Diet Mountain Dew is not a pharmaceutical.
Kim Wagner learns this during a commercial break, her nagging throat tickle unresponsive to the lemony carbonation she sips off-camera.
"I can't get this gunk out of my throat."
Perhaps if she guzzled or gargled it.
Alas, the lady's too ladylike. Besides, they're ... three, two, one ... back.
Gunk-throated or not.
Segueing into a story about the raging floodwaters of Memphis, Kim suppresses her tickle to interview a CNN correspondent live on the scene, off a monitor. A few news stories later, after shifting to the den-style set across the studio for the sunnier, fluffier tidbits, we learn from her husband, Dana Wagner, that the Journal of Animal Ethics has deemed the word "pet" politically incorrect.
It's "animal companion."
(Though they roll their eyes, they don't say it, so we will: W-H-A-T?!)
They also point out a note-taking, off-camera guest, the cameraman briefly zeroing in on him. (Hey, do you mind? Some faces aren't meant to be televised.)
Can't get too ticked at them, though. They're just too flat-out ... nice.
Married co-anchors? Fairly rare. They've teamed on-air four years come July on KSNV-TV, Channel 3, currently anchoring "Wake Up with the Wagners," a 4:30-7 a.m. weekday block, plus the noon-12:30 p.m. newscast. We know a little about those Wagners -- they're, well, pleasant.
They've teamed off-air 11 years as of next month. We know less than a little about these Wagners -- but we're about to learn that one's a hip-hop aficionado, one has a beef with the Kardashians and they often sleep in separate beds.
Viewers often are curious about those they watch on TV, especially the hitched ones, so here -- in an edited version of a chat in their shared office at Channel 3 -- is a quick Wagners 101:
■ ■ ■
■ Age diffs? A dozen years. She's 37. He's 49.
■ Are they this pleasant at cock-a-doodle-doo time -- 2:45 a.m. -- he awakening in one bedroom, his wife in another?
Don't titter or go on Twitter. Their marriage is not floundering, merely in practical mode. Daughter Kate is the cause.
"I try to get down around 7, so my 5-year-old usually tucks me into bed every night -- very odd," Dana says.
"I'm usually up with Kate another hour," Kim says.
"I sleep down the hall and my wife and daughter sleep in the master bedroom five nights a week," Dana says. "I usually get to sleep in my bed two or three nights a week."
His spouse jumps in: "I know, I know," Kim says. "It's embarrassing to admit this, but it's dysfunction that seems to be working for us."
■ How'd they hook up? Both toiled at KOLO-TV in Reno. As Dana tells it:
"She was the hot new reporter who had just moved in from Panama City, Fla. I was not going to date anybody in the newsroom ever again. I had been down that path. Then I saw her at a local establishment and we had a chance to talk and I thought, 'This is really an engaging woman, someone fun.' So I took another dive into the deep end and we went on a couple dates and we hit it off and six months later we were engaged."
That how you remember it, Kim? "Not exactly. You're a new reporter in town, and before you can fill out your paperwork, you're out on a live shot and we had an explosion on my first day, so my head was spinning. I was into it. I got back to the station and he was trying to talk to me and being very nice and I was very abrupt."
Group dates led to one-on-onesies. First came love. Then came marriage. Then came anchoring and a baby carriage.
■ Cutesy nicknames? "He calls me his little bulldog," Kim says. "Or his little firecracker." Well, it's better than "pookie."
■ Couples fight. How do they keep hints of anger off the air? "Sometimes we'll have an argument during the morning news, and our arguments have to last two minutes at the longest," Dana says. "During the commercial break we'll have it out, and by the end of the commercial break, it's done."
■ Personal quirks? "You'd think he was raised in the Depression," Kim says. "He had a robe from 1972 that we finally got rid of. It looked like some Hugh Hefner robe from back in the day."
He (affectionately) dissents. "What is the function of a robe? It keeps you warm in the morning and before you go to bed. This robe did that. It was function over form. With my wife, it's form over function. Have you seen her high heels?" He's right. Clacking across the studio floor, they're either heels or the foundation beams of the new City Hall.
■ Would this come under the heading of, well, TMI? "I rarely shower in the morning," Kim says. "I usually try to do that before I go to bed because I'll do my hair in a high ponytail like a Bam-Bam type of thing so when I get ready in the morning, it's easier."
■ What do the "Wake-Up" folks wake up to? "Headline News with Robin Meade," Kim says.
■ Chilling at home? Couch spuds, just like the rest of us. Favorites? "30 Rock," "The Office," "60 Minutes," "Mad Men," yada, yada. Except for ...
"Here's where we go sideways," Dana says, voice rising in mock (maybe not so mock) exasperation. " 'The Real Housewives.' You are so busted! Or the life and times of the Kardashians. I would rather get eye surgery than know what the Kardashians are doing. I don't care what Khloe is up to with Lamar. It scares me that I know who they are, but that's only because of my wife."
Adds Kim, sheepishly: "But I really have to be sick or feeling sorry for myself to sneak a peek at that."
■ Can you say "awwww"? "I just love him, I could never be tired of him," Kim responds to the "too much togetherness" question. "The nice thing about working with your husband and having the same schedule is he's a true partner. A lot of moms complain about how they work all day and then carry the load at home. It's not even-steven, but he's a huge help. A hands-on dad."
■ iTunes profiles? Both U2 fans. Beyond that, Dana's more an "old-school," '70s/'80s/'90s dude, and, in the lingo of those ancient times, can't get jiggy with Kim's other passion. "I also love hip-hop and rap, which he doesn't care for, so we do battle over the radio controls in the mornings," Kim says. "I'm a fan of Snoop Dogg. Him, not so much."
■ Food faves? "I love Mexican food, love it spicy," Kim says, also giving props to Dana's barbecue skills. Preferred haunts? "We enjoy fine dining," Dana says. "We try to hit a nice restaurant once a week. But we like it kid-friendly also, so we go to the Yard House, they have a big menu for just children."
Food that turns the stomach? "I'm a freak about mayonnaise," Kim says. "It will make me gag." (Any mayo advertisers on "Wake Up with the Wagners"? There were a moment ago.)
■ Fun/not-fun fan encounters? "About 95 percent of them are really great," Dana says. "But people will say things that they perceive as a compliment: 'You look waaaay better in person.' They mean it as a compliment so I try to be gracious. It would be better if they said, 'You look even better in person.' "
Silver lining alert, Dana.
They could, after all, prefer to meet Khloe and Lamar.
Contact reporter Steve Bornfeld at sbornfeld@ reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0256.