Heather Schatz

Senior Producer, Talk Shows

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.

MARY ALTAFFER / ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE PHOTO

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are continuing to rise in our area, as students are preparing to return to school in a few weeks - without a mask mandate.

Heather Schatz/WJCT

Editor's Note: Heather Schatz is the senior producer of WJCT News' talk shows. In this essay she shares her family’s experience with her son’s COVID diagnosis. 

FL House of Representatives

State Representative Angie Nixon joined us to discuss her thoughts about how the Orange Crush Festival was handled other issues related to recent policy changes in Florida from the 2021 Legislative Session.

CHRIS O'MEARA / ASSOCIATED PRESS

This week, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-St. Petersburg, announced he’s running for governor in 2022.

NEWS4JAX

 

On this week’s Friday Media Roundtable, we discussed some of the top stories in Northeast Florida, including:

CHRIS O'MEARA / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Some Florida officials are voicing their outrage over Gov. Ron DeSantis' suspension of all local COVID-19 emergency orders. The Republican governor issued the executive order Monday, as the state has 28.27% of the population fully vaccinated, according to Johns Hopkins coronavirus data.

AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

There’s been a lot of discussion lately about the Jobs for Jax transportation plan, which would raise the gas tax by 6 cents a gallon to pay for infrastructure projects across the city.

WFSU

The U.S. Census Bureau announced the initial results of the nationwide 2020 population count this week. 

THE OFFICE OF FLORIDA GOVERNOR RON DESANTIS

On today’s program, we took a closer look at the continued controversy around Florida’s “anti-riot bill” or HB-1, which Governor DeSantis signed into law on Monday. The bill raises the penalties for violence, burglary, looting and property damage during protests, among other things. 

Supporters say the new law gives added protection to innocent people who might get caught in the crosshairs of violent protests.

Critics say the law contains vague language that could lead to people being arrested while demonstrating peacefully.

Heather Schatz/WJCT

Live music is returning to the Daily’s Place stage Friday night.

CHRIS O'MEARA / ASSOCIATED PRESS

On Friday’s program we took a closer look at YouTube's decison to take down a video of Gov. Ron DeSantis and controversial health policy experts. YouTube claimed the video spread misinformation about kids and masks to stop COVID-19.

CHRIS O'MEARA / ASSOCIATED PRESS

On Friday’s program we took a closer look at the 60 Minutes piece on Gov. Ron DeSantis’ vaccine rollout and his reaction to it with Marc Caputo of Politico and Joshua Scacco, an associate professor in the Department of Communication at the University of South Florida.

MARTA LAVANDIER / ASSOCIATED PRESS

 

On Friday’s program, we took a look at the latest on Florida’s vaccination efforts and the reluctance of some young adults to be vaccinated. Starting Monday, all Florida residents that are age 16 and older will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination.

Our guests exploring the topic were:

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

On Friday’s program, we discussed Florida’s pandemic response – and how it measures up to that of other large states - with Dr. Ali Mokdad, Chief Strategy Officer, Population Health, University of Washington.

AP Photo/Marta Lavandier

On Friday’s program we took a closer look at how COVID-19 vaccines are being administered in Florida with reporters from around the state, including:

MARTA LAVANDIER / ASSOCIATED PRESS

On Friday’s program we took a closer look at who is now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine - and where to get it - with Julio Ochoa of WUSF and Nicole Darden Creston of WMFE.

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

State Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz, who oversees Florida’s vaccination distribution, announced earlier this week that he plans to step down in April.

A sign advises passengers to wear face masks as they approach a security checkpoint at Miami International Airport, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, in Miami.
AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Florida is now a hotspot for the more contagious strain of COVID-19, which originated in the United Kingdom. So far, almost 350 cases have been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control.

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

On Friday's program, we took a closer look at where things stand with the state’s supply of COVID-19 vaccines - as well as the latest on its distribution efforts - with Ben Conarck, who covers health care for the Miami Herald and Stephanie Colombini, who reports on health care news for WUSF in Tampa.

Long-Term Care Facilities and the COVID-19 Vaccine

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.

Protesters marched in support of Black Lives in this file photo.
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.     

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