The Money Room: Auction Plays Cupid

This entry is part 11 of 14 in the series The Money Room
Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Money Room is a bit of history written by John Kerr, John Carver, and Sam Tyler whose fundraising careers at WGBH spanned three decades.

By Sam Tyler

By 1978, the second decade of The Channel Two Auction had begun. In addition to raising a ton of cash, this was the year it generated a tale of true love.

Every Auction had its funny asides – such as the time Auction Central sent the on-air host a note about his fly being unzipped (it wasn’t) or the smoldering Cyc that the BFD observed while watching TV, hustling out of the station before we could call in the alarm (no damage).

Companies loved the Auction. Underwriters paid $10,000 to sponsor a day … employees answered the phones and the CEO would sell off a table or two. Everyone had a good time. Many signed up for next year’s Auction on their way out the door. The event was water cooler talk for days after.

John Carver, John Kerr, and the rest of the team handled most of the underwriters, but I had a buddy from high school who had become president of a major Boston company. I asked him to commit the $10,000, which he did, and I greeted him out front at 125 Western Avenue on the appointed day and time.

We walked into Studio A and stood to the side so he could get his bearings before being escorted to his company’s table. After he sold it off, we were leaving the studio when looked back and asked about his Table Captain. I said she was a ‘GBH employee, good at her job, and a very nice person.

Long story short – a year later they were married and he upped his company’s 1979 Auction underwriting to $20,000 in gratitude.

Read more entries in The Money Room series.

Special thanks to Gene Mackles for the series wordmark.


  1. Jack Caldwell on November 11, 2021 at 5:05 pm

    Isn’t this just a wonderful story? Yes! And there are so many more. Some we know but “only the shadow knows” them all.

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