Lakeshore PBS to Debut Local Call-in Show ‘Money on Call’ in April as Part of National Financial Literacy Month

MERRILLVILLE— April is National Financial Literacy Month, and Lakeshore PBS is collaborating with community partners to provide viewers an opportunity to ask questions about a variety of financial topics in an upcoming live television program.

Lakeshore Public Media announced today it will premiere the new show ‘Money on Call’ on April 5 as part of Financial Literacy Month.  The show will air live at 7pm on Fridays in April on Lakeshore PBS, and via live stream on Facebook.com/LakeshorePBS.

‘Money on Call’ is a live, call-in show that features professionals from the financial world discussing and answering questions on a variety of topics, providing viewers a better foundation to manage economic resources for a lifetime of financial well-being.

In March 2004, the U.S. Senate passed Resolution 316 that officially recognized April as “National Financial Literacy Month”.  Financial Literacy Month is an opportunity to promote educational initiatives and resources that focus on teaching consumers how to effectively handle money and deal with debt.

The program will have two hosts alternating duties for the show:  Tony Sindone of Purdue Northwest and Marc Ruiz from Oak Partners.  The program’s advisory group includes  Kelly Shikany and Megan Marshall, Lakeside Wealth Management; Stephanie Madison, First Merchants Bank; Betsy Granko, Tech Credit Union, Alexius Barber and James Dunne, Peoples Bank; Gary Housman, Wealth Advisor and Tiffani Davis, Centier Bank.

James A. Muhammad, President and CEO of Lakeshore Public Media, sees the program as being timely and mission driven.  “People are faced with tough economic questions on a daily basis, but many only have a basic understanding,” Muhammad said.  “Lakeshore PBS is proud to provide viewers the opportunity to dig deeper, learn more and use this knowledge to make more informed decisions.”

Numerous studies have revealed that financial illiteracy is a major problem in the U.S. Many consumers have enormous personal debt and little or no savings, and often are unaware of the financial consequences of spending irresponsibly.

The program’s format seeks out viewer participation through live phone calls, social media posts or emailed questions in advance, featuring topics such as Finance 101, Education: Savings and Loans, Credit Cards and Credit Scores and Retirement for Any Age.

The leadership team was excited about the concept of producing a live call in show that would air both on Lakeshore PBS and on Facebook Live.  “The excitement grew exponentially once we began reaching out to our partners to gauge their level of interest,” said Wende Burbridge, V.P. of Development for Lakeshore Public Media.  “Before we knew it, we had an advisory group, a set being built and financial support coming in!”

Burbridge recognizes the wide range of support for the project, with NIPSCO, Tech Credit Union, Purdue Northwest, Oak Partners, Lakeside Wealth Management, First Merchants Bank and Lithographic Communications all providing a portion of the funding needed to produce ’Money on Call’.

Matt Franklin, the show’s producer, hopes the program connects with viewers of all ages with different backgrounds and different levels of financial knowledge.  “Our goal is to give our viewers insight into some of the basic areas of finance, to eliminate common misconceptions and to provide a solid financial foundation for our viewers and their families.  ’Money on Call’ is a place where people can feel comfortable asking questions in a safe environment where no one is judged.” Franklin said.