Scott Finn

Executive Director and CEO

Scott Finn is executive director and CEO of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, an indispensable resource for education, news, public safety and economic development for West Virginia and all of Appalachia.

He describes himself as a "recovering reporter," serving stints as news director at WUSF in Tampa, news director and reporter for West Virginia Public Broadcasting, and statehouse reporter for the Charleston Gazette.

As a journalist, Finn received several national awards, including the Fred M. Hechinger Grand Prize for Distinguished Education Reporting from the Education Writers of America, two awards from Investigative Reporters and Editors, the Gerald Loeb Award for excellence in business reporting, and the Nancy Dickerson Whitehead Award for Excellence in Reporting on Drug and Alcohol Problems.

Finn served as a AmeriCorps-VISTA member in Big Ugly Creek, West Virginia (it's actually a small, beautiful place); founded and ran an AmeriCorps program called APPALREAD; and was a sixth grade social studies and English teacher.

He also was a really, really bad whitewater rafting guide.

Finn, his wife, Wendy, and children, Max and Iris, live in Charleston, West Virginia.

Ways to Connect

"Recovery is possible!" is a mantra in addiction treatment. Lois Vance says recovery is happening every day at Cabin Creek Health Systems, where she works.

Perry Bennett / Legislative Photography

Gov. Justice’s second State of the State made full use of several props, two whiteboards and his entire girls’ basketball team.

Justice also laid out what he thought was really important in his speech. Here are two themes I heard: finally turning the corner on the opioid epidemic, and helping young people find technical and vocational careers.

How bad is the staffing crisis in West Virginia's jails and prisons?

So bad, Gov. Jim Justice asked the National Guard to help with staffing. And he signed an order allowing corrections employees to keep unused vacation time, because they've been forced to work so much overtime.

Make your tax-deductible gift now to West Virginia Public Broadcasting, and you'll have that donation matched 2 for 1 - thanks to a challenge from our Studio Society members.

For every dollar you give now, they'll donate an additional 2 dollars to WVPB!

https://secure.wvpublic.org/donate/

The rise of entrepreneurship in West Virginia is one of the top 5 trends shaping our state in 2018.  

Congress has passed the GOP tax bill – will it help the people of West Virginia?

That’s the debate we’re having on The Front Porch podcast this week, with liberal columnist Rick Wilson with the American Friends Service Committee, and guest host Jessi Troyan, Ph.D. economist with the free-market Cardinal Institute in Charleston.

Shockingly, they have starkly different takes on the tax bill. Wilson says its another step toward turning America into an oligarchy, and a trojan horse designed to force cuts to Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security.

About one in three West Virginia high school grads needs to take remedial classes when they go to college – and that number is growing. Why are so many new college students so unprepared?

Also on this week’s podcast, we’ll break down the results of the Alabama Senate race. If a Democrat can win there, what does that mean for West Virginia’s congressional races?

Beckley.org

The governing board for West Virginia Public Broadcasting voted today to open a bureau in downtown Beckley and close its facility in Beaver.

The vote of the Educational Broadcasting Authority was unanimous.

Board members said they wanted WVPB to save money and increase its visibility by moving from the Raleigh Airport Industrial Park to downtown Beckley.

Closing the industrial park facility is estimated to save $100,000 a year, which will be re-invested in maintaining WVPB’s network of towers and delivery systems for its programs. No layoffs are planned.

Allegations about sexual harassment and assault are rocking the political and media worlds at the national level (including public media) - but what about West Virginia?

On this week's Front Porch podcast, we discuss when that shoe might drop in West Virginia. 

It's Thanksgiving week! Let's take a break from politics and talk pop culture. 

In "Game of Thrones," siblings Cersei and Jamie Lannister enjoy a loving and suportive relationship. But Front Porch host Laurie Lin can't get past the "ick" factor.

Beckley.org

Here at West Virginia Public Broadcasting, we’re working with Public Media Company on a plan to raise more revenue, reduce expenses and become an even stronger, healthier organization.

Our boards are giving feedback on these proposals now, and we’re expecting to receive the final recommendations in December.

One issue that’s being discussed is reducing the number of facilities we operate, and one recommendation is to close our Beckley facility on Industrial Park Road and open a news bureau in downtown Beckley.

Several important items about that proposal:

Simple, transparent and broad-based - that's the sort of tax system The Cardinal Institute would like to create through tax reform.

Executive Director Garrett Ballengee says the current GOP plans are not perfect, but they take the tax code in the right direction.

Meanwhile, Front Porch co-host Rick Wilson worries about starving federal programs such as Medicaid and eduction.

But Wilson and Ballengee agree on one thing - they both love "For the Love of Money"

The opioid epidemic. Obesity. Low workforce participation. These adult problems have their roots in childhood trauma.

Dr. Michael Brumage wants West Virginians to understand what the research shows - that exposure to childhood trauma can lead to a variety of public health problems in adulthood.

Brumage is talking about ACES: Adverse Childhood Experiences. In a recent study, West Virginia children scored higher than the national average of 46 percent.

"Jobs aren't a silver bullet," says Coalfield Development Corporation CEO Brandon Dennison.

But they are a good start.

Dennison's social enterprise has helped 100 percent of its first 30 graduates find employment or further their education. Now, it's hoping to repeat that success with 50 employees.

What will President Trump's executive orders do to the insurance market in West Virginia?

Kara Lofton has been reporting on that issue, and she says it could mean 19,000 West Virginians seeing premium increases averaging $1,200 on the Afforadable Healthcare Act exchanges. Meanwhile, Trump's order to allow associations to sell insurance across state lines could lower rates for some.

Lofton speaks with Scott Finn and Rick Wilson on this week's Front Porch podcast about what this means for rural healthcare.

What if West Virginia had never split from Virginia during the Civil War? Would the citizens of present-day West Virginia be better off as Virginians?

On one hand, Virginia is a larger and wealthier state. Would that mean more money for poorer West Virginia residents? Better schools or roads?

Or, would distant Richmond ignore its western citizens - just like it did in 1863?

Host Laurie Lin is moving back to Virginia, and she argues a merger could benefit us all. Rick and Scott aren't so sure.

There's a surprising correlation between guns and West Virginia's Trump voters. Also, the fight over school consolidation goes to the Supreme Court. And our favorite Tom Petty songs. On this week's Front Porch podcast.

Country Roads

Sep 21, 2017

On this episode of The Front Porch - we announce a sad departure.

Also, what is it about "Country Roads?" Why do North Korean waitresses love it so much?

And finally, why are our country roads in such crappy condition, and should we vote "Yes" on the road bond to fix them?

The Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy is sponsoring a big intellectual shindig here in Charleston on Thursday with the American Conservative Union. It's called, "West Virginia on the Rise: Rebuilding the Economy, Rebuilding Lives."

The conference features speeches by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, W.Va. Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, and Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va.

There also will be panel discussions with national experts on drug abuse, the economy, and changes in the family.

Why does Laurie object to Game of Thrones? What is "Hillbilly Nerd Talk?"

And, what is the perfect coal Haiku?

Find out these answers, and Walking Dead! In this Front Porch podcast.

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