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The Media’s Impact on Businesses and Nonprofits

NBC29 talk Oct 2023 (1)

Laura Serbon, General Manager for WVIR NBC29 News, visited the Chamber along with News Director David Foky and Sales Manager Luke Garrett to share about opportunities for businesses and nonprofits to get their news out into the community.

Laura shared that since she became GM, she's made it a priority for the station to get even more invested in the community through sponsoring events and nonprofits, helping to fundraise for crucial issues, sharing public service announcements and more. She invites you to reach out by emailing

In our area, unlike many larger markets, news coverage often tells positive stories. The NBC29 newsroom aims to inform viewers about important topics. They're always looking for interesting stories to cover in the daily news, and they frequently feature nonprofit groups doing something to support the community.

David shared how to connect with the news department:

  • The best way to share your story with the newsroom is to email
  • Get in touch about 3 days in advance, and make sure you have someone available for an interview on the day you send your information.
  • Information in the body of the email is preferable to an attachment. Using a particular press release format isn't important, as long as you cover the essentials – what’s happening, what issue you’re trying to address, when/where it's happening, and whom to contact.
  • Share why your news matters. Stories that are interesting, visual, and touch people in the community are best.
  • Events on quiet days are most likely to get coverage; in our area, Saturdays are very busy with events.
  • After 10am and before 2pm is the best time to get reporters covering your event. Reporters typically cover two stories a day, and they need to get back and prepare for the 4pm news.

NBC29 Community Conversations feature live interviews with nonprofits 5 days a week during the 4pm news hour. There is currently a waiting list for these opportunities. Nonprofits can sometimes get a one-time interview by connecting with one of the regularly featured organizations. (The Chamber has very occasional openings available for our members.)

While news coverage is never guaranteed, organizations can count on reaching a large audience through advertising. The station's core service area (Albemarle, Charlottesville, Fluvanna, Orange, Green, Madison) covers a population of over 190,000 people.

Through parent company Gray Television, NBC29 has the digital advertising capabilities that businesses need to reach their target audience on the platforms and devices they use – including streaming apps, targeted display, YouTube, social media, and email.

Luke shared that local news viewers want to be informed and educated, so they are the ideal audience for businesses to get their message out.

The sales team at NBC29 functions as a full service advertising agency, including a creative services department. Since the options are entirely customizable, the advertising process begins with a customer needs analysis to learn where you are in your business journey and where you want to be.

To get started, fill out a short online inquiry form.