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Tony Sarabia

Tony Sarabia

Morning Shift Host

Tony hosts The Morning Shift. It's a live talk show weekdays from 9:00-10 a.m. It offers a dynamic mix of news, culture and music that relies heavily on authentic engagement with listeners on-air and via social media. Tony, a longtime WBEZ journalist who also hosts the weekly music program Radio M, brings his skills as a broadcaster to create conversations with local impact and universal relevance.

“I want to create an ‘of-the-moment’ experience that’s intelligent, serious and fun,” he said. “It's a place for listeners to hear new ideas, voices and feel a sense of surprise.” As host of Radio M, he explores world cultures and people through music and sounds. Tony joined WBEZ in 1990 as an intern for the former program The Mara Tapp Show, later becoming associate producer. He has served as a news correspondent, Arts Editor, and local host of Morning Edition, before becoming host of Passport, now called Radio M.

Tony has also participated in three fellowship programs at NPR in Washington and worked at NPR's Cultural Desk, producing pieces for the network's national news programs. Tony has received an Edward R. Murrow Award, three Lisagor Awards, a Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism and an Associated Press Award for his documentary Unlocking the Closet: Stories of Coming Out Later in Life.

Tony has a B.A. in radio/journalism from Columbia College. A native of Chicago, Tony resides in Rogers Park. He has three adult sons: Julian, Alex and Matt.

Recent Stories

Morning Shift Podcast

Film Fest Brings Nonaction Films From Asia To Chicago Audiences

We talk to Wong Boccio, founder and executive director of Asian Pop-up Cinema, about her push to drive interest in Asian movie-making.

Morning Shift

Why It’s So Hard To Find Male Mentors In Chicago

An official with Big Brother Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago says finding mentors on the West and South sides is a struggle.

Morning Shift

Plan Calls For Pedestrian Walkway Below Brown Line Tracks In Lakeview

One place you won’t find many Chicagoans strolling or lingering is under the el tracks. But the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce wants to change that below a stretch of the Brown Line between the Paulina and Southport stops where it hopes to install a pedestrian-friendly walkway to activate an unused space and better connect the neighborhood. There was a meeting Tuesday night where the public reacted to designs and plans for what’s being dubbed the “Low-Line” for the first time. Morning Shift talks to Dillon Goodson, community development manager for the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce, about the plan, the design and what people had to say at Tuesday’s meeting.

Morning Shift

Beyond Hot Dogs & Deep Dish: A Compendium Of Chicago Food

In popular culture, Chicago’s culinary delights and food history often get boiled down to deep dish pizza, Italian beef and our seven-topping hot dog, but the city has always been a food mecca with nationally noteworthy restaurants, hidden hometown gems and food companies serving a neighborhood clientele (think Margie’s Candies) to the entire world (think the William J. Wrigley Company). A hefty new tome from the University of Illinois Press seeks to take a survey of Chicago’s foodways and culinary history from its earliest days to the present. The Chicago Food Encyclopedia includes entries on everything from the now-defunct supermarket chain Dominick’s Finer Foods to Ovaltine to Otto Schnering, the so-called “U.S. Candy Bar King.” Morning Shift talks with Carol Mighton Haddix and Colleen Taylor Sen, two food journalists who are co-editors of the encyclopedia. 

Morning Shift

Film Fest Brings Nonaction Films From Asia To Chicago Audiences

We talk to Wong Boccio, founder and executive director of Asian Pop-up Cinema, about her push to drive interest in Asian movie-making.

Morning Shift Podcast

A Pioneer Looks Back at Life at the Writers’ Table Which Was Not a Common Place for Women

Susan Silver who wrote for shows like 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' sheds details of those days in her latest book and gives us a “behind the scenes” view.

Worldview

Global Notes: Polish Radio

A look at the sounds of Polish pop music from pre-World War II through the mid 1950s, and one of the biggest Polish pop bands from the 1960s.

Morning Shift

The Backstory Behind 'The Rocks'

The Belmont Rocks was a huge gathering spot for the LGBTQ community in the 1980s. Now, an author is compiling an oral history of the area.

Morning Shift

If You Want To Be Brilliant, You’ve Got To Let Yourself Be Bored

'Morning Shift' gets tips from Manoush Zomorodi, author of the new book, 'Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self,' on the importance of putting aside our digital devices and letting our minds wander.

Morning Shift

How Neurobiology Influences Gun Violence

When someone gets involved with guns and gangs at an early age, it can change the way that person thinks

Morning Shift Podcast

Everyone Can Understand And Enjoy Poetry

'Morning Shift' talks with the editor of 'Poetry Magazine,' Don Share about how to get over your fear of poetry, and how to engage with an art that so many find opaque.

Morning Shift Podcast

Can You Sum Up Your Family’s Immigration Story In Six Words?

Larry Smith talks about his new book "Six Words Fresh Off The Boat: Stories of Immigration, Identity and Coming to America."

Morning Shift Podcast

Local Immigrants And Lawmakers Respond To President Trump’s Plans To Rescind DACA

'Morning Shift' talks to lawmakers and students about President Trump's decision to rescind the Obama-era program.

Morning Shift Podcast

Rethinking Our Nation’s Public School Calendar

We talk about the history of the U.S. school calendar and possible alternatives to the current cycle.

Worldview

Global Notes: Pacific Express

On the next Global Notes with Morning Shift and Radio M host Tony Sarabia, we take a look at the story and music of Pacific Express.

Morning Shift Podcast

Number Of Kids Playing Tackle Football In Downward Spiral

New York Times reporter Ken Belson discusses what changes youth football organizers are making to convince parents the sport is safe.

Morning Shift

New Documentary Shows How Fight For Affordable Housing In Bronzeville Collided With 2016 Olympic Bid

A new documentary, Blueprint for Bronzeville, tells the story of the community organizers who tried to leverage the Olympic bid into a slew of affordable homeownership for the South Side community. It’s one of the entries in this year’s Black Harvest Film Festival. Morning Shift talks to the director and one of the neighborhood organizers.  

Morning Shift

Some White Athletes Join Teammates in Calling Out Injustice

Morning Shift talks to NPR contributor Mike Pesca and SB Nation writer Tyler Tines about the intersection of race, politics, and sports.

Morning Shift

Black Homeownership On South Side Dropping As Population Ages

WBEZ's Natalie Moore tells 'Morning Shift' why the decline is happening and the efforts to rebuild the image as a livable, welcoming community.

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