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.

Pages

Storyteller Award
9:42 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Five People Who Make a Difference at West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Jessica Lilly
Credit 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.

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News
6:43 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Gordon Gee on Massey's Safety Record, Alcohol Deaths, and WVU's Freedom Agenda

WVU President Gordon Gee
Credit 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.

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News
5:00 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Top Ten West Virginia Stories of 2014

National Guard member delivers bottled water to some of the 300,000 people who had theirs contaminated by the Freedom Industries chemical spill.

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.

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Live performance
4:05 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Watch "Joy to the World" Holiday Jazz Favorites

Mollie O'Brien and Bob Thompson

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.

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About WVPB
1:42 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

West Virginia Public Broadcasting Changing Its Name...to West Virginia Public Broadcasting

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.

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News
3:48 pm
Sat December 20, 2014

What Are the Top 10 West Virginia Stories of 2014? Vote Now!

Collecting water in a parking lot after the Freedom Industries spill of MCHM. Is this the top story of 2014? Let us know.

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?

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Economic Development
4:49 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Vote Now in the Turn This Town Around Competition

Sistersville, W.Va. is one of the nominees for Turn This Town Around.

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.

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News
2:40 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

Tom Magliozzi of Car Talk Dies

Tom and Ray Magliozzi

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.”

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Affordable Care Act
9:13 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Capito on Obamacare: Keep the Popular Stuff. Ditch the Business Mandate.

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.

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Election 2014
8:23 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Capito: Coal Decline Caused By 'All of the Above' - But Regulations Easiest to Change

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:

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News
1:20 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

WVPB Receives USDA Grant to Rebuild Beckley Television Studio

Shooting for the show "Abracadabra." The new grant will greatly improve the studio where the show is produced.
Credit 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.”

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News
9:03 am
Sun October 19, 2014

Charleston Lawyer Aces NPR Puzzle

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?

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News
4:22 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

Updated: West Virginia Public Broadcasting to Sponsor Second Televised U.S. Senate Debate Friday

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.

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News
1:18 pm
Sat September 13, 2014

Services for Former First Lady Shelley Moore Announced

Shelley Moore and her brother Jake Riley
Credit 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.

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News
9:51 am
Sun September 7, 2014

Can Year-round Schools Boost Student Learning in W.Va.?

Parent Laura Cooper has become a believer in Piedmont Elementary's year-round calendar.

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.”

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Storyteller Award
8:54 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Delivering West Virginia's Story

WVPB engineer Art Austin keeps a cool head, with or without a hat.

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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#WVANTIQUES
12:00 pm
Sun August 17, 2014

$250,000 Painting Appraised at Antiques Roadshow Charleston

This original Edward Beyer landscape painting of Charleston valued at $250,000
Antiques Roadshow

A 160-year-old landscape painting of the Kanawha Valley was appraised at $250,000 during an Antiques Roadshow event Saturday in Charleston, W.Va.

The painting by Edward Beyer shows the town of Charleston, the Kanawha River and the green hills beyond. The painting was created in 1854, before West Virginia became a state.

The painting's owner told the Charleston Gazette that her grandfather won the painting, after being one of a group of local businessmen who commissioned it.

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Appalachian String Band Music Festival
8:56 am
Sun August 3, 2014

Clifftop Fans - Check Out This Documentary

Old-time music fans jam joyfully in this documentary about the Appalachian String Band Music Festival, or Clifftop.

This weekend, hundreds of fans of old-time music braved rain and mud to jam with each other at the Appalachian String Band Music Festival -- known better by its nickname, Clifftop.

Our own Bill Lynch wrote this story in the Sunday Gazette-Mail about Clifftop 2014. It talks about the informal, spontaneous nature of the event, where musicians wander from group to group, striking up jams along the way.

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Politics
11:31 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Could Highway Funding Fight Halt W.Va. Road Construction?

Funding for a four-lane upgrade to W.Va. 10 and other routes is endangered by the political stalemate in Washington.
Credit Chapman Technical Group

How does the fight over highway funding in Washington affect people living in rural West Virginia?

The PBS NewsHour recently traveled to Logan County to show how the funding fight could bring construction on a four-lane upgrade of W.Va. 10 to a halt.

It's also become a political issue in the Third District Congressional Race, with Rep. Nick Rahall touting his seniority and ability to bring home highway funds, and challenger state Sen. Evan Jenkins vowing not to raise gas taxes to fund highways.

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Storyteller Award
5:05 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Battling Storms and Computer Glitches to Protect Your Paycheck

Kristi Crouch and Jane Smith go above and beyond to make sure everyone gets paid!

You may have heard about the state’s HUGE computer project, to change over to a new system called OASIS.

Well, this is the story about how that changeover almost prevented some of our employees from getting the right paycheck – and two of our employees who single-handedly prevented that from happening.

One employee even left the hospital where her grandchild was being born to fix the problem!

For these reasons, Jane Smith and Kristi Crouch are the winners of our Storyteller Award for the month of July.

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