Jesse Wright

News Director

Jesse was born in Swaziland and grew up in South Africa. During his high school years, he witnessed the end of Apartheid and South Africa's transition to democracy.

Jesse moved to West Virginia in 1996 to attend WVU. He earned a bachelor's in journalism and met his wife, a West Virginia native, in the process.

He came to West Virginia Public Broadcasting from The Dominion Post newspaper in Morgantown, where he served as copy desk chief and worked on almost every aspect of the newspaper's production. Before that, he worked as a graduate assistant at WVU's journalism school, focusing on multimedia storytelling.

Jesse is interested in public affairs, education and the effects of government policy on West Virginia citizens' lives.

Based in Morgantown, he has developed a great passion for West Virginia and its unique history.

Jesse lives in the Cheat Lake area of Morgantown, along with his wife, Clover, and his three sons - Arden, Logan and Callan.

Ways to Connect

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Community groups across the state held several town-hall style events focused on changes to America’s health care system during the past week. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., attended four of the events and was the only member of West Virginia’s congressional delegation to do so.

Best Editorial Entry

Feb 10, 2017

Can We Rebuild? Many Flood Survivors Grappling With a Long Recovery

Jessica Lilly for Best Radio Host --  AP of the Virginias Awards Entry

Gubernatorial candidate and Senate President Bill Cole poses with a supporter during a campaign stop Friday, Oct. 28, in Morgantown.
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

In his gubernatorial campaign, Senate President Bill Cole has emphasized shrinking the size of state government and cutting down on regulation in West Virginia. Cole has drawn support from like-minded national Republican figures, such as Wisconsin’s controversial governor, Scott Walker.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Federal Communications Commission chairman is heading to West Virginia to discuss rural broadband and other technology issues.

Democratic candidate Jim Justice speaks during a gubernatorial debate against Senate Majority Leader Bill Cole R-W.Va., Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016 at the Clay Center in Charleston, W.Va.
Tyler Evert / Associated Press

West Virginia's major party nominees for governor went head-to-head Tuesday, Oct. 4, in the first of two debates before November’s general election. The two businessmen focused mainly on the state’s economic issues.

A sculpture of John Henry by S.L. Jones at the Art Museum of West Virginia University.
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

When you think of classic fine art, works by Picasso, Monet and Dali may spring to mind. Art from Appalachia doesn’t tend to feature much in the mind’s eye. But that might change if you visit the Art Museum of West Virginia University.

More than 100 works from 25 Appalachian artists are on display at the museum. The exhibit was decades in the making and spans everything from sculpture to paintings and baskets.

Don Knotts Statue
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A statue honoring TV legend Don Knotts was unveiled Saturday, July 23, in front of The Metropolitan Theatre on High Street in Morgantown.

The Andy Griffith Show star grew up in Morgantown and graduated from West Virginia University.

Knotts, who died in 2006, starred in films and played Deputy Barney Fife on TV's "The Andy Griffith Show."

Water line
West Virginia American Water

Updated June 25 at 3:23 p.m.

West Virginia American Water updated its list of potable water tankers where customers can fill containers:

  • Frame Road in Elkview across from the DOH garage
  • Dollar General on Maywood Avenue in Clendenin
  • Smith’s Foodfair in Clendenin
  • Corner of Lizmore Road and River Haven Road, off the Queen Shoals Bridge
  • Keeneys Creek Missionary Baptist Church, in Winona

West Virginia American Water says it has also provided water tankers to the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to provide assistance to the flood-devastated communities of Richwood, Rainelle and White Sulphur Springs. Exact locations are determined by local emergency management.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a campaign stop Thursday, May 5, at the Morgantown Event Center.
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Vermont senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders held three campaign events in West Virginia on Thursday, May 5. At his final stop in Morgantown, Sanders’ focus on student loan debt was well-received by the many college students in the crowd.

Swimmerguy269 / wikimedia Commons

The chapters of three fraternities at West~Virginia University were suspended this week. 

Sigma Chi's local chapter was indefinitely suspended by its national office and the WVU Office of Student Conduct. According to a WVU news release, the suspension was due to an April second social activity that violated fraternity and university regulations.

Troy Clemons was selected as the next WVU Mountaineer mascot Wednesday night.
West Virginia University

A Greenbrier County native was named as the new West Virginia University Mountaineer mascot.

Troy Clemons will be the 64th Mountaineer and will serve during the 2016-’17 academic year.

U92FM Feedback Director Melanie Smith (left) and News and News Director Clarissa Cottrill.
U92FM / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia University’s radio station, U92FM, begins a series of weekly live talk shows at 7 p.m. Feb. 4 with a discussion about America’s criminal justice system.

Two of the students who run the program to talked to West Virginia Public Broadcasting about how it has grown in the past few years to take on more serious subject matter.

Brian Hemphill
Radford University

West Virginia State University President Brian O. Hemphill announced his resignation Wednesday, Dec. 16. Hemphill will leave his post to take over at Radford University, in Virginia, effective July 1, 2016.

He has served as West Virginia State's president since July 2012.

The Morgantown High School Marching Band makes its way down High Street in Morgantown on Wednesday, Nov. 11, during the city's Veterans Day parade.
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Dec. 7, 2016 will mark the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, which thrust America into World War II. Morgantown High School’s marching band has been selected to represent West Virginia during a commemoration next year in Hawaii to honor that milestone.

One of the few remaining survivors of the attack came to the Mountain State from Texas to share his first-hand account of that fateful day with the band members and take part in Veterans Day ceremonies.

The West Virginia state employee and retiree insurance program is asking the public to weigh in on cuts in benefits it proposed earlier in October.

The Public Employees Insurance Agency said it plans to cut benefits by nearly $83 million for active employees and about $41 million for retirees, primarily through sharply higher deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums.

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