If you think being a broadcast journalist and social media influencer is glamorous, Regina Mobley, a news anchor who has been with each national television affiliate in Hampton Roads, may change your mind. It’s hard work. Especially since the onset of the pandemic in 2020.
“The year 2020 felt like 10 years compressed into one,” Regina said. “On my first day at WAVY in March, I arrived to find a virtually empty building. Producers and reporters worked from home, and we used systems such as Skype and Zoom to conduct remote interviews.”
Even though the world was reorganizing, and people everywhere were creating new schedules and new ways of work, Regina kept her early morning hours and was up before the sun to do news research. Drawing on past experiences, including her Girl Scout years, she knew being resourceful and thinking outside of the box would help get the job done. She didn’t miss a beat.
“We double and triple-checked early information on the pandemic,” she said “As we later learned, false information could ultimately cost viewers their lives. The pandemic of misinformation and disinformation continues to run rampant.”
As journalists ran to get the latest data and news on COVID-19, another national news story developed into an international one. A police officer put his knee on George Floyd’s neck and killed him on camera. Newsrooms went into overdrive. For much of 2020, Regina worked seven days a week.
On New Year’s Eve, she mentioned to her co-anchor Stephanie Hudson that she was looking forward to seeing 2020 in the rearview mirror. Stephanie replied, “Watch out—2021 could be worse.”
Seven days later, the nation looked on as hundreds stormed the Capitol building – a story that continues to unfold. For Regina, there hasn’t been much of a slowdown. She continues working just as hard to keep up with the impact of the pandemic on nearly every aspect of our lives. She is now reporting on job losses, angry parents dealing with school mandates, and the rise in mental illness and substance abuse. In other words, she covers stories on the human condition.
Decades of Reporting Took Regina Around the World
From Interviewing Troops to the President of the U.S.
“From the platform of Hampton Roads, I have covered history-making events around the world,” Regina said. “After more than 30 years of working as a journalist, I still have an insatiable appetite for new information to share with the public. As a senior team member at WAVY, I enjoy learning from the young reporters and producers, who are driven and efficient.”
Regina has regularly been in the spotlight as a news anchor and reporter with a strong following. She has covered many high-profile stories that included the 1992 investigative coverage of the disappearance and murder of a college student that led to the arrest of two prospective Navy SEALs. In 1996, Regina spent more than three weeks in Bosnia and the Adriatic Sea region, covering U.S. troops.
Looking back, Regina says that the most significant assignment in her career was interviewing President Barack Obama in March 2011 about the No Child Left Behind Act. She was the first local news reporter to interview President Obama while he was in office.
Regina recalls when she first knew reporting was for her. “One evening, when I was a junior at Granby High School in Norfolk, I paused to watch the ABC evening newscast. The show open featured slick new animated graphics and the booming voice of an announcer who introduced the talent for the show. The open went something like this: ‘World News Tonight with Frank Reynolds in Washington, Max Robinson in Chicago, and Peter Jennings in London.’ I thought the production was fascinating. The broadcast took me around the world and back. On that day in 1977 or ‘78, I thought to myself: ‘That’s it. I am going to become a news reporter and anchor.’”
At WAVY, she’s used her knowledge of media production and her ability to pay attention to detail to bring us many COVID-19 news stories. Early reports, during the start of the pandemic, included the death of a well-liked BAE Shipyard contractor, and then as the months went by and lockdown continued, she delivered stories on other ways the pandemic was impacting us, such as the shutdown of theater and how a few of our Hampton Roads Broadway celebrities were responding.
She also brought us one of the most widely viewed story of 2020: “There’s something in the water off Virginia Beach: Shrimp!” A report on the shrimp fishery business in Virginia Beach and the management of catches through a lottery system. Regina says she had a lot of fun with the story, a nice upbeat one with a bit of science behind it.
Regina Loves Helping the Community
She’s Emcee for the 2022 Girl Scout Cookie Classic
Being a well-known face in Hampton Roads, Regina has demands on her time outside of the newsroom. She has been involved in a number of charities, including the Girl Scouts. Two decades ago, she was the honorary chair of the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast golf tournament. A former Girl Scout, Regina served in that role for several years. She says it was a nice fit, since golfing is one of her life loves.
And it was during that time, in 2000, that she made headlines when she shot two holes-in-one within a 24-hour period. She won a new car and achieved official Golf Digest acclaim. According to Golf Digest at the time, the odds of that happening to a rookie golfer were 300 million to one.
This year, she’ll be back helping the Girl Scouts by being the emcee at the 2022 Cookie Classic Run on Jan. 22, 2022 at the Dismal Swamp in Chesapeake, where runners can enter a one-mile or 5k race, or they can choose to stroll the race lane or support it virtually. What does this busy professional do to stay fit, destress, and get ready for the Cookie Classic Run? She says she walks daily and adds running into her routine a few days a week.
As a talented news anchor who is community driven, Regina has been recognized many times for her volunteer work, such as a Famous Former Girl Scout, and for her professional achievements. In 2014, she was inducted into The Virginia Communications Hall of Fame. Regina also holds two Emmy Awards, two Virginia Associated Press Awards, and a Radio/Television News Directors Association Award for her work covering spot news.
If you want to know Regina, you only need to know what’s most important to her—integrity and credibility. What advice does she have for someone starting out and considering following her path? Regina cited one of her news heroes, Peter Jennings, who believed reporters should never give advice or make predictions.
Catch Regina’s coverage of daily news on WAVY News 10 at 4 p.m. and WAVY News 10 at 5:30 p.m. with Stephanie Harris.
For more information about the Cookie Classic Run, visit www.gsccc.org/en/events/cookie-classic.html or call 757-547-4405.
Marcy Germanotta is the communications and marketing director for the Girl Scouts of Colonial Coast.