By Jim Matuga, Host

For far too long, we have heard our fair-share of negative news concerning our great state – West Virginia.

It seems to me that we’re continually at the bottom of all of the “good” lists; and at the top of all of the “bad” lists.

For example:

  • In 2016, West Virginia ranked number 47 on America’s Top States for business, according to CNBC.
  • According to Gallup-Healthways 2013 Well-Being Index, for five years, West Virginia has been in last place for the most miserable state (well-being) and overall emotional health
  • West Virginia has an unemployment rate of 6%. National average is 5%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • 14.9% of West Virginia households were food insecure, according to Talk Poverty.
  • According to the SBA, in the third quarter of 2015, WV had an annual growth rate of -2%, which is slower than the overall US growth rate of 1.9 %.
  • According to Business Employment Dynamics, BLS, in the second quarter of 2014, 921 establishments started up in WV and 991 exited. The startups generated 3,899 new jobs; however; exits caused 3,902 job losses.
  • West Virginia ranked last on the list of least educated states, according to Forbes.

Well, I for one am ready to help change that.

As I started thinking back in the spring of 2017 about our situation in West Virginia – I kept thinking: What should be? What could be? How can I make a difference?

I knew in my heart and mind that there were scores of great, inspirational stories out there in the West Virginia business community that needed to be told. As a small business owner and a media professional in West Virginia for the past 29 years, I had personally interviewed countless entrepreneurs, CEO’s and business executives and just knew there were so many stories of inspiration and success that weren’t being heard. I wanted to change that.

So began the planning of what is now Positively West Virginia.

Positively West Virginia is a new multi-channel-platform collaboration between Interaction Media and NCWV Media. Each week, Positively West Virginia will feature in-depth, positive stories of companies that are doing great things for the communities they serve in West Virginia, are leading West Virginia in a positive direction and are committed to making our state a powerful force in America. The focus will be on success stories of these companies – both long-standing companies and start-ups.

Our mission is to educate, inspire and motivate people.


Here are the specifics:

Podcast: The Positively West Virginia podcast will be a weekly 20-30 minute podcast that focuses on POSITIVE interviews with successful West Virginia business leaders who share their stories and reveal their “secrets” to their success. The podcast is a digital radio format available on iTunes, Google Play, the website, and social media channels. The podcast will be hosted by long-time media professional Jim Matuga. The weekly interviews will focus on the well-known company success stories, as well as the hidden gems of our great state.

Website: Positively West Virginia www.positivelywv.com will be the main portal for all content created for the mission. This includes, video, podcast, blog, social media, etc. The site will be a fully optimized site built on a leading edge, growth-driven technology platform and all content will be of the highest journalistic quality.

Print content: The weekly podcast will also be transcribed and developed into a weekly news feature to appear in the State Journal and other NCWV publications.

Web content: The weekly podcast will also be transcribed and developed into a weekly news feature to appear in the following online publications: theet.com, statejournal.com , fairmontnews.com , bridgeportwvnews.com, prestonnj.com and bluegoldnews.com. 

Weekly Blog: The weekly blog will also be developed via the transcribed podcast interview and developed into a search engine-optimized news feature for the www.positivelywv.com web site. This blog will be used in social media promotion, and will help search ranking for the companies mentioned in the content. This will also help drive traffic to the www.positivelywv.com website, increasing the visibility of the mission. Links can also be included to help drive traffic to the web site of the company featured that particular week.

Social Media: Social Media will play a significant role in the targeted, strategic and intentional marketing of the Positively West Virginia brand and mission. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn will all be utilized in the promotion of the digital content every week. In addition, Facebook Live (live streaming video) will be used to systematically deliver key contend to our live audience. In addition, our team will leverage these live video feeds to promote the content via Facebook Ads Manager dashboard.

Thank you for your support of Positively West Virginia! Please share and help us spread the word.

– Jim