentary (and current podcast of the same name), or recent album, Constellations, Benjamin's focus is the essential nature of our shared human experience.

Dec 5 2023

Shari Scorca: Lightning In A Bottle

In 1998, Shari Scorca was in the final days of her MTV News internship and her senior year at NYU, when she nabbed a pair of tickets to the Tibetan Freedom Concert in Washington, DC. A freak lightning strike critically injured fans, stopped the performances cold, and pressed Shari into action. “I ended up in…
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Nov 29 2023

Nina Justman: The Moonman Cometh

From 1988 to 2003, Nina Justman was the MTV News’ first line of defense and offense.  As Assignment Editor, she pitched reps for artist access, and took the heat when they didn’t like the story. She talked artists onto the red carpet, and begged them off. “Nobody did a red carpet like we did,” she…
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Nov 21 2023

Doug Herzog: Hall Of Famer

Interviewing Doug Herzog about MTV News is a little like talking with The Pope about the Pieta; it’s just a tiny sliver of his massive scope. At one point in his four decades of broadcasting innovation, Doug oversaw MTV, Comedy Central, VH1, TVLand, Spike and Logo – in addition to previous stints at Fox and…
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Nov 16 2023

Michael Shore: Master Class

Longtime MTV News Editorial Director Michael Shore’s penned his first scripts for original VJs JJ Jackson and Martha Quinn in the early eighties, his last for correspondents Sway Calloway and SuChin Pak in the early aughts. This week on “You Hear It First,” Michael regales with stories about the days Kurt Cobain died and Courtney Love crashed…
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Nov 8 2023

Elon Johnson: Kick It

If you caught a ten-to-the-hour-every-hour MTV News brief with Kurt Loder or John Norris sometime around the turn of Millennium, chances are it was written by Elon Johnson. These days, Elon leads development for Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta. But in 1999, Elon was one of a handful of MTV News Writers tasked with scripting…
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Oct 27 2023

Friends & Neighbors In The Heartland

“What’s it feel like to crack open your sternum,” Neighborhood Archivist, Friend and Q&A Moderator, Tim Lybarger asked. “And share the intimate details of your life on a movie screen?” Just a few years years ago, I didn’t know that 70% of Americans experience trauma in their lifetime, or that it has a major impact on one’s physiology…
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