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.


11:32 am
Sat January 18, 2014

'To Hell With You' - A West Virginian's Raw Response to Water Crisis Goes Viral

Eric Waggoner

I knew Eric Waggoner's essay about the chemical spill went viral when a vice president at NPR sent it to me and said I should read this.

In fact, it's been featured on CNN and Huffington Post. Waggoner is a professor at West Virginia Wesleyan who published the essay under the title "Elemental" on his blog, Cultural Slagheap.

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About Us
10:32 am
Sat January 18, 2014

Current: 'Transformed' West Virginia Public Broadcasting Rises to Chemical Spill Challenge

PBS Newshour host Judy Woodruff interviews Ashton Marra of West Virginia Public Broadcasting about the chemical spill in Charleston.
Credit PBS Newshour via YouTube

new story in says "a transformed West Virginia Public Broadcasting stepped up Jan. 9 with extensive multiplatform coverage of the toxic waste spill."

Current is the news source that covers people in public media. In his story, reporter Andrew Lapin looks at WVPB's coverage of the chemical leak.

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6:19 am
Mon January 13, 2014

7 Things We Know About the Chemical Spill in West Virginia

A faulty retaining wall is being blamed for not containing the leak of Crude MCHM into the Elk River Thursday.
Credit C.W Sigman

For four days, more than  300,000 West Virginia American Water customers in West Virginia have been told not to ingest, cook, bathe, wash or boil water.

Why? A chemical spill Thursday of 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol from Freedom Industries in Charleston.

On Friday, we asked five questions about the spill. Since then, we have found some answers, and even more questions.

1. How harmful is this chemical to drink or breathe?

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9:06 am
Fri January 10, 2014

5 Things We Don't Know About Drinking Water Emergency in West Virginia

Area affected by water contamination in red circle

UPDATE: Monday, January 13, 2014 5:30 a.m.

As of this morning. more than 300,000 people who are customers of West Virginia American Water are being told NOT to ingest, cook, bathe, wash or boil water.

Why? A chemical spill Thursday of 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol from Freedom Industries in Charleston.

On Friday, we asked five questions about the spill. Since then, we have some answers, and even more questions.

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Coming Soon
4:53 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Antiques Roadshow Coming to Charleston in August

At "Antiques Roadshow" in Providence, Rhode Island, appraiser Francis Wahlgren of Christie's (left) uncovers a copy of the book "Anne of Green Gables," bought at a flea market for about $5 and since stored in an attic. The owner and her daughter fell in love with the story, having seen the series on PBS, and the owner's appreciation only intensifies as she learns the volume is a rare 1908 first edition valued at $12,000 to $18,000.

Antiques Roadshow has just announced their 2014 tour dates, and Charleston, W.Va. will be their last stop!

The live event is scheduled for August 16 at the Charleston Civic Center.

This is a big deal for West Virginia Public Broadcasting and for fans who've been asking for Antiques Roadshow to come to West Virginia for years.

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Top 10 List
9:42 am
Sat January 4, 2014

Your Favorite West Virginia Stories of 2013

This map shows which counties have the most absentee land ownership.
Credit WV Center on Budget and Policy

 A study of land ownership, a documentary about a long-running music show, and positive stories about West Virginians --- these are your favorite posts from 2013 on

Here's my personal take on what you like: You like in-depth stories that explain West Virginia to you (Who Owns West Virginia). You like stories that inspire (There's a Change in the Air in this Southern West Virginia Town.) And you like stories that entertain and make you smile (West Virginia First Grader Asks Senator For a Break).

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Storyteller Award
3:37 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Telling West Virginia's Story with Positive Energy

Jeff Sandner, right, and Classical Host Jim Lange having some fun in the studio.

Every month, we recognize an employee or volunteer who goes out of their way to help “tell West Virginia’s story.”

This month, our Storyteller Award goes to an employee whose positive attitude and endless energy makes him a joy to work with: Jeff Sandner.

You might know Sandner as our “All Things Considered” host on West Virginia Public Radio. It’s a tough job for one person – newscasts, spots, underwriters, etc. Jeff does it with excellence and with a smile on his face every day.

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1:32 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

10 Ideas for Healthier Kids in 2014

Kids at Lincoln County’s Midway School love their brightly-colored trays.
Credit Kate Long

Sometimes, living a healthy life in West Virginia takes a little creativity. That's why I love this new website from our contributor and friend Kate Long: Try This West Virginia.

Long looks at West Virginia people and communities who are making it happen -- and she's turned it into a wonderful website with lots of great ideas, information, and pictures.

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Census Report
10:30 am
Tue December 31, 2013

West Virginia Biggest Loser in Population

This chart shows West Virginia's static population since the 1930s.

Is this the 1980s all over again for West Virginia – or is it just a temporary blip? That’s the question I have after learning the state lost population last fiscal year.

In fact, West Virginia lost more people that any other state – 2,376 – according to a new census estimate. The only other state to see a population decrease, Maine, lost 199 people.

The truth is, West Virginia’s population has been pretty static since the 1930s, when it reached 1.8 million for the first time. Since then, it’s gone up and down a bit, but always returned to that same number.

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Happy New Hear!
6:00 am
Tue December 31, 2013

We're Testing Out New Radio Programs on New Year's Day

We're trying something new for 2014. On New Year's Day, we're letting you hear some programs you may not have heard before -- at least not on West Virginia Public Radio.

