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

Country Roads

3 hours ago

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.

AP

Governor Jim Justice is pitching a proposal to President Trump: the federal government should subsidize eastern coal at $15 a ton to protect the power grid.

Justice says it's a matter of national security - at times of war or terrorist attack, eastern coal is needed to keep the lights on along the Eastern Seaboard.

It was only a pair of shoes -- Nike Cortez shoes, to be exact.

On the other hand, these shoes had the power to divide West Virginia teenagers into two camps: Hillers who could easily afford them, and Creekers who could not.

This week, we discuss an episode of Trey Kay's podcast "Us & Them" called "Hillers and Creekers." It's about shoes, pickup trucks, and the things that divide us, beginning in school.

NPR

After Charlottesville, we wonder if racism and fascism are on the rise across America and/or West Virginia.

Front Porch host Scott Finn found a survey showing white millennials were just as likely to hold racist beliefs as baby boomers and Gen Xers. Why do more than one third of whites still tell researchers that "blacks are lazier than whites"?

Governor Jim Justice switched parties again today, returning to the Republican roots he left in 2015.

On this special edition of the Front Porch podcast, we debate what this means for Justice, the Democratic and Republican parties and the state as a whole.

In West Virginia, a growing number of working-age adults are qualifying for federal disability benefits. But once they're receiving an SSI or SSDI check, they rarely return to work.

And that's leading to growing resentment across Appalachia of some people with disabilities.

Sam Owens / Charleston Gazette-Mail via AP

Here’s what happens 97 percent of the time in federal court: a plea deal. The defendant agrees to plead guilty to a lesser offense, and the prosecution gets a guaranteed conviction.

But earlier this month, Judge Joseph Goodwin rejected a plea deal for a drug dealer, saying the defendant should face the “bright light” of a jury trial. He said this is especially important in West Virginia, which has the highest drug overdose rate in the country.

All I can say is, WOW! I am so impressed that more than 1,300 members took our 2017 programming survey.

And what you told us reinforced some of our ideas and challenged others.

"I did not come to Washington to hurt people."

That is how Sen. Shelley Moore Capito announced, on Twitter, she would not support the GOP effort to repeal Obamacare without a replacement plan that addresses her concerns "and the needs of West Virginians."

Capito was one of a handful of GOP Senators who dealt the Obamacare repeal a serious blow this week.

Is "Trumpcare" dead? And if so, what does that mean for heathcare in West Virginia, and for Capito's political future. Listen to the Front Porch podcast to find out.

WVU Today

The state Legislature just cut $16 million from higher education, starting this month. Meanwhile, WVU announced a 5 percent tuition increase.

What’s that mean for students and the state as a whole? We have WVU Vice President for Legal, Government and Entrepreneurial Engagement Rob Alsop on The Front Porch podcast.

Yoga in Appalachia

Jul 4, 2017

Sara Limb has practiced yoga in places you might not expect- first while serving as a medic in Iraq, and now in West Virginia.

On this week's episode of the Front Porch, Sara shares how yoga helped keep her sane in a war zone, and how it continues to help veterans and others.

Tell WVPB which TV and radio programs you prefer - take our new member survey!

We want your help in improving our programming.

Molly Collins

Dozens of women marched topless through the streets of Charleston recently to protest the objectification of women, and norms that discourage breastfeeding in public.

Charleston Mayor Danny Jones called it "a naked spectacle" and asked marchers to stay clear of a street fair going on nearby.

West Virginia state law does not specifically prohibit women going topless. But the uproar around the march shows that it continues to be controversial.

WVPB

After months of a budget standoff, Governor Jim Justice announced he would allow a budget heavy on cuts and with no tax increases to become law without his signature.

That doesn’t mean he was happy with it.

“I can’t possible sign this,” he said. “They voted against the people of this state. They didn’t hurt me. They hurt the people.”

WVSAO

With just days until the end of the fiscal year and no budget agreement, there’s a real possibility of a government shutdown in West Virginia.

We asked the man who pays the bills, state Auditor J.B. McCuskey, 10 questions about what he’s doing to prevent a total disaster if state government shuts down.

Canadian Press

West Virginia is one of 27 states with no firm minimum age for marriage.

Between 2000 and 2010, a total of 2,759 minors got married in West Virginia - one of the highest states per capita, according to the New York Times.

Some states are moving to bar marriage for minors. On this week's Front Porch, we debate whether this is a good idea for West Virginia and the rest of Appalachia.

Huntington Herald-Dispatch

West Virginia tops the list in many chronic diseases…but we CAN turn things around. 

That's the premise behind Try This, West Virginia. If you’re looking for a dose of hope, listen to this week's podcast.

Here's one example: childhood obesity rates in West Virginia have started to drop.

From running clubs to community gardens to bringing recess back, Try This co-director Kate Long gives us example after example of local projects that work.

With the budget fight in West Virginia and larger battles nationally over Trump, it's a good time to talk about talking with one another.

Here are five concepts from social science about how to change someone’s mind. (Hint: It’s not easy.)

1. Reframing – Use the other sides’ values when making a case for your side. For examples, liberals could reframe arguments for Medicaid around maintaining a strong defense (unhealthy Americans make poor soldiers.)

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