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Bidding Now Open For 'Action Auction' Telecast Sept. 8-11

Rodney Veal from "The Art Show" hosts an "Action Auction" segment in 2020.
Courtesy WCET-TV
Rodney Veal from "The Art Show" hosts an "Action Auction" segment in 2020.

For a second consecutive year, all bidding will be done online, without the traditional "two-minute sell" on TV.

Online bidding is now open for the joint WCET-TV/WPTD-TV Action Auction, the biggest fundraiser for the Southwestern Ohio public television stations.

The CET/ThinkTV Action Auction will be broadcast from WCET-TV's large studio on WCET-TV (Channel 48) and Dayton's WPTD-TV (ThinkTV Channel 16) 7-11 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 8, through Friday, Sept. 10, and 3-11 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11.

Last year was the first year the Action Auction was simulcast in Cincinnati and Dayton. It exceeded the stations' goal by $50,000,says Mary MacDowell, WCET-TV community events manager.

Changes implemented for the coronavirus pandemic last year will remain this year. All bidding will be done online, eliminating the need for hundreds of volunteers to set up items, return them to the warehouse area, and run bids to the floor from the huge phone bank. Also gone is the "two-minute sell" window to bid on items, which was part of the Action Auction telecast for more than 50 years.

From the release:

This event, which previously was held in April, was moved to September in 2020. The auction also utilized online bidding and skipped the 2-minute sell – a major change for the event, which has been an annual favorite for more than 50 years. Events Manager Mary MacDowell said that, while not everyone was thrilled about the new format or the new timing, it was important to do what was best for the station and the community.

"We had hundreds of new bidders and buyers last year and we exceeded our fundraising goal using this format, so we’re looking forward to continuing that again this year. We understand that many of our viewers and bidders liked the in-studio excitement and community participation of the CET/ThinkTV Action Auction – and we're hoping to bring some of that back – but we’re also looking to protect the health of our volunteers while raising as much as we can for the station," MacDowell said.

There are almost 1,400 items already available to preview online at the Action Auction website and additional items are being uploaded every day …

“We have some awesome items up for bid this year thanks to our gracious donors. We understand most businesses and organizations in our community are still struggling to get through COVID-19, so we’re extra appreciative of those who were able to help support this long-standing event,” MacDowell said.

Funds raised during the CET/ThinkTV Action Auction help support CET and ThinkTV’s efforts on air, online and in the community, from award-winning national and local programming to training for educators to resources for families.

John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.