Doug Brauner, a fixture on Sacramento radio and television shows for more than 20 years as “The Car Czar,” says he is planning to retire from his media-related pursuits due to health reasons.
Brauner, 53, recently was hit by a series of health problems, including a heart attack, followed by stent surgery to relieve a clogged coronary artery.
He said doctors recommended that he dramatically reduce activity, and he has grudgingly agreed, adding that he “completely dodged a bullet” last month.
Brauner, a certified auto mechanic who runs auto shops in Sacramento and Citrus Heights, parlayed his technical expertise and a supercharged on-air persona into a virtual one-man Car Czar franchise. For more than a generation, he has hosted multiple radio shows on Sacramento stations and appeared in national telecasts of major U.S. auto shows and other automotive events.
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Over four seasons through March 1, 2015, he hosted more than 100 episodes of “The Car Czar Show” on Sacramento channel CW31. The weekly half-hour show featured a live audience, with Brauner covering myriad automotive topics, including his own new-vehicle reviews.
Brauner also was a longtime contributor to CW31's “Good Day Sacramento” show. He wrote a column for The Sacramento Bee from 2002 to 2007.
Brauner said he will continue to own the local Car Czar auto repair shops, saying: “I expect to be in our stores, albeit in a comfortable sweater instead of a work shirt.”
He added: “I will also focus on the thing I feel I need the most of right now: the love of my family. Kim and the four kids deserve a healthier version of me and I committed to that.”
Brauner noted that his father died at a young age from a sudden heart attack, “and I acknowledge that I ignored and even denied many warning signs leading up to this. As such, I will attempt to use whatever platform I may be given to continue to help educate both men and women, young and old, of the seriousness of any symptom that could be cardiac related.”