Miami lost a friend. Todd Tongen, WPLG newscaster and weekend morning anchor passed away over the weekend. He was a brilliant storyteller and an excellent journalist. Several years ago, Todd came up with an idea, the “10 Taxi.” In his role as the taxi driver, he would drive celebrities around town. There were priceless moments in the cab, as he provided us with interviews with such people as Peter Jennings, Ed McMahon, and Joan Rivers.
There was no doubt Todd loved his job. Whether at the anchor desk, or dressing as a “Todd turkey,” while collecting food for the less fortunate at Thanksgiving, collecting books for disadvantaged kids as part of the WPLG Big Book Drive, or traveling over Dade and Broward counties gathering Toys for Tots at Christmas, he brought enthusiasm, exuberance, and energy to his segments.
I never had the opportunity to meet Todd. However, as an avid viewer of WPLG, I’ve watched him for decades. In my mind, he was part of my family. My heart goes out to his wife and sons, as well as his WPLG family as they mourn his loss.
I was looking at Facebook and found a short Q & A about Todd. At one point, he was asked to give one word that would describe him. He said, with that twinkle in his eye, “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” If I were asked, I’d choose joy. In all the years he shared his life with Miami, he demonstrated his happiness with life. Joy is contagious, and after a few moments of watching Todd, we were happier as well. Thank you, Todd.