By Mickey Winfield: PNT Staff Writer
It’s time to bid and buy in KENW-TV’s 31st annual summer auction but you won’t be watching your television — instead, you’ll be watching your computer screen and clicking your mouse.
The auction is going completely online for the first time this year because of the station’s ongoing transition to a digital Broadcast Center.
“We’ve always had some items available online but this is the first time we’re not going to be on-air at all,” KENW-TV director of marketing Sheryl Borden said. “We were afraid to try to do (a tele-auction) live event for fear that we would be off the air. So we decided to make the best of the situation and do it online.”
“For those that like computers, they really love it,” Borden said. “Because it keeps them from having to sit at home every night and glare at the television set from 6-11 and hope that they don’t miss something selling.”
Borden described the process of bidding as being similar to that of many popular online auction sites. She said there are over 2,000 items available for bid right now and all items close on June 16.
“You can look at everything,” Borden said. “If you want to bid, of course, it’s just like you do with e-Bay or any of the big auction companies, you register and then place your bids.”
The Web site for the auction is www.auction.kenw.org or you can access the site through KENW-TV’s web page, www.kenw.org.
“We have no idea what to expect,” Borden said. “I’m pleased because we’ve already had bidding and that’s encouraging.”
According to Borden, some of the most popular items are vacations and this year will be no different.
One of this year’s big ticket items is a first for the auction. A trip to Cree Village EcoLodge in Ontario, Canada has a starting bid of $1,400. Other trips in New Mexico and Texas are also available.
Borden also points out that gift certificates to many local restaurants will be available in the auction, and local businesses like the exposure the new online format provides their business.
“The restaurants seem to be more than happy that this is going to be online because it really does present their business to a much wider span than we were able to on television.”
Borden says when selling a board in the tele-auction the businesses picture or name was only on for a second, this way the graphics are on day and night, 24-hours a day through June 16.
Eastern New Mexico University’s PBS affiliate uses the money raised in each year’s tele-auction to fund programming like the Lawrence Welk Show, Sesame Street and many other programs.
According to Borden, the station’s programing budget exceeds $385,000 every year, and the tele-auction typically raises about $80,000 every summer to help offset that cost.
“If you give up (that much money) out of a budget,” KENW director of broadcasting Duane Ryan said. “That, for us, is a pretty large amount, so we were concerned about giving that up.”
Regardless of the success of this year’s online auction, Borden and Ryan are both committed to returning to the live broadcast tele-auction next year in their new state-of-the-art Broadcast Center.
At a glance
• First completely online auction this year
• More than 2,000 items for bid now through June 16
• KENW-TV programming budget exceeds $385,000 per year
• Annual auction raises $60,000 – $80,000 per year
Auction web site: www.auction.kenw.org
Station web site: www.kenw.org