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

Transgender people are increasingly coming out and speaking up here in West Virginia. How are we going to respond?

West Virginia Public Broadcasting

 

West Virginia Public Broadcasting has been named "Outstanding News Operation of the Virginias" in radio and won 7 of 11 categories in the Virginias Associated Press Broadcasters Awards.

Blacks make up only 3 percent of West Virginia’s population – but 28 percent of the people in jail or prison. What gives?

Are black people committing more crimes? Or is the criminal justice system biased against blacks?

”I think it’s almost 100 percent the bias against black people,” said Pastor Matthew Watts of the HOPE Community Development Corporation. Watts has worked for more than 20 years to help young people find employment.

 West Virginia has the lowest workforce participation rate in the country – under 50 percent. It also has a rising number of ex-felons who are almost un-employable.

Pastor Matthew Watts of the HOPE Community Development Corporation says these two trends are directly related – and we can’t deal with employment until we stop “over-incarcerating” low-income and black people for non-violent drug crimes.

Watts also says the lack of employment is leading to a crisis in marriage – one that’s devastating low-income communities, white and black in West Virginia.

Due to an internet delivery problem, West Virginia Public Broadcasting's radio signals were down statewide Thursday morning until almost 8. Also, you may have experienced difficulty accessing our audio stream due to high demand.

We apologize, and thank you for your patience.

Thomas Goodman says it's not a struggle to stay in West Virginia -- it's a choice.

"If you’re a young person and you have a degree of…ambition, and you’re willing to stick it out through the heartache we’re enduring right now, on the backside of that, you’ll write your own ticket," he said. "If you’re willing to assume responsibility and be a leader, the opportunity will present itself."

The Front Porch spoke with Goodman as part of our "The Struggle to Stay" series, co-sponsored with West Virginia Living.

A team of journalists from West Virginia Public Broadcasting have been selected to attend NPR’s first-ever Audio Storytelling Workshop.

The Audio Storytelling Workshop is where public media creators will bring their ideas to D.C. for three days of planning, training and collaborating.

WVPB’s project will focus on the economic crisis facing West Virginia and the decision by families here to stay or go. The team includes Roxy Todd (Reporter and Producer for Inside Appalachia), Glynis Board (Reporter) and Crystal Collins (Digital Editor/Producer).

This week, we talk with Garrett Ballengee, executive director of The Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy.

Who’s to blame for the decline of the white working class?

Kevin D. Williamson, a writer for the National Review, has an answer: it’s their own fault.

http://photographyisnotacrime.com

This week, The Front Porch gang is too busy celebrating passage of the Brunch Bill to do a new episode - so enjoy this classic podcast, one of the most popular we've ever done, about what happens when outsiders with cameras visit a remote Appalachian community.

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.

This has been a wild and historic session of the West Virginia Legislature. And every step of the way, West Virginia Public Broadcasting has provided in-depth and comprehensive coverage.

For the first time, West Virginians could see in real time exactly how their laws are made on The West Virginia Channel.

Perry Bennette / West Virginia Legislative Photography

It’s been a horrific year for the state budget in West Virginia. There’s a budget hole to fill of about $400 million because of the collapse of severance tax revenue from coal and gas.

There are basically three ways to balance the budget:

1. Raise taxes

2. Cut spending

3. Dip into the state’s savings.  

Governor Tomblin proposed to balance the budget through a mix of all three – a 4 percent across-the-board spending cut, a tax on cell phone service and a 45 cent increase in the cigarette tax.

Martin Valent / West Virginia Public Broadcastinglative Photography

After passing overwhelmingly in the W.Va. House, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act was amended and then voted down in the Senate.

It can be hard to live in West Virginia - especially now. Hear us discuss why we stay, despite the struggle.

Also, a retiring lawmaker recites a moving poem about living in flyover country, in response to a degrading tweet from Daily Show host Trevor Noah.

There’s evidence Donald Trump may be more popular in West Virginia than any other state.

  The death of Justice Antonin Scalia leaves a huge vacancy in the U.S. Supreme Court. Whoever fills the position could impact the President's Clean Power Plan, abortion rights and the direction of the court for a generation.

Samantha Brookover and Amanda Abramovich received more than a marriage certificate when they went to the courthouse in Gilmer County, W.Va.

Deputy Clerk Debbie Allen also gave them a piece of her mind.

The couple says Allen "for two to three minutes, yelled that what they were doing was wrong in her eyes and in God’s eyes and that no one in Gilmer County would ever marry them." Allen eventually gave them the certificate.

PBS

Amber Miller admits she was no angel. She hung out with the wrong crowd. She used drugs.

When she was 20, she went to prison for stealing $30 from her grandmother.

But 12 years later, she is still labeled as a felon. And that's hurt her ability to find work.

A bi-partisan group of state lawmakers is sponsoring a "second chance" bill. It would allow first-time, non-violent felons to ask a judge to expunge their record a certain time after release.

Does the Religious Freedom Restoration Act protect religious expression, or allow people to discriminate against certain groups?

On this Snowmaggedon edition of The Front Porch:

1. A huge snowball fight breaks out over Right to Work, and whether it is right for West Virginia

2. Does Sen. Chris Walter's bill to expand broadband internet access stand a snowball's chance in hell? Should it?

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