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.

WinCup

There’s a new eco-friendly drinking straw on the market, and it looks like it could be a viable option for businesses seeking alternatives to traditional plastic straws.

OFFICE OF REP. AL LAWSON

North Florida Representative Al Lawson joined us to discuss last week’s attack on the Capitol, the continued fallout from it, and what comes next.

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

It has been a record-breaking week for new COVID-19 infections in Florida. So far, however, efforts to get vaccines distributed have been confusing and slow.

SKY LEBRON / WJCT NEWS

This month, Jacksonville City Councilwoman Joyce Morgan will lead a series of “Safer Together” workshops aimed at creating a safer community.

We kicked off the new year with a closer look at the latest on the proposed $457 million Lot J plan.

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

2020 was dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic and politics, and oftentimes, the two were intertwined in Florida.

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

COVID-19 has cost Florida billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs. The virus has hit the state’s biggest industry — tourism — hard.

LINDSEY KILBRIDE / WJCT NEWS

In Jacksonville, there have been real efforts this year to address long-standing racial inequities in the city.

UF Health Jacksonville

After a long and difficult year in this pandemic, some good news is finally on the horizon.

YUI MOK / AP

Florida’s top public health official said Tuesday that five Florida hospitals, including UF Health Jacksonville, could receive COVID-19 vaccinations as early as next week.

Tommy Hazouri's Facebook page

The leader of the Jacksonville City Council has kicked the discussion over the controversial Lot J development into next year.     

MARK LENNIHAN / AP

As we all prepare for what could be a tough winter dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, the drug maker Pfizer announced Monday that an early analysis of its coronavirus vaccine trial suggests the vaccine is very effective in preventing Covid-19.

AP Photo/Morry Gash, Pool

President Donald Trump won Florida and its 29 electoral votes handily this week. 

Early voting sign
David Luckin / WJCT News

  

More than 19,000 early votes had already been cast in Duval County by 3 p.m. Monday – and that’s on top of the more than 77,000 who have already voted by mail.

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.

CREDIT ANDREW HARNIK / AP PHOTO


 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
MELISSA ROSS / WJCT NEWS

 


 

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. 

RICK BOWMER / ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE PHOTO

 


 

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.

CYD HOSKINSON / WJCT NEWS

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

CHARLIE NEIBERGALL / ASSOCIATED PRESS

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.

ANDREW HARNIK / ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE PHOTO

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).

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