Milwaukee PBS
Press Release

The Nation’s #1 PBS Fundraising Auction Turns 50 This Year

The Great TV Auction Celebrates Half a Century of Raising Money and Delighting Viewers

By - Apr 10th, 2018 12:20 pm

Milwaukee, WI, April 10, 2018 – It’s the golden anniversary of a beloved Milwaukee tradition – the Great TV Auction. Over the last 50 years, southeastern Wisconsin has embraced this unique, live, on-air fundraiser for Milwaukee PBS, growing from 250 volunteers and a handful of donors in its first year, to thousands of volunteers and donors today. Our viewers have made this the nation’s #1 PBS fundraising auction, both in net revenue raised and in prime-time ratings.

The 50th Anniversary Great TV Auction will be held over two consecutive weekends (Friday-Sunday) beginning the weekend of April 27-29 and concluding the weekend of May 4-6. The Auction is broadcast live on Milwaukee PBS 36, beginning at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, April 26, and airs from 3:30 to 10:30 p.m. each day of the two weekends.  Online bidding will be open throughout the Auction, from April 27 – May 6. 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 ‒ connecting viewers with the great restaurants, wineries, brewers and artisan food producers and merchants from across the state.
  • John McGivern NightAround the Corner with John McGivern fanatics can follow in John’s footsteps around Wisconsin and bid on special on-air presentations while John hosts the Auction.

The funds raised through the Great TV Auction support programming on Milwaukee PBS, including national shows such such as Nova, Sesame Street, Masterpiece and PBS Newshour, as well as local productions like 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

Viewers can place bids by telephone at (414) 297-6081 while the Auction is on-air, April 27-29 and May 4-6. Online bids can be made at throughout the entire week, April 27 – May 6.

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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