Todd Tongen Biography
Todd Tongen was longtime South Florida reporter who was the anchor for the WPLG until his sudden death.
He graduated from the University of Minnesota in Duluth and Brown Institute of Broadcasting in Minneapolis.
Todd Tongen Age
Todd was born in 1963. He was 56 years old at the time of his death on June 4th.
Todd Tongen Wife
Todd was a married man. He was married to his wife, Karen. Todd and his wife, Karen have two sons together; Tyler and Ryker.
Todd had once stated that having a family was one of his greatest personal achievement.
Todd Tongen Career
Todd began his broadcasting career in 1983 in a Podunk Minnesota farm town. He began broadcasting as a radio disk jockey on KMRS-AM, a country and western station.
He later moved to Grand Junction, Colo., in 1984 to join KSTR-AM/FM, an adult contemporary station.
One year later, Todd became a movie host and weatherman on KJCT-TV. From 1986 to 1989, he was a feature reporter and weatherman at KARK-TV in Little Rock, Ark.
Todd Tongen WPLG
In December 1989, Todd moved to WPLG. He was a news anchor at the station. He was approaching his 30th anniversary with WPLG, known as Local 10 News.
WPLG paid tribute to him with videos of his award-winning work over the years and remembrances by his colleagues.
In a statement by WPLG President and CEO Bert Medina, he said, “We are shocked and saddened by the death of Todd Tongen, but we are choosing to remember how he lived.
Todd was an incredibly talented journalist. He spent 30 years at WPLG telling the stories of the people in our community and giving so much of himself to this community. He was an incredible person. He lit up the room with his warm personality.”
Todd’s most popular portion of his career came as the host of the feature “10 Taxi.” He would drive a 1967 Checker Cab while interviewing all manners of celebrity, including Dwyane “The Rock” Johnson to Vanna White to ABC’s Peter Jennings.
Todd Tongen Awards & Achievements
Todd won an Associated Press Award for best weather segment in 1988 while in Arkansas.
In 1989, he received the Associated Press Award for best feature report. He also won an Emmy Award for feature reporting and has been nominated six times.
WPLG states that Todd’s proudest achievement was his reporting of Hurricane Andrew in 1992, which gained the attention of ABC’s Nightline in 1993.
Todd Tongen Death
Todd was found dead at his home on Monday, June 4, 2019, by the police. This was after his wife, who was on vacation in Italy with their younger son, asked a friend to check on him after she couldn’t reach him.
Cause of Death
On Wednesday, WPLG reported that Todd n died by suicide, which his brother says may have been prompted by an undiagnosed medical condition.
His brother, Dr. Scott Tongen, told WPLG he believed his brother feared he had Lewy body dementia, which contributed to the death of their mother in 2017.
“I’m convinced that he thought he had it,” he told the station. “Whether there was conclusive evidence or not, I think he thought he had it, and that may have been enough.”
His brother also added that Todd’s death was a shock and they had been planning a trip to Las Vegas.
“I don’t really think he was thinking about ending his life, as far as I know,” he said. “But there was clearly something that was bothering him.
“He left some garbled messages that we haven’t seen yet, but there was a simple note that said he was lost and to forgive him.”