Elmira-born Chad Bisch is getting used to seeing his face in unexpected places: billboards, posters on the side of the city bus, he once even stepped through the doors of a Quebec hotel to see himself as a life-sized cutout.
The TV personality, in his third season as host of Roger’s TV show ‘Grand River Living’ is a bit of a local celebrity. And now he may be catapulted to a whole new level of fame when his new reality TV show titled ‘Burn My
Mortgage’ premiers in early October on the W network, a national specialty network with some six million subscribers.
“It’s a little nerve-wracking, but it’s mostly exciting,” said the 37-year-old Wilfrid Laurier University graduate.
“This is something I have known that I wanted to do for as long as I can remember.”
‘Burn My Mortgage’ is touted as a fun, light-hearted yet challenging show designed to show families how to effectively manage their money, and pay down their mortgage.
“This show is not about people who have huge debts. It’s a bit like ‘home finance’ meets The Amazing Race,” he explained. “It’s about people who think they are doing the right thing. They have a mortgage and they are making payments on that mortgage, but we show them how to trim down their spending and see a huge impact in the long run.”
Bisch was contacted via Facebook earlier this year and asked to come in for an audition, where he wowed the casting crew; he spent his summer weekends filming all 13 episodes for the upcoming season.
“I think the main reason that they cast me was because they liked that I was from a small town, and that I could relate to people,” explained Bisch. “I grew up in Elmira, in a middle class environment and can relate to people of the middle class who are facing the same things my family did.”
When he began filming the show, Bisch was no mortgage authority himself.
“I have a mortgage,” he said with a laugh. “But I wouldn’t call myself an expert.”
At the outset of filming, Bisch was making set, weekly payments towards his mortgage. By the third week of filming, he had taken some of the advice that he was giving out and starting putting aside an extra $100 per week. By the time the filming wrapped, he had doubled the amount of money saved; simply by being aware of his finances and tracking where he spent his money.
“I started to look at my habits and began to realize where I could cut back,” he said. “So many people don’t realize all the little things that they spend money on, and that they can see a big difference by just putting aside small change.”
In the first episode, premiering Tuesday, Oct. 5 at 8 p.m. on the W Network, parents Roman and Christine share their dream of a mortgage-free future where they can give their kids the financial leg-up their own parents afforded them. In order to do that, this family has to take a closer look at their ‘wants’ and determine which they actually need.
In addition to filming the new series, Bisch kept his current job working as an account manager for CHYM FM, 570 News and KIX 106 as well as continuing to host GRL. During his nine years with Rogers, he has contributed as a reporter for the station’s former newsmagazine show, Plugged IN! and produced his own segment, Outta Boundz. He has also hosted Reel Shorts, participated as a back up host of Rogers Daytime, and a fill-in analyst for Kitchener Rangers Hockey on Rogers TV. He will have completed filming of 100 episodes of Grand River by Christmas.
For Bisch’s mother Marg, who has lived in Elmira her whole life but doesn’t subscribe to Rogers TV, the new show will provide her a chance to see what all the fuss is about.
“Next week I am going to be on Canada AM to talk about Burn My Mortgage and my mum watches that one,” he said with a laugh. “To her, now I have really made it.”