Women to Watch: Maria Todd


(By Charese Fruge’) Maria Todd co-hosts the nationally syndicated Todd Newton Morning Show. She was born and raised in Buffalo, New York, where her radio career began. She started in public radio as a production assistant at an AM news station in the ’80s, moved over to FM to do the news on a pop station morning show, eventually slid into the co-host chair, and never looked back. Work has taken her from Buffalo to Houston to Dallas to San Francisco and back to Houston.

“I loved listening to the radio as a kid, especially the personalities,” says Todd. “I chose mornings because it seemed cool to be the one that woke everyone up. My biggest accomplishment is that last year I was inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame.”

“In the beginning, people were surprised to see me after listening to me. This started when I worked the Wendy’s drive-thru in high school. It made me feel weird. This became a challenge for me. But radio appearances made me get over it because you have to engage with people, and I loved it! I love forming relationships, no matter how brief because there’s always something in common and that forms a bond and an everlasting impression.”

Over the years, Todd has had many amazing experiences, but her favorite, and most “Bougie,” according to her, happened at a Grammy party. “I was heading into the party when I felt my stiletto come unbuckled,” she explains. “Before I could bend over, a gentleman knelt down and buckled my shoe and when he stood up it was Chuck D. from Public Enemy. I felt like Cinderella!”

As a woman I have always admired for her strong voice and talent, Todd has always been able to excel with grace in a predominately male-driven business. I used to listen to her on The Sam Malone Show in Houston all the time. As Robin is to Stern, she was to Sam (and more). She understands what sharing the spotlight means, how to be a good partner, and how important that is no matter what role you are cast in. But still, we continue to see discrepancies when it comes to gender equality and pay in the industry. Does Maria think we made any progress since her start in the industry?

“I believe we have moved the needle but there is a long way to go. We must stay vigilant and keep moving forward in a way that is positive for growth and success for all genders in the industry.”

“In addition. We need to bridge the generation gap and accept that we can learn from the younger generation as much as they can learn from us. We need to go where they are, and that means being online and showcasing our brands and artists, making them understand what a fun industry we are and why it’s fun to not only engage in radio but also to be a big part of the influencer opportunities the business has to offer. The medium may have changed but our message is the same.”

Not much keeps Todd up at night. She has the right attitude. “Worrying about the past is pointless, you can’t change it. Worrying about the future is pointless if you plan to do your best in whatever situations arise, so relax – sweet dreams!”

As far as finding balance, “What’s that?” Todd asks. “Seriously, to ground myself, I take my dogs out. They make me stop what I’m doing and take a moment outside. Fresh air, green space, and a moment to hear my own thoughts bring me back to center.”

As far as her big project for 2024, “Choreographing a line dance for the Family Reunion in July. We’ll see how that goes,” says Todd. “That and surviving another smoldering Houston summer.”

“Just FYI, I am a social media stalker, more likely to comment than post. However, anyone can friend and follow me on Facebook @Maria Todd.”

Charese Fruge’ is an award-winning Content, Broadcast, and Marketing executive with over 20 years of experience in markets like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, San Diego, and Las Vegas. As the owner of MC Media, she works with radio brands and individual talents, especially young women, helping them grow their brands and negotiate on their own behalf. Find her at @MCMediaOnline. See more Women to Watch here.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here