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

New South Media

It’s been a rough month in West Virginia, with the water crisis and all the negative, stereotypical coverage of Appalachia around the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty.

Let’s take all our anger and frustration and turn it into something positive. Let’s “Turn This Town Around.”

West Virginia Public Broadcasting has been awarded a $750,000 competitive grant to replace all equipment in its main Charleston studio and record and transmit local programs in high definition.

This grant was very competitive -- we received about a quarter of all funding available this year! And it will transform what we can do from our Charleston studio in two ways:

1. We will finally be able to replace our failing, 25-year-old equipment.

It's so old, our engineers have to go to hobbyists on e-bay to find parts.

Twitter / @kenwardjr

Fresh Air recently interviewed Charleston Gazette investigative reporter Ken Ward about the Freedom Industries chemical spill. Here are the highlights:

On how the chemical leak was discovered

Some people who live in that part of town called in both to the metro 911 — the county emergency operation center — and to the state Department of Environmental Protection complaints of an odor, that they smelled some sort of a strong licorice odor in the air.

PBS Newshour via YouTube

On our website, West Virginia LearningMedia, you can find new resources for helping students grades 7 - 12 make sense of the chemical spill and water crisis.

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.

PBS Newshour via YouTube

new story in Current.org 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.

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?

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.

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.

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 wvpublic.org.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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 feedback@wvpublic.org.

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

Chuck Roberts
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.

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 feedback@wvpublic.org.

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.

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.

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.

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 sfinn@wvpublic.org.

EDUCATION

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