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WVIR-DT3 (CW 29) logo.png
Charlottesville/Harrisonburg, Virginia
United States
CityCharlottesville, Virginia
BrandingNBC 29 (general)
NBC 29 HD News
CW 29 (on DT3)
SloganCount on Us!
ChannelsDigital: 32 (UHF)
(to move to 2 (VHF))
Virtual: 29 (PSIP)
Subchannels29.1 NBC
29.2 WeatherNation TV
29.3 CW
TranslatorsSee below
OwnerWaterman Broadcasting Corporation
(Virginia Broadcasting, LLC)
First air dateMarch 11, 1973 (45 years ago) (1973-03-11)
Call letters' meaningVIRginia
Former channel number(s)Analog:
29 (UHF, 1973–2009)
Former affiliationsDT2:
NBC WX+ (2007–2008)
Transmitter power1,000 kW
5.47 kW (CP)
Height367.9 m (1,207 ft)
Facility ID70309
Transmitter coordinates37°59′2″N 78°28′53″W / 37.98389°N 78.48139°W / 37.98389; -78.48139
Licensing authorityFCC
Public license information:Profile

WVIR-TV is an NBC-affiliated television station licensed to Charlottesville, Virginia, United States. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 32 (or virtual channel 29 via PSIP) from a transmitter on Carters Mountain south of Charlottesville. The station can also be seen on Comcast Xfinity channel 4 and in high definition on digital channel 804.[1] Owned by the Waterman Broadcasting Corporation, WVIR has studios on East Market Street (US 250 Bus) in downtown Charlottesville.

WVIR is the default NBC affiliate for the Harrisonburg/Staunton market, which doesn't have an NBC affiliate of its own. However, Washington, D.C.'s WRC-TV, Richmond's WWBT and Roanoke's WSLS can be seen on different cable providers as well.


Prior to WVIR's sign-on, the first permittee for channel 29 was the Charlottesville Broadcasting Corporation, owners of WINA radio (1070 AM and then-95.3 FM). Charlottesville Broadcasting obtained the permit in 1965; after two extensions, all plans to put channel 29 on the air under the callsign WINA-TV were abandoned in 1969. WVIR, which had held a permit for channel 64 since 1964, then took the opportunity to move to the lower channel. [2]

WVIR signed-on March 11, 1973 as the first television station based in Charlottesville and second outlet (after WHSV-TV) between Richmond and Roanoke. In 1986, Waterman Broadcasting purchased the station. Until August 15, 2004, it was the only full-power commercial outlet in the Charlottesville market affiliated with a major network with outside stations being seen on cable and over-the-air. On that date, WCAV signed-on becoming the area's first CBS affiliate and first station to mount a challenge against WVIR.

As part of the analog nightlight service, the station was required by the FCC to leave its analog signal on-air for two months after the end of digital transition at an estimated cost to the station of $20,000 to broadcast an endless loop of instructional video on digital converter box installation. This was interrupted daily to carry local newscasts.[3]

Every year, WVIR holds an annual telethon to help raise money for University of Virginia Health System's Children's Hospital. The telethon, as part of the Children's Miracle Network, is held at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. The broadcast consists of current and former WVIR on-air staff answering phones and talking to patients at the hospital.

WVIR is a sister station to fellow NBC affiliate WBBH-TV (company flagship) and ABC affiliate WZVN-TV (operated by Waterman through LMA) in Fort Myers, Florida.

WVIR entered the 2016-17 spectrum reallocation auction, electing to take $46,399,285 for its channel 32 allocation and move to the low-VHF band (channels 2 through 6).[4] The station must move its signal from channel 32 to channel 2 by September 6, 2019. Chief engineer Bob Jenkins noted that the station was not particularly happy with moving to channel 2, but chose it over entering a channel-sharing agreement with another station.[5] WVIR is one of seventeen stations to move from another band to low-VHF; it and WHDF (Florence, Alabama) are the only commercial major-network affiliates.[6] Channels 2 through 6 were desirable for analog television, but are not widely used for digital television due to difficult indoor reception.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[7]
29.1 1080i 16:9 NBC29HD Main WVIR-TV programming / NBC
29.2 480i NBC29WP WeatherNation TV
29.3 720p CW 29 CW 29

On September 18, 2006, this channel launched a new second digital subchannel to be the area's CW affiliate. On September 13, 2007, WVIR began offering NBC Weather Plus on that digital subchannel resulting in The CW moving to a new third subchannel. WVIR-DT3 often pre-empts programming from The CW Plus in order to air local shows. In December 2008, the national Weather Plus feed on 29.2 was shut down and a local weather channel programmed by WVIR was added in its place until March 30, 2015 when it became the newest affiliate of WeatherNation TV.[8]

On October 17, 2012 WVIR-DT3 upgraded to 720p HD.

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WVIR-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 29, at 12:30 p.m. on February 17, 2009, the original target date in which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which was later pushed back to June 12, 2009). The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 32.[9][10] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 29.


In addition to the main signal, WVIR can be seen on two digital translators.

Call letters Channel City of license Transmitter location
W22EX-D 22 Staunton Elliott Knob
W30CT-D 30 Harrisonburg Massanutten Peak


Syndicated programming on the station includes: Wheel of Fortune, Live with Kelly and Ryan, Jeopardy! and Dr. Phil.

News operation[edit]

WVIR's news department covers both the immediate Charlottesville region and the Shenandoah Valley. In addition to its main studios, WVIR operates a bureau in The News Virginian newsroom (owned by BH Media) in Waynesboro and a sales office in Staunton. Newscasts on WVIR's primary channel have been broadcast in HD since April 2008.

Although the station does not operate a weather radar of its own, WVIR features live NOAA National Weather Service radar data from several regional sites. This is presented in a forecasting system on-air known as "Storm Team 29 Live Triple Doppler". It also offers local weather to computer users via the WeatherBug service. All weekday broadcasts except the prime time news at 10 are streamed live on WVIR's website. In September 2011, NBC29 News at Sunrise was extended which now airs from 4:30 a.m. to 7 a.m.

Two newscasts air on WVIR-DT3, the nationally syndicated morning show The Daily Buzz on weekday mornings from 6 until 9, and a locally originated 10 p.m. newscast branded as NBC 29 News at 10 that largely mirrors content shown on the primary channel.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Channel Lineups: CW29, NBC29, Weather - WVIR NBC29 Charlottesville News, Sports, and Weather". Frankly, Inc. and WVIR. Retrieved October 19, 2018.
  2. ^ 1967 Television Factbook (PDF) (37th ed.). pp. 142-a.
  3. ^ Area stations to switch to digital on Tuesday, Brian McNeill, Charlottesville Daily Progress, February 14, 2009
  4. ^ "FCC Broadcast Television Spectrum Incentive Auction 1001 Winning Bids" (PDF).
  5. ^ "Broadcasters Face Complex Repack". TvTechnology.
  6. ^ "Repack Plan". RabbitEars.
  7. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WVIR
  8. ^ http://news.weathernationtv.com/2015/03/30/weathernation-welcomes-wvir-stormteam-nbc-29-family/
  9. ^ http://www.nbc29.com/Global/story.asp?S=9796189&nav=menu496_2_3
  10. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2012-03-24.

External links[edit]