Kevin Meerschaert

Producer, "First Coast Connect"

Kevin Meerschaert is back at WJCT after two years, rejoining the station as producer of First Coast Connect.

Kevin was a reporter for WJCT News from 2001 until 2014. He previously worked at public radio stations in Salisbury, Maryland;  Evansville, Indiana; and Ypsilanti, Michigan. He won several awards for reporting and was the recipient of the 2007-2008 Media Community Leadership award from Mental Health America of Northeast Florida.

Kevin was born and raised in Michigan, earning his degree in political science from Eastern Michigan University. 

When not at work, you may run into Kevin on Saturday mornings walking around the Riverside Arts Market or in a local park.

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT

It’s been four months since Hurricane Irma and the flooding that hit the area. Thursday on First Coast Connect  we spoke with local attorney Charlie Jimerson who lost his home in the storm and suffered major damage to his business location (01:17).  

We also talked with Erika Curran, who leads the immigration clinic at Florida Coastal School of Law about local reaction to President Donald Trump’s decision to end the temporary protected status for Salvadorans living in the U.S (32:47).

Jacksonville Magazine and 904 Magazine Publisher and editor Joseph White told us about the upcoming lantern parade on Jacksonville’s Northbank. 

Former North Florida Florida Congresswoman Gwen Graham is among the Democrats running for governor this year. She says for too long the state Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott have ignored the serious effects of climate change and rising seas.

Appearing Wednesday on WJCT’s First Coast Connect, Graham said the state needs to take take action against the problems the state is already facing and prepare for the future.

Intravenouswit / Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Democratic candidate for Florida governor Gwen Graham (01:07).

Local attorney Deborah Reed told us about the upcoming exhibit “1st Things 1st” at the Karpeles Museum featuring local artists celebrating the First Amendment (29:10).

We spoke with Jekyll Island Authority events manager Nancy Kring-Rowan about the upcoming annual event Island Treasures on Jekyll Island (39:05).   

We learned about next weekend’s blind bowling tournament with Jacksonville Council for the Blind Vice President Doug Hansard and National Federation for the Blind Jacksonville chapter President Marita Winston (46:00).  

Tuesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Harvard economist Dr. Mihir Desai on tax reform and U.S. competitiveness (01:23).

First Coast Connect Book Club blogger Stacy Goldring talked about one of the nation’s hottest books, Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury (28:58).

WJCT Music Director David Luckin and music host Damien Lamar talked about two new Sunday music programs on 89.9 (46:00).   

Richard Haass

Monday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations about his latest book, A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order  (01:15).

We heard a rebroadcast of our interview with local author Abby Vega (20:19).

Cole Pepper joined to talk about the Jaguars big playoff win and Monday night’s College Football Championship game between Georgia and Alabama (46:00). 

Brian Hughes / City of Jacksonville

Ahead of Sunday’s playoff game between the Jaguars and Buffalo Bills at Everbank Field, Mayor Lenny Curry has placed a friendly wager between himself and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.

Friday on First Coast Connect  our weekly Media Roundtable with David Bauerlein from The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville Business Journal Editor Timothy Gibbons, WJCT Business Analyst John Burr and contributor Fred Matthews.   

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Thursday on First Coast Connect we spoke with local attorney Obi Umunna and WJCT contributor and board member Charles Griggs about how to empower young black voters (01:13).

Our premiere edition of Art Attack featured Lee Hamby from the 5 and Dime Theatre, Arts and Culture Developer Shawana Brooks from the Jacksonville Public Library, arts advocate Diane Brunet Garcia and Keith Marks, who hosts the WJCT music program Avant Radio (31:39).  

Kerry Speckman told us about some of the events coming up this weekend and later in January (46:00).

University of North Florida

Wednesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with outgoing University of North Florida President John Delaney and Ambassador Marilyn McAfee of the World Affairs Council on the upcoming appearance by Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer on campus later this month (01:08).      

Florida Forum Speaker Series chairs Jane Pomar and Katherine Forrester told us about the upcoming speakers to benefit Wolfson Children’s Hospital (34:07).

Local singer Dalton Cyr joined the show and performed in-studio from his latest album (46:00). 

Molly Adams / Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday on First Coast Connect ahead of an expected congressional showdown this month on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program or DACA, we spoke with immigration attorney Giselle Carson, Director of the Refugee Immigration Project at Jacksonville Legal Aid Mariana Munoz and former DACA student “Maria” (01:07).   

The latest segment of Moveable Feast featured the Colonial Quarter and Pirate Museum of St. Augustine (33:16).

Cole Pepper talked about the Jaguars upcoming home playoff game Sunday against the Buffalo Bills and next week’s college football national championship game between Alabama and Georgia (46:00). 

Holly Manuel / WJCT

Friday on First Coast Connect we held our annual Year in Review Media Roundtable with Florida Times-Union Reporter Andrew Pantazi, Charles Griggs from the Jacksonville Free Press, Folio Weekly Editor Claire Goforth and A.G. Gancarski from Florida Politics (01:01).    

We learned the identity of the popular Twitter account @SanMarcoTrain as we spoke with the “train” himself, Jack DeYoung, the Digital Director at Nuera Marketing (46:00).

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Thursday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Jacksonville City Councilman Tommy Hazouri on the issues that affected Jacksonville and City Hall this year (00:52).

Terri Andrews, administrator for Baptist Behavioral Health, and registered nurse Carol Whitefield talked about a initiative to train over 10,000 residents in three years in mental health first aid (35:23).    

Local attorney John Phillips talked about how to avoid identity theft during the holidays (46:00). 


Wednesday on First Coast Connect we spoke to Robbie Gordon. He’s the producer of the upcoming PBS documentary Secrets of Spanish Florida that airs next week on WJCT (01:01).

Dean of St. Johns Cathedral and author the Very Reverend Kate Moorehead told us about her latest book and her turn this month with Volunteers in Medicine Woman with Heart (27:19).

Narlene McLaughlin from Potter’s House International Ministries talked about how to cope with the holidays after a loved one has passed away (35:31).  

Travel blogger Judy Wells told us about her most recent trip on a cruise ship and some ideas for travel in 2018 (46:00). 

Tuesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with WJCT’s business analyst John Burr about the future of CSX in the wake of the death of CEO Hunter Harrison (00:55).

We discussed urban renewal in Jacksonville and the upcoming LISC awards with LISC Jacksonville CEO Janet Owens and City Councilman and LISC Community Development Awards Committee Chair Greg Anderson (12:49).   

The latest segment of Moveable Feast featured Kelly Mabry who owns a number of Tropical Smoothies in town (33:26).

Sulzbacher Center CEO Cindy Funkhouser and Sweet Pete’s founder Peter Behringer told us about their partnership to produce and ship Sulzbacher Sweets (37:01).

927 Events owner Paul Sifton told us about a contest they are holding in connection to the Art Republic Festival (46:00).  

Monday on First Coast Connect  we spoke with Danny Murphy, author of the book  Fake News 101: How To Recognize Fake News and Avoid Being Fooled By It  (01:09).  

WJCT’s Digital Content Editor Bill Bortzfield spoke with Kanine Social owner Dustin Fries and investor Daniel Moffatt (23:44).

Duval Medical Society CEO Bryan Campbell and Foundation President Dr. Sunil Joshi talked about recent physician suicides and what they are doing to help prevent them (34:30).

Cole Pepper talked about the Jaguars big win Sunday over Houston and Jacksonville’s first trip to the playoffs in a decade (46:00).