First Coast Connect With Melissa Ross

Weekdays 9 a.m. Rebroadcast 8 p.m.

Hosted by Melissa Ross, First Coast Connect is an hour-long call-in program that features local newsmakers, civic and community leaders, artists and people planning a variety of events across Northeast Florida, along with a weekly roundtable of local journalists.

  • Join The Conversation: (904) 549-2937 (Note: This line is only active during the program, 9 -10 a.m.) 
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First Coast Connect is sponsored in part by Baptist Health and North Florida TPO.

WJCT Sport Analyst Cole Pepper's sports wrap is sponsored by the Black Sheep Restaurant Group, which includes BellwetherRestaurant Orsay and Black Sheep.

The twice-a-month Going Green segment is sponsored in part by A1A Solar and the monthly First Coast Success segment is sponsored in part by Iberiabank.

The monthly First Coast Connect Book Club is sponsored in part by San Marco Books and more.

Photo by Ryan Ketterman / Visit Jacksonville

On the Friday Media Roundtable, journalists analyzed the results of Tuesday’s city elections along with The Jacksonville Landing’s expected date with a wrecking ball and other news making headlines this week.

Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

Activists from around the country are coming to town this Saturday for the TakeEmDownJax rally


Incumbent Mayor Lenny Curry easily fought off challengers, including outgoing Councilwoman Anna Brosche, in Tuesday’s election. 


For the first time since regaining the right to vote after Amendment 4 was passed last November, Jacksonville’s returning citizens have the opportunity to make their voices heard in Tuesday’s mayoral election, the race for sheriff, City Council races, and more.


A wide-ranging college admissions cheating and bribery scandal recently rocked the higher education world. We explored its potential ramifications here in Northeast Florida with John Delaney, Former Jacksonville Mayor and President Emeritus of the University of North Florida.

Craft Distilling

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:

Mayoral candidate Omega Allen

Mayoral candidate Omega Allen, who is running with no party affiliation, spoke about her plans for Jacksonville and answered listener's questions before the March 19 election.

Related: WJCT Voter’s Guide

Dentist Shortage

The Floridians for Access Coalition states that five million Floridians live in areas with a dentist shortage crisis.

Heather Schatz / WJCT News

With less than a week to go before election day, candidates in Duval County are making their final push to sway voters.


Mayoral Candidate Jimmy Hill joined us to discuss his plans for Jacksonville and what he plans to do in the days leading up to the March 19 election to earn voters' support.

Martin Schoeller

A Florida teen is paying it forward and giving back in big ways. Seth Owen’s story was widely shared when his biology teacher raised $140,000 for his college education on GoFundMe and he was later presented with a $25,000 check on Ellen DeGeneres' TV talk show.

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:

The four candidates running for Jacksonville mayor appeared together on television Wednesday night in a debate. The debate featured Anna Brosche and Lenny Curry, Jimmy Hill and NPA candidate Omega Allen who debated everything from crime to public safety and the plans to sell JEA.

CW Network

The news that the 52-year-old Actor Luke Perry died Monday of a massive stroke affected millions of Americans. They were stunned someone still seemingly so healthy and vibrant could suddenly be gone.

Florida House of Reprsentatives
Wikimedia Commons

The state Legislature kicks off its session today in Tallahassee, with everything from spending on education and the environment to smoking medical marijuana on the table for debate. 

Heather Schatz/WJCT

More than 3,500 teachers and education staff professionals were expected to participate in rallies, sign waving, informational pickets and other activities throughout the state on Monday, including in Northeast Florida, for a "Day of Action." Their message: Fund public schools. Michelle Dillon, president of the St.