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

Craig Cunningham / Charleston Daily Mail

Should the government require wages over a certain level for taxpayer-funded construction projects?

In West Virginia, some Republicans want to repeal the prevailing wage law altogether - like Laurie Lin of our podcast, "The Front Porch"

On The Front Porch podcast, we discuss the shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C. with a special guest, WVU Vice President David Fryson.

Fryson is a pastor, a lawyer, and leads WVU’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

We discuss the debate over taking down the Confederate flag, and enduring symbols of the Confederacy in West Virginia. That includes General Stonewall Jackson, a West Virginia native who fought for the South.

The Front Porch Podcast
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Increasingly, working class men in Appalachia can't find work.

Central Appalachia has seen thousands of layoffs in the coal industry this decade. More and more, women are the main breadwinners.

Should we require drug tests for recipients of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program?

A bill proposed by the West Virginia Legislature would have done just that, as part of a pilot program. It failed to pass, but is sure to come up in next year's regular session.

John Hale / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The governing board of West Virginia Public Broadcasting has approved a policy to determine which candidates will be included in future debates.

The policy comes after the 2014 election season, when West Virginia Public Broadcasting co-sponsored a U.S. Senate debate that invited only the Democratic and Republican candidates. WVPB later sponsored a second debate that invited all five candidates on the ballot, but the leading candidate, Republican Shelley Moore Capito, did not attend.

CDC

A recent Gallup-Healthways survey ranked West Virginia as the second-most obese state in America (thank God for Mississippi!) One in three West Virginians is obese.

This week on The Front Porch, we debate what’s making Appalachia fat, and what can be done about it.

Rick Wilson of the American Friends Service Committee blames aggressive marketing of sugar, salt and fat by big corporations.

Roxy Todd / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia has the nation's worst rate of drug overdose deaths. It started with prescription painkillers, and now is increasingly fueled by heroin.

On this week's "The Front Porch," we debate what's causing the epidemic, and what might actually work in curbing it.

WNYC

As host and executive producer of the hit podcast "Death, Sex & Money" from WNYC, Anna Sale asks famous people and regular folks about the things we need to talk more about, but don't.

On this week's "The Front Porch," Sale talks about her complicated love of West Virginia, and the bittersweet experience of visiting home, once you know you're gone for good.

Chuck Roberts / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Did you miss the first episode of Antiques Roadshow's visit to Charleston, West Virginia?

Don't worry, you can watch it here: Catch all three episodes from Charleston on West Virginia public broadcasting at 8 p.m. Every Monday this May.

Tax Foundation

Reforming the tax system is a major priority for the new GOP leadership of the West Virginia Legislature. Senate President Bill Cole has even floated the idea of eliminating the state income tax.

Like the cicadas, the issue seems to come up every few years, sometimes leading to changes, and sometimes not.

This week, The Front Porch gang debates whether West Virginia needs to change its tax system, and if so, who should benefit.

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.

Max didn’t want to hike up the steep trail to Cranny’s Crow. He let me know this by sitting down on the trail and going limp, nonviolent-protester style, as I tried to lift him up.

I persisted, and a couple of hours later, my seven-year-old son and I broke through some shrubs and onto the rocky ledge. In the distance, the Shenandoah Mountains rolled into the horizon like waves in the ocean.

Max was elated. He lifted his head and let out a yelp of joy.

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.

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