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

http://photographyisnotacrime.com

Jesse and Marisha Camp were driving through McDowell County when they were confronted by angry residents who believed they were taking photos of their children.

Hard times have come yet again to the coalfields of West Virginia -- massive layoffs, big cuts in production. The coal severance tax is down by about half in many coal counties.

That's what we're talking about this week on “The Front Porch”, our podcast where we bring together people with diverse views and backgrounds to see where we can find common ground.

Members of the Richwood High School Student Reporting Lab have won first and second  prizes in the WVU Reed College of Media high school journalism competition.

Richwood High School is one of the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs, which are classrooms, after-school programs and clubs around the country producing original, inspiring reports about how national and global issues affect local communities.

Capitol
davidwilson1949 / wikimedia Commons

This 82nd Legislature passed a slew of bills, but on the last day of the Legislative session, several big bills were still in limbo. Here's what happened to five of them:

BONUS: Forced pooling (HB 2688).

This bill would have required certain mineral rights owners to sell to oil and gas drillers if 80 percent of surrounding owners sold. After passionate debate over property rights, the bill failed on a bi-partisan vote, 49-49, in the shocker of the last day of the session.

Ken Young

It has been a while since I have named a “Storyteller Award" winner for West Virginia Public Broadcasting. To make up for it, I am naming five – that’s right, five – WVPB Storytellers. Each employee was nominated by their peers for excellence in telling West Virginia’s story.

1. Jessica Lilly, Inside Appalachia host/southern W.Va. bureau chief

2. Roxy Todd, Inside Appalachia producer/reporter

Working with Beth Vorhees and the rest of the news crew, Jessica and Roxy have transformed “Inside Appalachia” in many ways.

West Virginia University

In his first year back as president of West Virginia University, Gordon Gee faced shrinking state funding and a high-profile student death on campus. He spoke recently with us about those challenges, and about his time serving on the board of directors for coal company Massey Energy.

Gee served as chairman of the Safety, Environmental and Public Policy Committee of Massey Energy's board of directors before he resigned in 2009. Less than a year later, an explosion killed 29 men at Massey’s Upper Big Branch mine.

No doubt about it - 2014 was a HUGE year for news in West Virginia. We asked you to rank the top ten stories of the year, and here they are, in descending order.

10. Gee Takes Helm at WVU (Again); Marshall Loses Kopp

West Virginia’s two largest universities each saw a change of leadership in 2014.

If you missed this year's live performance of Joy to the World with Mollie O'Brien and Bob Thompson, don't worry! You can watch it right here.

It's a great jazzy performance of some of your holiday favorites, such as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and songs that are sure to become favorites, such as Cool Yule.

OK, I know that headline doesn’t make a lot of sense. Hang with me, it will in a minute.

The upshot is, West Virginia Public Broadcasting did business as several other names over the years -- most recently, West Virginia Public Radio and West Virginia PBS.

But we have been one organization and one team for a long time. Now, we have decided to unite under one name, West Virginia Public Broadcasting, and phase out the use of those other names.

UPDATED Dec. 24, 2014

The votes are in, and you have decided the top 10 West Virginia strories of 2014. Click here to find out what they are: http://wvpublic.org/post/top-ten-west-virginia-stories-2014

Original post:

What do you think was the top West Virginia story of 2014? The Freedom Industries chemical spill? The GOP takeover of the Legislature and Congress? Something else?

Which two West Virginia towns are the best candidates for a community makeover? That's what you can help decide by voting in this year's "Turn This Town Around" competition.

You can vote for two towns - one larger, one smaller - from the list below of towns who applied and were selected for the competition.

Each town will receive intensive training (and potentially grant funding) to help improve their community from within.

Sad news: one of the two brothers behind our show "Car Talk" has died.

Tom Magliozzi passed away Monday, November 3, due to complications of Alzheimer's Disease.

Here's an obituary written by Tom's brother, Ray, and Tom's colleagues:

“Turns out he wasn’t kidding,” said Ray. “He really couldn’t remember last week’s puzzler.”

The way Rep. Shelley Moore Capito describes her position on Obamacare, it doesn’t seem complicated.

Keep the good stuff, Get rid of the bad stuff. Add a couple of new tweaks.

The question is, if you do what she wants to do, does the health care system still work?

“I don’t think as its being rolled out, the act in and of itself is working for small businesses and individuals,” Capito said in an interview with West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., says that the current decline in coal-related employment is caused by many factors. But she says as a U.S. Senator, she would focus on the one she believes she can influence: environmental regulations.

In an interview with West Virginia Public Broadcasting, the candidate for U.S. Senate said the decline in coal jobs was caused by three things:

John Hale

West Virginia Public Broadcasting has been awarded a $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to rebuild its television studio in Beckley and create a mobile studio as well.

“This will allow us to do a much better job telling the story of southern West Virginia,” said Scott Finn, executive director of West Virginia Public Broadcasting (WVPB). “We’re excited to be able to bring the Beckley studio back to life.”

Congratulations to West Virginian Brad Sorrells, who aced all the questions on this week's NPR Sunday Puzzle!

He was selected to play this week's puzzle after correctly answering last week's challenge: Name a certain country. Change one letter in its name to a new letter and rearrange the result to name another country's capital.

Then change one letter in that and rearrange the result to name another country. What geographical names are these?

Updated Oct. 14: West Virginia Public Broadcasting's U.S. Senate debate will air Friday at 7 p.m. on West Virginia PBS, West Virginia Public Radio, and wvpublic.org.

The debate will be taped earlier that morning, starting around 10:30 a.m., and West Virginia Public Broadcasting's 4th floor studios in Charleston on 600 Capitol Street. It will be moderated by West Virginia Public Broadcasting's assistant news director Ashton Marra.

No one will be allowed into the studio except the candidates, approved members of the media and WVPB staff.

Republican Gazette

Shelley Riley Moore, the former first lady of West Virginia for 12 years and mother of Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, has died. She was 88.

Moore was born in Florida and met her husband, future Gov. Arch Moore, while she attended West Virginia University.

After graduating from college, she worked as a schoolteacher, and then she became a full-time mother and partner in her husband’s political career, first as a congressman, and later governor.

She served as first lady from 1969 to 1977 and 1985 to 1989, when her husband lost re-election amid corruption allegations.

Are year-round schools the answer to improving academic achievement in West Virginia?

That’s the question raised in a PBS NewsHour story featuring Charleston’s Piedmont Elementary about their year-round, or balanced, calendar.

Parents Brian and Laura Cooper said they were skeptical about the balanced calendar at first.

“It sounded to me like the kids were in school constantly,” Laura Cooper said, “with maybe just three-day weekends here and there.”

It’s easy to panic when a transmitter goes down. Engineer Art Austin keeps a cool head in the middle of that chaos, and that’s why he’s the August winner of WVPB’s Storyteller Award.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting maintains transmitters, translators, microwave links and other equipment at more than 30 sites. They stretch from Bluefield to Bethany, Logan to Lost River.

These transmitters and translators deliver our programs not just to old-fashioned aerial antennas. They also deliver our programs to cable and satellite systems throughout the state.

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