Helena Rodriguez: PNT Staff Writer
Call it shopping at home, but for a worthy, entertaining and educational cause.
The 29th annual KENW-TV Tele-Auction will take over the area airwaves beginning on June 6 and will run through June 11 as 2,000 items are auctioned, ranging from $5 “Steal of the Night” items up to a vacation for two to London valued at $5,714. A complete list of tele-auction items are included in an insert in today’s News-Tribune and can also be viewed online at www.kenw.org, where bids are already being taken.
The auction is KENW-TV’s biggest fundraiser of the year and has been known to become competitive as people try to outbid each other on clothing, jewelry, art, furniture, lawn and garden items, food, gift certificates, vacation packages and much more.
“It’s always entertaining when you’re selling a lot of different items. People consider it a contest and get a spirit of competition,” said Don Criss, the TV production services director at KENW-TV. “(Eastern New Mexico University President Steven) Gamble will be doing some auctioneering as well as Donald Thomas, a well-liked local personality.”
KENW hopes to raise at least $80,000 to help pay for the PBS station’s programming which includes the long-running children’s classic, Sesame Street, as well as NewsHour With Jim Lehrer and Nova. KENW-TV spends $365,000 on programming each year.
Sheryl Borden, the marketing director for KENW-TV, said programming costs have escalated considerably over the years while the minimum contribution for the tele-auction has remained at $50.
Because the KENW Tele-Auction will also air on DirecTV for the first time this year, and thus reach more people in towns such as Albuquerque and Santa Fe, Borden said the station hopes to perhaps raise even more money.
“Clovis, Portales and Roswell are our biggest areas during the tele-auction but since we are also online, we get bidders from places like Philadelphia, San Antonio and Milwaukee,” Borden said.
Fourteen telephone lines will be in operation to take bids during the nightly tele-auction from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. There are five local phone lines and the rest toll-free. Volunteers are needed to help man the telephones.
Borden encourages people to secure express bid numbers as soon as possible. These express bid numbers will be required in order to place bids and can be secured by going to the KENW Web site or by calling the TV station at 562-2112.
The tele-auction experienced some technical glitches last year and even had to go off the air for awhile because on inadequate computer databases. However, Borden, said more databases have been added and she does not expect any problems this year.
“It is a lot more work to get ready for the tele-auction now, but during the week of the auction, it runs a lot more smoothly,” said Borden, who has been involved with the event for 18 years. “As we put bids into the computer, it flashes on the screens.”
This year, KENW has also shortened the bidding time to two minutes, making it even more competitive. Items expected to be popular are a whole line of celebrity items, such as autographed photos of Charlton Heston, John Travolta, Shania Twain and more, vacation packages, including a new spot this year, a five day and four night package to Hotel Monacco in New Orleans, and a special “Kids and Company” segment which will include videogames, wagons and a G scale train set.
KENW-TV is located inside of the Broadcaster Center at ENMU where it houses three 100,000 watt stations — KENW-TV (Channel 3), KENW-FM (89.5) and KMTH-FM (98.7). A new two-story Communication Building is currently being built on the ENMU campus to house the Broadcast Center where students have opportunities to get hands-on experience in the operation of the stations and to work with the professional staff, both on and off the air.
• What: KENW Tele-Auction
• When: June 6-11, 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. nightly.
• Where: On KENW-TV, online at www.kenw.org.
• To bid: Bidders must have an express bid number. To acquire a number, contact the station at 562-2112 or request one online at www.kenw.org.