It’s official. The ties have been severed between Doug Brauner and Channel 31’s “Good Day Sacramento,” where Brauner worked as a reporter for nearly 12 years.
Brauner, who also hosted "Good Day's" popular "Car Czar" segment, has been on personal leave since late January, when he was arrested for domestic violence against his former girlfriend. The Sacramento County District Attorney's office declined to prosecute Brauner due to lack of evidence.
In a phone interview today, Brauner says he decided to leave “Good Day” to devote more time to his role as a correspondent for the weekly ESPN program “Autotrader.com’s Drive,” a show about cars. Brauner has appeared on that show for the past four years.
It also will give him a chance to focus on his family - he and his current partner, Ashley, are expecting a child in September - as well as on his core business of operating auto repair shops, he says.
“I’m really excited about this opportunity,” Brauner says. “It’s a less intensive job than ‘Good Day.’ I don’t have to get up at 3 a.m."
On his arrest, Brauner says: “I think the DA and the sheriff did a great job in looking into something that really was nothing.” Now, he adds, he just wants to “put the incident behind” him.
Steve Charlier, vice president for news at channels 13 and 31, characterizes Brauner’s departure as a mutual agreement.
“We’ve met several times since he’s been on leave, and he decided this is the best move for him,” Charlier says. “We still have a good relationship with him. In fact, he’s been in the newsroom several times.”
The fate of Brauner’s weekend “Car Czar” radio show - which has been “on hiatus” since late January - is less clear. Brauner says he is meeting with officials from KHTK (1140 AM) to “relaunch” the show, but no date has been set. Steve Cottingim, general manager of Sacramento’s CBS Radio stations, said there are no plans to bring back the show.
Brauner’s “Car Czar” newspaper column, which had run in The Bee in the Friday “Wheels” section, was discontinued earlier this year.