Membership drives help fund KENW

Argen Duncan

With music, comedy, health and how-to programs, KENW-TV is seeking to raise money with its next membership drive in August.

The KENW Fall Festival is one of four annual membership drives, three of which have existed since 1975.

“The donations that were received are important to help pay for the cost of programming,” said Promotion Director Rena Garrett. “And also it’s helpful for us to know people are enjoying our programming, that they’re tuning in and watching.”

KENW Director of Broadcasting Duane Ryan said public television and radio depend on donations from the community, and those contributions are appreciated.

KENW has to purchase most of the programs it airs.

Garrett said the upcoming drive is a good time to contribute because the station’s state allotment was cut, and it’s uncertain what the federal government will do with its budget. She hopes to raise $15,000.

That goal reaches a little higher than the past two years, Garrett said, because KENW is now on DirecTV, satellite and dish in most areas of New Mexico, bringing in more viewers.

“What the drives are for is to encourage our viewers who are not members to contribute and become members,” Garrett said.

Members receive a printed program guide and, depending on the amount of their donation, special gifts, as well as supporting public TV, she said.

Garrett said she and volunteers would answer phones during drive hours, evenings on weekdays and daytime and evenings on weekends, to take pledges. She is still seeking volunteers.

Garrett said people could call just to comment, so KENW could accomodate preferences.

“Even if they’re not able to contribute, we like to know that they’re watching and what they enjoy watching,” she said.

The membership drive programs, which include breaks with information on how to donate, offer music, how-to instructions, health information and more.

For example, Garrett said she thought people would enjoy “Legends of Folk: The Village Scene,” with clips of performances by people such as Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, and Joan Baez. She also highlighted the “Ed Sullivan Comedy Special,” which shows comedians, such as Bob Hope and Red Skelton, who appeared on Ed Sullivan’s show.