Heather Schatz

Talk Show Producer

Heather spent close to 10 years at CBS News in New York City, where she worked for CBS Network Radio, CBS This Morning and The Early Show, producing news and feature stories for television and radio. While there, she was nominated for a national Emmy Award for a feature series and received National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Certificates of Recognition for the reporting of the September 11 events and the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.

Since returning to Florida in 2007, Heather has worked as the communications director for Best Buddies International and the National YoungArts Foundation and as a communications consultant for a number of businesses. 

She is also a long-standing member of the Writer’s Guild of America, East, and contributes to Edible Northeast Florida magazine. Heather has a master's degree in journalism and mass communications from New York University and a bachelor's degree in public policy from Cornell University. 

Heather lives at the Beaches with her husband and two children.

Southeastern Grocers

Jacksonville-based Southeastern Grocers (SEG), the parent company of Winn-Dixie, Harveys Supermarkets, BI-LO and Fresco y Más supermarkets, has confirmed to WJCT News that it has taken an initial step toward becoming a publicly traded company.

The Daydream Library Series

Thurston Moore, co-founder of Sonic Youth, an avant-garde band whose "artful noise" influenced an entire generation of alternative and indie rockers, will release his seventh solo album, By the Fire, Friday, September 25.


 A new report finds Florida is sliding deeper into an affordable housing crisis.

Photo by Taylor Wilcox on Unsplash

On Wednesday my 7th grader was looking forward to his first JV baseball practice after school. But instead, we got a text from him in the middle of the day:  “I have to go home.” 

A medical marijuna nursery is pictured in this file photo.
Gerald Herbert / Associated Press



Edible medical marijuana products have been approved, four years after Florida voters approved the legalization of medical marijuana. 


A damaged collection box in Jacksonville's Springfield neighborhood



House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Sunday that she would call the House back from its annual summer recess for a vote this week on legislation to block changes at the Postal Service.

Photo/Charlie Riedel


On today’s program we took a closer look at how the COVID-19 pandemic is dividing Floridians on issues such as wearing facemasks in public, reopening schools and playing sports. 




On Friday’s episode of First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross, our Media Roundtable discussed some of the top stories impacting Northeast Florida this week, including:

Credit Brandon Anderson / Flickr Creative Commons

Violent crime continues to be an issue in Jacksonville.


A new report from the Jacksonville Public Education Fund (JPEF) looks at the state of our local school buildings.


Schools around the state - including Baker County - are starting to reopen today. 

File photo of an empty restaurant
Andrew Seaman on Unsplash

A new forecast projects as many as one in three U.S. restaurants may close permanently this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Heather Schatz/WJCT

A move to rename Hemming Park after James Weldon Johnson, the Jacksonville native who composed the famous anthem "Lift Every Voice and Sing," ran into opposition this week. Local veterans organizations made a late-breaking push to rechristen the city's first and oldest park as Veterans Memorial Park.

AP Photo/LM Otero, File


Given the rising coronavirus numbers, it’s no surprise that many teens are anxious about going back to brick-and-mortar schools right now.

AP Photo/Chris O'Meara


As the pandemic continues to rage throughout the state, tens of thousands of Florida residents have been cut off from the temporary unemployment benefits they had been receiving from the federal government. Congress has yet to come to agreement on a new benefit plan for the jobless.


On Friday's program, we got an update on Hurricane Isaias from Ray Hawthorne, who is a meteorologist with the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (FPREN).

In this GOES-16 satellite image taken Friday, July 31, 2020, at 8:40 a.m. EDT., and provided by NOAA, Hurricane Isaias churns in the Caribbean.
In this GOES-16 satellite image taken Friday, July 31, 2020, at 8:40 a.m. EDT., and provided by NOAA, Hurricane Isaias churns in the Caribbean.



On Friday’s episode of First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross, our Media Roundtable discussed some of the top stories impacting Northeast Florida this week, including:



The St. Augustine City Commission decided to remove a monument honoring Confederate soldiers last month. On Sunday, dozens rallied in the Plaza de la Constitucion showing their opposition to that move.

Native Sun Natural Foods Market / Via Facebook

Locally-based Native Sun Natural Foods Market reopened its Jacksonville Beach location earlier this year after closing its doors last summer.

Evan Dvorkin / https://unsplash.com/@evphotocinema

One group that’s been hit particularly hard by the pandemic are Florida’s craft beer brewers.


Despite the steady rise in new coronavirus cases, area schools are still planning to open on August 10, for both brick and mortar and virtual classes.

Charlie Neibergall/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Educators, parents and students in Northeast Florida are scrambling to figure out what school will look like when it starts back up for some in August.

Sign inside Disney store door

Another store at the St. Johns Town Center has apparently permanently closed.

AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

As the number of new coronavirus cases in Florida continues to soar, researchers are trying to improve the state’s coronavirus testing and tracing efforts.

Associated Press

There’s a battle brewing over what back-to-school in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic might look like in Florida.

Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press



A lawsuit has been filed in Jacksonville seeking to scale back the Republican National Convention next month at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. The complaint calls the event a public nuisance.

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Part of the Republican National Convention is still scheduled to take place in Jacksonville next month. A group of local pastors have joined the growing local chorus in speaking out against it.

FILE - In this July 21, 2016, file photo, confetti and balloons fall during celebrations after Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's acceptance speech on the final day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.



Florida has topped 200,000 coronavirus cases.

AP Photo/Elise Amendola


On this week’s program, we took a closer look at voting in Florida and how the election might play out here this fall.