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.

Florida is getting failing grades on its efforts to reduce teen smoking and vaping, according to a new report

CREDIT TEX TEXIN / FLICKR

The city’s newly-formed Task Force on Safety and Crime Reduction - charged with combating violent crime in our area – met for the first time Friday. David Bauerlein of The Florida Times-Union covered the meeting and joined us to discuss it in more detail.

First Coast Success

Heather Schatz/WJCT

For this week’s First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross Media Roundtable, our panel of journalists looked at some of the biggest stories of the week, including:

Danpaluska / Wiki Commons

More than 800,000 federal workers have now been furloughed for over a month, due to the longest partial government shutdown in US history. 

MICHAEL RIVERA / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Florida may be the next battleground state over abortion rights. With six weeks until the start of the Legislative session, a new proposal has been filed that would ban abortions if a doctor detects a fetal heartbeat.

Heather Schatz/WJCT

For Friday's First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross Media Roundtable, our panel of journalists looked at some of the biggest stories of the week, including:

Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael Anderson / Wikimedia Commons/http://cgig.uscg.mil/media/main.php?g2_itemId=312442

Wednesday marks day 26 of the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. More than 40,000 active-duty Coast Guard members missed their scheduled paycheck Tuesday, as the only military branch to work without pay during the government shutdown. 

Peter Haden / WLRN

More than 40,000 active-duty Coast Guard members missed their scheduled paycheck Tuesday, as the only military branch to work without pay during the government shutdown.

Heather Schatz / WJCT News

After months of speculation about whether she’d run, At-Large City Councilwoman and past Council President Anna Lopez Brosche entered Jacksonville’s Mayoral race to challenge incumbent Mayor Lenny Curry - a fellow Republican – on Friday. At her campaign kickoff event, Brosche called for more transparency in city government, a stronger focus on public safety and an end to what she says is bullying and cronyism at City Hall.

Gov. Ron DeSantis Transition Team

This week on The Florida Roundup, we discussed Governor Ron DeSantis’ first few days in office – and what lies ahead – with Jim Saunders, Executive Editor for News Service of Florida and Ana Ceballos, who covers state government and politics for the USA TODAY NETWORK.

Abukar Adan/WJCT

For Friday's First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross Media Roundtable, our panel of journalists looked at some of the biggest stories of the week, including:

PBS NewsHour

As the government shutdown drags on, President Trump delivered his first prime-time Oval Office address to the nation last night, where he described the situation at the Mexican border as a “humanitarian crisis.” In their response, Democrats criticized the president for asking taxpayers to pay for a wall he had long said Mexico would fund. They also accused him of fearmongering and lying about the true situation at the border.

WJCT News & Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday morning, Floridians with a felony conviction became eligible to get their voting rights back under Amendment 4, which was approved in November. We spoke to Ben Frazier, President of the Northside Coalition of Jacksonville, and local attorney John M.

CYD HOSKINSON / WJCT NEWS

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission submitted its report to the state last week. It’s more than 400 pages long, and goes into detail about what led to the February 14, 2018 tragedy – and what could be done to prevent a school shooting in the future. 

Heather Schatz / WJCT News

For this week’s First Coast Connect Media Roundtable, our panel of journalists looked at some of the biggest stories of the week, including:

Flooding in Jacksonville after Hurricane Irma.
Robert Torbert

Has this unusually warm winter weather got you thinking about climate change? Well, you’re not alone.

Activists around the world and in the United States are emphasizing the need to take bold steps to reduce carbon emissions to fight the dangerous effects of a warming planet.

Heather Schatz/WJCT

First Coast Connect kicked off 2019 with a look at what’s in store for Jacksonville in 2019 -  including everything from local and state politics, to business trends, to food and pop culture.

WLRN

This week on the Florida Roundup, we looked back at some of the biggest statewide stories of 2018, such as the deadly school shooting in Parkland, which led to a landmark gun and school safety law; the election, which resulted in several mandated recounts; the blue-green algae and red tide that appeared in bodies of water around the state; and Hurricane Michael, which slammed into the Panhandle.

Douglas P Perkins / Wikicommons

Education is an enormous piece of the state budget. Hundreds of thousands of people work in the industry, and millions of Florida families send their kids to public schools each day.

View of downtown Jacksonville from the St. Johns River.
Ryan Ketterman / Visit Jacksonville

For this week’s First Coast Connect Media Roundtable, our panel of journalists looked at some of the biggest local stories of 2018, including:

Stethoscopes/Wikicommons / Own work

According to new data by the U.S. Census Bureau, roughly 2.7 million people in Florida lacked health insurance at some point in 2017.

Going without health insurance either by choice or because you simply can’t afford it can have life-threatening consequences. On the First Coast, getting access to care can be just as difficult as in other parts of the state.

Volunteers in Medicine is helping the working uninsured get often lifesaving health care.

Joining us with a closer look was:

Michelle Corum / WJCT News

Sixty-five immigrants became US citizens during halftime at Sunday’s Jaguars game, when the team hosted a naturalization ceremony - the first ever during an NFL game, according to the team.

LINDSEY KILBRIDE / WJCT NEWS

The lawsuit against Duval County Public Schools for hiring armed staffers to patrol school grounds has been refiled, after the initial one was rejected on technical grounds. Local parents are arguing that the school system has gone outside the law in placing armed assistants on school campus who are not sworn police officers.

Heather Schatz / WJCT News

In this week’s First Coast Connect Media Roundtable our panel of journalists looked at:

Ryan Ketterman for Visit Jacksonville

 

Jacksonville is in the midst of a demographic shift, which is putting it on pace to become a minority-majority city, according to our Florida Times-Union news partner.

Jacksonville and Columbus, Ohio are the largest American cities that are still majority white, according to the T-U. But that is about to change.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office / Wikimedia Commons

The Florida Times-Union reporter Tessa Duval has spent the last 20 months investigating youth homicides in Duval County - which are second only to Miami-Dade County - in terms of the number of children arrested in cases of murder and manslaughter here in Florida. She joined us to share some of the findings from ‘When Kids Kill,’ her special report on youth homicide in Duval County, and take listener calls.

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