For Immediate Release                                                                                   
Contact: Kristin Tutino, (585) 258-0253

WXXI HOSTS A LIVE TELEVISED TOWN HALL MEETING TO DISCUSS HOW ROCHESTERIANS CAN LIVE WITHIN THEIR MEANS

(Rochester, NY) June 5, 2009 – The economic downturn is leading to a lot of talk and anxiety about living within one’s means. Rochester area residents are losing their jobs, being furloughed, receiving pay and benefit reductions, and experiencing trouble paying off credit cards and keeping up with their bills.

A recent survey conducted by the National Foundation of Credit Counseling found that less than half the adults in the U.S. keep close track of their spending, and that nearly 16 million don’t know how much they spend on food, housing, and entertainment, and do not monitor their overall spending. But, in a struggling economy, it's even more important to consider how to live within your means. WXXI will host a live televised town hall meeting to discuss this issue. Let’s Talk Money: Living Within Your Means airs Thursday, June 18 at 8 p.m. on WXXI-HD (DT21.1/cable 1011 and cable 11).

Hosted by WXXI’s Julie Philipp, Let’s Talk Money: Living Within Your Means brings together a panel of the area’s most knowledgeable financial experts and social thinkers to discuss what it means to “live within your means,” what makes it hard for people to do so, and how we can address the financial anxiety felt in this economic climate. They will also take questions from the studio audience, and from viewers who call in during the show. Individuals interested in being part of the studio audience should call (585) 258-0200 or log on to WXXI.org/money to make reservations.

The Let’s Talk Money panel includes:
• John Ninfo, former United States Chief Bankruptcy Judge for the Western District of New York and founder of the Greater Rochester Area Financial Literacy Initiative (GRFLI). GRFLI promotes ongoing “community conversation” about the principles of personal finance – learning them, reinforcing them, and making them a life-long habit. He is also founder of the Credit Abuse Resistance Education (CARE) program.

Tim Engstrom, PhD is a Professor of Philosophy and previous chairman of the philosophy department at Rochester Institute of Technology.  He is co-editor of the book Health Care Reform: Ethics and Politics.  He examines social issues from the perspective of philosophical ethics and political theory, and has studied in Sweden, Britain, and Germany.  He powers his old diesel Mercedes with recycled vegetable oil.

Robert D. Manning, PhD is author of the widely acclaimed Credit Card Nation (Basic Books, 2000), which received the 2001 Robert Ezra Park Award for Outstanding Contribution to Sociological Practice. He is Director of the Center for Consumer Financial Services at Rochester Institute of Technology. A frequently invited expert at U.S. Congressional Committee hearings, Dr. Manning's research has influenced public policy debate on consumer debt in the US and several countries. Dr. Manning is a specialist in consumer finance, financial education, retail banking education, race and ethnic studies, and globalization.

Richard Ryan, PhD is a professor of psychology, psychiatry and education at the University of Rochester. His current research interests include the acquisition and impact of materialism and other extrinsic goals in human development and culture, and the connection between wealth and life satisfaction. He is the author of several books and dozens of articles on self-determination and intrinsic motivation.

In addition to the televised town hall meeting, WXXI-AM will host a five-part follow-up series. WXXI’s Center for Public Affairs Carlet Cleare and Julie Philipp will talk with local people who are finding out how hard it is to live “within their means,” including a college graduate who has been job-hunting for more than a year, and a mother who lost her position at Xerox. The series airs June 22-26 during Morning Edition beginning between 5 a.m. – 10 a.m. on WXXI-AM 1370/HD 91.5-2.

To read more about this program and other local news stories on the economy, visit www.WXXI.org/economy. Support for this programming was made possible through a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s Engaging Communities on the Economy initiative.

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