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.
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.”