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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. Owned by Waterman Broadcasting, 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.

HistoryEdit

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.

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 (channel 19) 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.

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). 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. 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. Channels 2 through 6 were desirable for analog television, but are not widely used for digital television due to difficult indoor reception.

Waterman announced a deal to sell WVIR-TV to Gray Television on March 4, 2019. Gray already owned rival WCAV and ABC affiliate WVAW-LD (channel 16), which will be concurrently sold to Lockwood Broadcast Group. WVIR would become a sister station to Fox affiliate WAHU-CD (channel 27), which was not included in the sale and will be retained by Gray. The sale was approved on April 15.

GalleryEdit


TV stations in Commonwealth of Virginia
WAVY, Hampton Roads/Norfolk

WSLS, Roanoke
WWBT, Richmond
WCYB, Sneedville/Johnson City/Kingsport/Bristol
WRC, Arlington/Washington, DC
WVIR, Charlottesville/Harrisonburg/Staunton

TV stations in Commonwealth of Virginia
WGNT, Hampton Roads/Norfolk

WWCW/WFXR-DT2, Roanoke
WUPV, Richmond
WCYB-DT2, Sneedville/Johnson City/Kingsport/Bristol
WDCW, Arlington/Washington, DC
WVIR-DT3, Charlottesville/Harrisonburg/Staunton

TV stations in Charlottesville area
WVAW-LD 16 (ABC)
WCAV 19 (CBS)
WAHU-CD 27 (Silent)
WVIR 29 (NBC)
WHTJ 41 (PBS)
WVPY 51 (PBS)
TV stations in Harrisonburg area
WHSV 3 (ABC)
W22EX-D/W30CT-D 29 (NBC)
WSVF-CD 43 (Fox)
WVPT 51 (PBS)
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