For TV/Radio Personality Todd Newton, Failure Is not an Option

Born and raised in South St. Louis County, Emmy nominated television and radio personality Todd Newton still makes time for St. Louis Community College.

Todd Newton STLCCNewton, a 1988 graduate of Oakville High School, is a veteran in the broadcast and entertainment industry, starting in St. Louis radio as disc jockey Rick Idol and on television at KPLR-TV. But before the professional success, Newton was a communications student at Meramec in 1988-89.

“You know, the thing I loved most about Meramec is that it provided me with a stress-free environment in which to learn,” Newton said. “I have never been a fan of structured classrooms, but I never felt confined on that campus.

“One instructor in particular, Carol Owens (Richardson), was absolutely wonderful,” he added. “She was as passionate about communication as any of the students, and that really fired me up.”

He also appreciated the fact that faculty members genuinely care about their students.

“The faculty, even to this day because I still work with the school on fundraising endeavors, never treat the students like a number,” he said. “There’s a definite mutual respect that makes STLCC stand out.”

Pursuing a career in an uncertain field, Newton, with the full support of his family, moved on from Meramec with a goal and a strategy.  It has led him to his current success.

“My post-education career strategy was simple – I was not going to allow myself to fail,” he said. “I read every book, attended every lecture, grabbed every internship, and talked to every professional I could in an effort to learn all there was to learn about radio and television.”

Newton strongly suggests that students of today make their own breaks.

“We no longer live in a world where you can sit and wait for things to come to you,” he said. “Those days, if they ever truly existed, are long gone. Today, we have the whole world at our fingertips and the time is now to launch yourself out of your own velvet cannon.”

Newton left St. Louis and went to work at E! Entertainment Network, hosting shows such as “Coming Attractions,” “Wild On…,” and even on the red carpet hosting “E!’s Live Countdown to the Academy Awards.”

Currently juggling duties as a host on Gameshow Network, and as a certified life coach, entertainer and burgeoning author, Newton has a lot on his professional plate. He recently celebrated 20 years in television with an Emmy nomination for his work as host on Family Game Night. He also is completing his first book, titled “Life in the Bonus Round: The Bells & Whistles of a Big Mouthed, Open Minded Game Show Host.”

“I’m also having an absolute blast traveling the world with my comedy hypnosis show called HYPNOSIS Live!” he added.

In his personal time, the proud father of two finds time to travel to Haiti to distribute shoes to orphans as a spokesperson for Soles4Souls.

What advice does Newton have for current students?

“Make your dream life happen.  The world is at your fingertips and you are the one that can make things happen for yourself,” he said. “Take command and accept responsibility for everything that comes your way. Focus on making the right small choices that will lead to big results down the road. Life can be like a game of pool – it’s all about setting yourself up for the next shot. I wish every student peace and fulfillment in all that you do.”

Newton will bring his “HYPNOSIS Live!” show to Meramec Aug. 24 in the Theatre to benefit the “Five Decades of Excellence” Scholarship Fund.

Newton encourages those interested in his career to visit his official website at, or follow him on Twitter at @ToddNewton.


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