Milwaukee PBS
Press Release

America’s Favorite PBS TV Auction Returns to the Airwaves

Milwaukee PBS’ Great TV Auction Returns to Charm, Inspire and Raise Much-Needed Funds to Educate, Entertain and Stimulate Imaginations

By - Apr 18th, 2019 09:05 am

MILWAUKEE; April 18, 2019 – Viewers in southeastern Wisconsin have delighted in the Great TV Auction for over 50 years. It returns to the airwaves with new items, an updated format and more opportunities to participate online. Milwaukee PBS viewers have embraced this unique, live, on-air fundraiser, and the Great TV Auction is the nation’s #1 PBS fundraising auction, both in net revenue raised and in prime-time ratings.

The 2019 Great TV Auction will be held over two consecutive weekends – Friday, April 26 to Sunday, April 28, and again on Thursday, May 2 to Sunday, May 5. The Auction is broadcast live on Milwaukee PBS 36, from 4:00 to 10:30 p.m. each day of the two weekends.  Viewers can place bids by telephone at (414) 297-6081 while the Auction is on-air. Also, online bidding will be open every day, 24 hours a day, throughout April 26 to May 5. Bids can be conveniently made online at

Some of viewers’ favorite features of the Great TV Auction will return this year, including:

  • Milwaukee PBS EATS ‒ certificates and great merchandise from great restaurants, wineries, brewers and artisan food producers and merchants from across the state.
  • John Was Here – Around the Corner with John McGivern™ fans can bid on a variety of great items from businesses around Wisconsin visited by John while John hosts the Great TV Auction on May 2.
  • Explore Our State – Wonderful travel destinations across Wisconsin including restaurants, lodging, arts and cultural events, and attractions that make them special.
  • Silver and Gold Gavel Gifts – Very special highly valued travel packages like an African Safari and trip to the 2019 Country Music Awards, rare Leroy Nieman print, exquisite diamond jewelry, mint Faroe Island stamp collection, and a hand-built cedar canoe.

The funds raised through the Great TV Auction are vital to continue the programming and related community services of Milwaukee PBS. As the region’s premier public television broadcaster, Milwaukee PBS offers southeastern Wisconsin national programming such as Nova, Sesame Street, Masterpiece and PBS Newshour. Also, local productions are a significant focus for Milwaukee PBS, so that the station can provide viewers a local perspective and give a voice to our community. These locally-produced programs include 10thirtysix, Around the Corner with John McGivern and Outdoor Wisconsin.

The Great TV Auction is still accepting donations and recruiting volunteers. For information on volunteering or donating, (414) 297-7036 or visiting

About Milwaukee PBS

Milwaukee PBS is southeastern Wisconsin’s premier non-commercial media organization.  Milwaukee PBS consists of two high-definition television stations, WMVS and WMVT, and four additional digital television services.  The Milwaukee PBS stations are the area’s only over-the-air source for PBS and other national public television programs. The stations are watched by over 627,770 viewers each week throughout southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Milwaukee PBS is a viewer-supported service of Milwaukee Area Technical College. MATC is a two-year vocational-technical college based in Milwaukee, WI offering day, evening and weekend classes on four campuses. For more information, visit

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