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.


Some of President Donald Trump's former Homeland Security staff have expressed concern about the risk of public outrage from images surfacing of migrant children being taken into custody and being separated from their families.

On Tuesday’s First Coast Connect with Melissa RossRoy Miller, who is the head of the Children’s Campaign, joined us to take a closer look at how the Trump administration's immigration policies are affecting children.

Kumar Pictures, LLC for the Cultural Council

The City of Jacksonville is marking Public Art Week with a number of events to celebrate the importance of public art in the city this week.

Heather Schatz / WJCT News

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

Action News Jax

Covering the White House and politics in general has been challenging for journalists. So how can you do the news well and profitably in today’s world?

Fibonacci Blue / Creative Commons

Pulse Anniversary And World Blood Donor Day

June marks the third anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting, as a movement aims to make the Pulse nightclub in Orlando a national memorial. President of Jacksonville’s LGBT Community Fund Michael Meyers also joined the show to discuss the effects Pulse had on the city of Jacksonville.



FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program are urging property owners and renters to take steps now to protect their homes before a major storm hits. That includes buying or renewing flood insurance policies. We spoke with David Maurstad, chief executive of the National Flood Insurance Program at FEMA.

Michael Kirk

Bill Bortzfield/WJCT News

Florida has more than 3.5 million no party affiliated voters, or NPAs, which make up some 27 percent of the electorate.

Heather Schatz / WJCT

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

U.S. Department of Agriculture / Via Wikimedia Commons

For thousands of local children, school lunch is their only meal of the day. 

Twelve branches of the Jacksonville Public Library kicked off their Free Summer Lunch Program this week.  Free lunch is offered to all kids up to the age of 18 until August 2.

Heather Schatz / WJCT

JEA is looking at everything from potential future rate hikes, to figuring out how to incorporate more renewable energy into its portfolio, to planning a move into a new corporate headquarters.

Tuesday on First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross, JEA Managing Director and CEO Aaron Zahn joined us with a look at what's ahead for the utility. 


Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and dozens of business and political leaders around Florida are back from a four-day trade mission to Israel.

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.

Susan Davis / WJCT

Special Counsel

After a two year-year silence,  Special Counsel Robert Mueller  has gone public and has said they will not exonerate President Donald Trump

Ryan Stanton / Flickr

Duval County Public School Board members are expressing concerns that high-performing charter schools are drawing from the same pool of well-performing students who would attend public schools.