We really want to hear which ones you like, and which ones you don't. Visit us on our Facebook page, tweet us, or e-mail us at

5:00 AM          The Moth Radio Hour

6:00 AM          State of the ReUnion: Hospitals

7:00 AM          Burn: The Energy Journal, Rising Seas

8:00 AM          The Unconventionals

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2013 in Review
5:00 am
Tue December 31, 2013

4 Accomplishments & 4 "To-Do" Items for West Virginia Public Broadcasting

WVPB Director of Video Production Chuck Roberts on "Read for the Record" day in Kanawha County.
Credit Janet Kunicki

This week, I’m looking back at my first year as leader of this organization -- what we got done in 2013, and what we still have left to accomplish.

It hasn’t been an easy year. I arrived at a station in need of major upgrades at a time of rapidly shrinking government funding.

Thanks to you, our members, and a hard-working staff, we’ve been able to make significant progress in 2013 – and I think we’ll make a lot more in 2014.

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New Year's Eve Specials
2:34 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

WV Public Radio Looks Back on 2013

The state Capitol lit up for the Sesquicentennial celebration.
Credit West Virginia Department of Commerce

On New Year's Eve, it's natural to take a look back at the year that was -- and that's exactly what we're doing at West Virginia Public Radio.

Starting at 9 a.m., we're bringing you some of the best programs about West Virginia from 2013, including three great radio documentaries.

We've also got great music from Mountain Stage and Ed McDonald from Sidetracks.

Let us know what you think about these shows! Go to our Facebook page, tweet us or e-mail

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1:29 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Analysis: West Virginia Second in Benefits from Obamacare

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Republican Sen. Charles Grassley, of Iowa take part in the markup of health care reform legislation.
Credit AP

West Virginia ranks second only to New York as the state getting the best deal from Obamacare, according to a new report from the company Evolution Finance.

The report looks at what all 50 states received through the Affordable Care Act. It uses 11 metrics designed to gauge the law’s impact on consumers and each state’s budget.

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Storyteller Award
9:40 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Check Out the Winner of Our New Award

Sometimes, it takes a village to tell a story. Our new award recognizes employees and volunteers who help tell West Virginia's story.

There are some people at West Virginia Public Broadcasting that you probably know – Beth Vorhees, Jim Lange, Suzanne Higgins, etc. That’s because they’re great talents, and they are the people you see on screen and hear on air.

And then, there are lots of folks here you don’t know – but are just as important to making sure we can tell the true story of West Virginia.

Today, we’re instituting a new monthly award to recognize an employee or volunteer at West Virginia Public Broadcasting who goes above and beyond the call of duty.

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About Us
10:34 am
Sun November 10, 2013

The Latest from West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Another sign of progress: Cookie Monster has rejoined me on the second floor of the Charleston HQ, after some repairs.

It’s that time of the year when things become extremely busy in our personal lives – and also in the life of West Virginia Public Broadcasting. Let’s get to it!

1. Welcome new staff

First of all, let’s all welcome Kristi George as the new Director of Radio. You might remember Kristi from her previous stint here as a host and membership employee. She went on to work for Public Radio International and two state agencies before coming home to lead our radio department, along with our new Radio Operations Director, Bob Powell.

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Behind the Scenes
1:20 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

What we're working on at West Virginia Public Broadcasting

You've probably heard or seen our new slogan, "Telling West Virginia's Story."

For us, it is also a mission statement. It's our job to tell the TRUE story of our state and our Appalachian region.

We're doing that in a myriad of different ways, working on several projects as we speak from our many different departments (Radio, News, Engineering, etc.)

My question to you is, Are we getting this right? And what's missing from this list?

Feel free to comment on this story, or e-mail me directly at


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12:50 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Beckley native Christopher Jennings featured on Pipedreams

Christopher Jennings

Christopher Jennings is a Beckley native and a renowned organist who is being featured this week on the public radio show, "Pipedreams."

West Virginia Public Radio no longer carries the program, but you can hear Jennings here.

Listen for him at the end of the first hour of the show, playing a song by Gerry Hancock called Toccata.

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12:13 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

West Virginia Music Hall of Fame tickets now on sale

Tim O'Brien

You can now buy tickets for next month's West Virginia Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

It's scheduled for Nov. 16 at the Culture Center in Charleston.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting also will broadcast the ceremony live on T.V., radio and via our website,

The inductees are Melvin & Ray Goins, Peter Marshall, Wayne Moss, Tim O’Brien, The Swan Silvertones, Ada “Bricktop” Smith and Eleanor Steber. 

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About Us
3:18 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Five reasons to love our new website

Our new website has a new logo, developed by our graphic designer Chuck Rosenecker.

Imagine this -- you hold in your hand the keys to a new sports car. You open the door, ease into the seats, and breathe in.

This is how I feel about our website. It's shiny and fast, and definitely has that new car smell.

With help from NPR Digital, we've created this new platform with a new address: Why wvpublic? Well, it's easier to say than our old address, and it reflects our mission: we belong to you, the public. This is YOUR website.

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TV Documentary
4:29 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

West Virginians Remember World War II

World War II Veteran Eddie Jackfert

West Virginia has one of the highest percentages of veterans of any state. And many of those veterans come from the "Greatest Generation," who saved the world from fascism.

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