Behind the scenes with Sheryl Borden

“Creative Living” where Sheryl Borden records her show on the campus of Eastern New Mexico University. The set shown is one of three sets for “Creative Living” and is used to produce 54 shows a year.

Jacob Workman, rear, producer and director of “Creative Living,” and Duane Ryan, director of broadcasting at ENMU, monitor and control the filming of a segment for the show.

Show guest Julia Usher of St. Louis, left, is miked by host Sheryl Borden just before the start of taping of the show “Creative Living.”

Sheryl Borden has been the star of KENW-TV's "Creative Living" for 35 years and has no plans to stop. At a taping session Thursday in Portales, Borden said "As long as we have a station, I'd like to do the show." Borden, who has a master's degree in education, said "Home economics is my love. I love demonstrating home ec(onomics) techniques. I'm a home economist and I'm proud of it."

Borden said when KENW-TV first started broadcasting, she proposed the homemaking show idea to Broadcasting Director Duane Ryan for two years before "he thought of it." "Once Duane thought of the idea, he hired me" she joked.

Thursday's taping at KENW-TV broadcasting studio, located at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, included three segments with cookbook author Julia Usher of St. Louis, Mo., who demonstrated cookie art, and an interview with local recording artists Will Banister and Johnny Mulhair, of the Mulberry band.

The three 11-minute segments featuring Usher will appear in three separate shows from September 2012 through March 2013. By combining different guest segments into one show, "Creative Living" can offer a variety of topics in a single program, Borden said.


The show airs on 118 stations and has an audience of 3.8 million in 40 states, Canada, Guam and Puerto Rico, Borden said.

How many?

"Creative Living" produces 54 shows per year.


KENW-TV has three studios, said Borden.

Studio C: A practice studio for students learning broadcasting skills.

Studio B: A studio used for ENMU's live student news broadcasts.

Studio A: A professional broadcasting facility that produces "Creative Living," "Cultura," "You Should Know" and "Sports Look" for the Public Broadcasting Service.

Control rooms

KENW-TV has a control room for each of its three studios and a master control room, which Borden described as the heart of the operation. Operators in the master control room schedule KENW-TV programming, screen videos from independent producers before airing, audit shows for audio and video quality and assure Federal Communications Commission compliance. The center is manned from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily.

The crew

"Creative Living" requires a crew of two in the control room and five to seven students on the set to man lights and cameras, said Borden. The broadcasting crew consists of ENMU communications students and volunteers.


Guests are scheduled to tape shows eight to 10 months in advance and bring their own props, Borden said. Guest referrals come from public relations companies in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. The show has hosted guests from as far away as Canada and Greece.

Fan Mail

  • Borden once received an e-mail stating: "I enjoy "Creative Living," but I quit watching because they're all reruns. You have the same hairdo in all of them." The e-mail prompted Borden to blog about her changing hairstyles throughout her career. You can see them at
  • A fan, in the state penitentiary, once wrote Borden and invited her to a rendezvous in Taos.
  • Borden recalled a viewer who wrote saying the "Creative Living" set "was tacky" and Borden had "no panache." After looking up the word "panache," Borden invited the viewer to appear on the show and they became good friends.

KENW-TV funding

Annual budget: $2 million, according to KENW-TV accounting officials. The figure includes KENW-TV newscasts, "Creative Living," "Sports Look," "Cultura" and "You Should Know."

One-fourth of the funding comes from the federal government, one-half from the state, and the balance is raised by KENW-TV through auctions, drives and donations.

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