Publisher: ViAnn Todd, 916-241-5994, vtodd@RioLindaMessenger.com
Editor: John Todd, 916-289-6436, jtodd@RioLindaMessenger.com
Writer: John Todd, 916-289-6436, jtodd@RioLindaMessenger.com
Photographer: ViAnn Todd, 916-241-5994, vtodd@RioLindaMessenger.com
Contributor: Sara Williams, Sara@RioLindaMessenger.com
Contributor/Sports: Mike Hawthorne, Mike@RioLindaMessenger.com
Hi. I’m John Todd, publisher and editor of the Rio Linda Messenger. I was born in Rio Linda (not many can say that), at 100 Elkhorn Blvd.
I attended Westside Elementary until 3rd grade, until Proposition 13 was passed in 1978, which prompted the Rio Linda Elementary School District to close Westside. My next 3 years were spent at Rio Linda Elementary.
In 1980, I became a Squire and advanced to Rio Linda Jr. High School.
in 1983 I graduated to Rio Linda Senior High School and became Knight. I wrote for the occasional school newsletter, but never found the time to make room for yearbook.
In the fall of 1987, I covered football for the Rio Linda News, covering the 1987/88 Knights squad.
After graduation in 1987, I took a 20-year long gap year before I returned to school at Sacramento City College where I studied Marketing and HTML/CSS.
In 2005, I started the website MyRioLinda.com in an effort to spread the news about questionable business dealings within the board of directors at the Rio Linda Elverta Community Water District. The writings there became popular and I began adding other bits of local information. Eventually, I realized that the Sacramento Bee and the Rio Linda News weren’t delivering the information that the people who live and work in Rio Linda wanted and needed, so I started a new website with a more professional, edgy name: RioLindaOnline.com.
Readership at RLO grew by leaps and bounds, especially once Social Media became popular, and RLO became the go-=to place for information about our community.
I got more involved in local issues, joining the Chamber of Commerce and the RLE Visions Task Force.
In 2015, NASCAR Champion Jeff Gordon was doing his farewell tour for his final season in racing. He stopped at the Hayer Memorial Speedway in Rio Linda, when he took his very first laps in a race car. I was able to interview him that day about the part he played in saving the quarter-midget track when Sacramento County wanted to bulldoze it into open space. For the last five years, we have been media guests at Sonoma Raceway for the annual Toyota SaveMart 350 NASCAR race, covering it specifically for our community.
Later that same year, the Aftershock music festival decamped from Discovery Park and moved to Gibson Ranch. For two days I covered the traffic, the fans, the food, and the music from bands such as Slipknot, Bring Me The Horizon, Marilyn Manson, local boys Deftones, and the last public performance of Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington. We’ve been fortunate enough to be media guests at Aftershock ever since.
In 2016, RioLindaOnline.com was awarded 1st place as the Best Local Blogger in the Sacramento area by the voters on the KCRA A-List.
In 2018, We were awarded 1st place as the Sacramento Area’s Best Local News Source, which earned us a proclamation from the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors.
In 2020, we changed tack once again, refocused on news and community, and became The Rio Linda Messenger.