Melissa Ross

Host/Producer, "First Coast Connect"

"First Coast Connect" 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. 

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" 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. She also writes for the Florida Politics blog. 

Ways to Connect

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT News

Attorney Ges Selmont of Ponte Vedra Beach is the Democrat trying to unseat incumbent Republican Congressman John Rutherford.


It’s an enlightening - and alarming - explanation of the climate challenge we face here in Florida and around the world. Author Jeff Nesbit claims climate change is no far-off threat. It’s here now.


Ken Burns has used his camera lens to tell the essential tales of American history, from westward expansion and the dust bowl to the history of Jazz and the Vietnam War.

Left: Andrew Gillum's Facebook page, Right: Associated Press

Progressives are on the march within the Democratic Party.

Samantha Melamed/ / Via Associated Press

Inmates across America are on strike- inside their prisons - demanding an end to what they say is torture and abuse.

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT News

Former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown says he’s confident of an upset victory, even though polls show incumbent Congressman Al Lawson leading in Florida's 5th Congressional District race.

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT News

Dr. Diana Greene has been on the job for a month now as Duval County's new superintendent, coming to Jacksonville after a stint leading the school system in Manatee County, Florida.

Fanatics started as a small Jacksonville firm. Over the years it has built a global business in online sports retail. But now the firm faces a major obstacle.

The Jacksonville Daily Record

Jacksonville At-Large Group 1 City Councilwoman Anna Lopez Brosche first floated the possibility that she might run for mayor several months ago during an appearance on First Coast Connect. She was City Council President at the time.

Billy Hicks / Wikimedia Commons

Here’s a reminder: if you live in Duval County it is officially illegal to shoot off fireworks. Unofficially of course, thousands of people will do it anyway.

Benson Kua / Wikimedia Commons

The largest survey of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex adults ever conducted in Northeast Florida finds 74.5 percent of LGBTI respondents have experienced “everyday discrimination,” such as being disrespected, threatened or harassed.

Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

The National Low Income Housing Coalition has released its annual Out of Reach report, and it shows how affordable housing really is “out of reach” for millions of low-wage workers, seniors and people with disabilities living on fixed incomes, and other low-income households.

David J. Phillip / Associated Press

A local political science professor says divisions are growing deeper as the elections qualifying deadline passes.

Melissa Ross

This month, First Coast Connect host Melissa Ross traveled to Rhode Island for a fellowship for journalists to learn about the science of climate change. 

Blogtrepreneur / Wikimedia Commons

After police shot and killed a Fort Pierce man back in 2014, the family of Gregory Hill Junior sued for wrongful death.