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WCNY Names Two New “Financial Fitness” Hosts

SYRACUSE — Following the recent resignation of J. Daniel Pluff, there will be not one, but two new hosts taking WCNY-TV’s “Financial Fitness” into its 20th year.  The PBS affiliate says Jim Burns and Vicki Brackens will share hosting duties for the locally-produced program.  Both are familiar faces to viewers: Burns has been guest hosting since Pluff exited, and Brackens had been a regular panelist on the show.

According to a WCNY press release, Burns and Brackens will take turns producing and hosting the program each week.  Both hosts will appear together “on a quarterly basis and when ‘Financial Fitness’ targets special educational initiatives.”  One of those dual-hosted shows is planned for March 15, when the show will be hosted before a live studio audience to celebrate its 20-year run on WCNY.  Financial Fitness is the longest-running locally-produced program in the station’s portfolio.

Regarding Pluff, who had founded and hosted the program from its inception until last December, WCNY President and CEO Robert Daino said, “Dan made a significant contribution to WCNY through ‘Financial Fitness,’ and we enjoyed our long, mutually beneficial relationship. We thank him for his dedication and wish him continued success.”

Earlier this week, reported that Pluff had sent an email to an undisclosed list of recipients, explaining that he walked away from the program over a dispute with station management regarding the selection of guest hosts.

Jim Burns, a Chartered Financial Analyst, has been guest hosting since Pluff’s departure.  He is President and Chief Investment Officer at J. W. Burns & Company in Syracuse.   WCNY says viewers can expect Burns-hosted shows to “focus on Wall Street subjects such as investment ideas and opportunities, matters of market evaluation, and how viewers should use the available information when making personal financial decisions. ”

Vicki Brackens is a Financial Services Representative, Chartered Financial Consultant and Senior Financial Planner for Brackens Financial Solutions Network, an office of MetLife in Syracuse.  According to WCNY, when Brackens is hosting, the content will be more focused on “economic empowerment for young people, families, and the inexperienced investor.”

Daino said, “in Vicki and Jim, we have two outstanding contributors committed to an important public service: expanding financial literacy. We believe their expertise and energy will help WCNY take ‘Financial Fitness’ to a broader audience. We’re excited they’re joining us.”

Financial Fitness airs Thursday evenings at 8pm on WCNY-TV 24.1.  More information and previous episodes are available on WCNY’s web site.

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