Melissa Ross

Talk Show Host/Producer

Melissa Ross joined WJCT in 2009 with 20 years of experience in broadcasting, including stints in Cincinnati, Chicago, Orlando and Jacksonville. During her career as a television and radio news anchor and reporter, Melissa has won four regional Emmys for news and feature reporting. 

In addition to hosting First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross, she also co-hosts the weekly Florida Roundup, which airs Fridays on NPR stations across the state.

Her many accolades include a fellowship with the Metcalf Institute Science Immersion Workshop, where she learned hands on about the science of climate change. 

As executive producer of The 904: Shadow on the Sunshine State, Melissa and WJCT received an Emmy in the documentary category at the 2011 Suncoast Emmy Awards. The 904 examined Jacksonville’s status as Florida’s murder capital.

WJCT’s First Coast Connect With Melissa Ross has received multiple national awards from Public Radio News Directors Inc. for best call-in program.

Prior to joining WJCT, Melissa spent three years in the corporate communications field at Jacksonville’s Dalton Agency. During her stint at Dalton, she was cast in the HBO film "Recount" playing — what else? — a reporter!

Married with two children, Melissa is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and Communications.

Ways to Connect

Jean Ribault High School in Jacksonville
Florida Times-Union

A direct descendant of French explorer Jean Ribault says it would be a mistake to rename two Duval County Public Schools bearing the Ribault moniker.

Former Kids Hope Alliance CEO Joe Peppers
Will Dickey

Joe Peppers, the former head of the city's Kids Hope Alliance (KHA), is breaking his silence after resigning last year following a troubled tenure leading Jacksonville's flagship child welfare agency.

In this Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021 photo, violent protesters, loyal to President Donald Trump, storm the Capitol, in Washington.

Calling his Republican colleagues in the House of Representatives who objected to Electoral College election results "embarrassing," Democratic North Florida Representative Al Lawson says he expects efforts to impeach President Donald Trump to move quickly this week in the House of Representatives.

President Donald Trump and Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden
Associated Press

Many political analysts believe President Donald Trump must win Florida to return to the White House.


After months of isolation and lockdown, Florida residents can now visit their loved ones in extended-care and senior facilities.


As the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the state, tens of thousands of Florida residents face the end of temporary unemployment benefits they had been receiving from the federal government.


The Black Lives Matter movement has sparked protests around the world against systemic racism. It is also sparking fresh discussion about the use of the word “plantation.”

Chris O'Meara / Associated Press

Stopping the spread of COVID-19 requires social distancing, and the wearing of face masks, according to health officials.

Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

As the state’s number of coronavirus cases and its death toll continue to climb, Florida is getting back to business.

Barbara Haws

Jacksonville resident Donald Haws was just three weeks shy of his 89th birthday when he succumbed to COVID-19. His daughter Barbara, who contracted the virus while caring for him, said her dad was one of the first patients in Duval County to die of the virus.

Michael Rivera / Wikimedia Commons

Landlords and tenants are navigating an unprecedented time, as the COVID19 pandemic has shuttered nearly all nonessential businesses.

Surgeon General Jerome Adams
Video still from U.S. Surgeon General's Twitter account

The Centers for Disease Control is now recommending that everyone wear a cloth face mask whenever we go anywhere outside our homes. To help make more available, a grassroots movement has launched in Jacksonville to spread awareness about mask-wearing and get more masks into people's hands.


Publix will now allow some of its workers to wear personal protective equipment while on duty, Maria Brous, director of communications for the grocer, told WJCT News in an email.


Health care workers are among those on the front lines of the coronavius outbreak. As more of them start to become sick, they're starting to speak out about the risks they're facing and asking for changes to working conditions in hospitals.

Heather Schatz / WJCT News

Public pressure continues to mount for accountability and a thorough investigation into JEA's senior leadership and the now-halted negotiations to sell the public utility along with a controversial employee bonus plan that would have paid millions to top brass in the event of a sale.


The chair of the Duval County Democratic Party said Tuesday on First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross he’s seriously considering starting a recall petition against Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry.

Whether you like to shop for holiday gifts online or in-store, we've got you covered this season with a curated selection of locally produced gift ideas that will delight your friends and family, and also help support the First Coast small business community.

laptop keyboard
Rico S. via Flickr

Mak Kapetanovic is a 22-year-old, well-spoken, mild-mannered University of North Florida student. He's also a former white supremacist who's now devoted to deprogramming other young men like himself.

Heather Schatz and Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

Three high-profile Jacksonville lawyers representing the Duval County School Board say their goal is simple.


While he hasn't supported impeachment yet, North Florida Congressman Al Lawson says a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on the matter is likely to happen soon.

Florida Times-Union file photo

Duval County Public Schools Board Chair Lori Hershey said Wednesday she believes the City of Jacksonville's controversial involvement in the school board's struggle to get a half-cent sales tax referendum on the ballot this fall "feels more like extortion, as well as being held hostage."

UF Health

UF Health Jacksonville hospital recently underwent a Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) study from the Urban Land Institute.

Florida Children's Week

Children’s Week in Tallahassee is an annual event in which legislators, policy makers, business leaders and child advocates from across the state come together to focus on the needs of kids.

Flooding at Atlantic Blvd. in Atlantic Beach during Hurricane Irma.
City of Atlantic Beach

The City of Atlantic Beach is proactively addressing sea level rise and climate adaptation by developing a coastal vulnerability assessment and adaptation plan. 

Lindsay Fox / Wikimedia Commons

A new “State of Tobacco Control” report from the American Lung Association concludes there has been a 78 percent increase in high school e-cigarette use over the last year.

Bob Self / The Florida Times-Union

The city’s newly-formed Task Force on Safety and Crime Reduction recently had its first meeting.

City of Jacksonville

After 32 years of one traditional event honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. - this year, there will be two MLK celebrations in Jacksonville Friday, instead of one.

If this unusually warm winter weather has you thinking about climate change, you’re not alone.

Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

Some City Council members are raising the alarm about JEA’s process for selecting a new CEO.

Melissa Ross / WJCT News

It's a modern alternative to a hard seawall that can soften the impact of strong storms and rising seas due to a warming planet.