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

West Virginia’s economy has a “chicken and egg” problem.

To grow more jobs here, we need better-educated, healthy employees.

But before we can afford to pay for better schools and health, we need more jobs and more businesses.

As you might imagine, liberals and conservatives have different ideas which should come first – lower taxes or higher education and health spending.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  

He bought the ax and the tackle box from a desperate woman by the side of the road.

"She was selling her life away, her memories, just to have enough money to have food," Jim Justice said in his first speech as governor, as he held the ax and the tackle box.

"She looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, 'Mister, you don't have any idea how bad I'm hurting,'" Justice said.

Justice is promising big changes, now that he's governor. In his inaugural speech, he said he wanted to:

- Raise the pay of teachers

U.S. National Archive Jack Corn

Why is Donald Trump so popular in Appalachia? And how confident are Appalachians that Trump will change the economy and bring back thousands of coal mining jobs?

What do Donald Trump, goat yoga and West Virginia's budget have in common? Find out on this week's Front Porch podcast.

Anne Li / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Appalachia voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump. He won 95% of the counties here. On this week’s Inside Appalachia, we speak with Trump supporters and opponents about how a Trump presidency will impact our region.

Woody Thrasher says West Virginians don’t give themselves nearly enough credit.

“West Virginians do have a self-esteem problem,” the incoming W.Va. Secretary of Commerce told “The Front Porch.”

“I oftentimes see where we don’t shoot as high as we should. I think it’s understandable, but regrettable, and it’s very much at the center of what Governor-elect Justice wants to change,” he said.

Charleston Gazette-Mail

Since Donald Trump’s election, membership in the ACLU of West Virginia has gone up 30 percent, according to executive director Joseph Cohen.

On The Front Porch podcast, Cohen discussed how his organization is preparing for President Trump in three areas:

WVPA

Drug wholesalers sent 780 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills into West Virginia over six years, according to an investigation by the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

Meanwhile, 1,728 West Virginians died from overdoses of these two powerful painkillers.

Who let it happen? Investigative reporter Eric Eyre, of the Charleston Gazette-Mail, answered our questions about his series on The Front Porch.

U.S. Government

Ken Hechler, longtime West Virginia Congressman, Secretary of State, WWII veteran and author of "The Bridge at Remagen," has died. He was 102.

Hechler served in Congress from 1959 to 1977 and became an advocate for coal mine health and safety, and environmental protection.

Steve Helber / AP Photo

A higher percentage of voters supported Donald Trump in West Virginia than in any other state, according to the Cook Political Report’s 2016 National Popular Vote Tracker

Two of every three West Virginia voters chose Trump – 68.6 percent. That narrowly beats out the next pro-Trump states: Wyoming (68.2 percent), Oklahoma (65.3 percent), North Dakota (63.0 percent) and Kentucky (62.5 percent).

Courtesy of the artist

Every month, NPR asks 10 public-radio music curators to share the songs they're loving right now.

This early-winter mix doesn't disappoint. West Virginia Public Broadcasting's Joni Deutsch (host of A Change of Tune and producer/guest host of NPR's Mountain Stage) shared her favorite song with NPR's Weekend Edition.

UC Hastings

How could a billionaire born into wealth become the champion of the white working class?

That question stumped a lot of liberal commentators, but Joan Williams wasn’t surprised.

Williams studies the white working class and is founding director of the Center for WorkLife Law at UC Hastings College of the Law.

Last week in Charleston, a white man shot and killed a black teen, 15-year-old James Means. The accused told police, “The way I look at it, that's another piece of trash off the street."

Unlike other cities where similar things happened, Charleston did not erupt into violent protests.

Why did so much of middle America vote Trump? J.B. Akers says it’s too simple to write it off to racism and misogyny.

Akers is a West Virginia lawyer whose blog post on the Trump election went viral. It’s called, “Trump Won and I Don't Understand Why You Don't Understand.”

Akers said he was motivated to write the essay after reading the reaction of his more cosmopolitan friends on social media.

West Virginia Press Association

Does our focus on revitalizing the coal industry hinder the state from diversifying its economy?

A majority of West Virginians want the focus to be on diversification over protecting the coal industry, according to a new survey.

Twitter

The working class is in trouble - especially the part with roots in Appalachia.

In his best-selling memoir "Hillbilly Elegy," J.D. Vance tells how he escaped the chaos of his mother's drug abuse and serial boyfriends/husbands.

In an interview with "Inside Appalachia," Vance acknowledges the role de-industrialization plays in working-class decline. But he says cultural decline may be even more important.

Our podcast "Inside Appalachia" inspired Matthew Shirley to take a trip to our region. This is a pretty cool fact by itself, made even cooler by where Matthew is from: England.

By pure chance, Matthew was staying as an Airbnb guest with our health reporter, Kara Lofton. Imagine her surprise when she found out why he came to West Virginia!

Matthew is a primary school principal in Callington, England. He became fascinated with our region after listening to the “Inside Appalachia” podcast. So he decided to come here to see it for himself.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting is happy to announce it has restored service on its television translators in Wheeling and Martinsburg, after being off for more than two months.

Gov. Rockefeller at a WVU Football Game
The Rockefeller Family

Two WVPB documentaries took top prizes at the 52nd Annual Ohio Valley Regional Emmy Awards.

"Jay: A Rockefeller's Journey" won for best historical documentary, and "The First 1,000 Days: Investing in West Virginia's Children When It Counts" in the societal concerns category.

For a state that's already assumed to be firmly in Donald Trump's camp, West Virginia has received a lot of attention at the Democratic National Convention.

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