Jacksonville News

Photo by Member Mark Krancer, Kram Kran Photo

Photo by Member Mark Krancer, Kram Kran Photo


Date ArticleType
7/5/2023 4:00:00 AM Member News

WJCT Public Media Appoints Al Letson as Interim Host of “First Coast Connect”

Multi-talented host and reporter will begin Wednesday, July 5, 2023

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., June 27, 2023 — WJCT Public Media today announced the appointment of Al Letson as the interim host of “First Coast Connect,” starting Wednesday, July 5, 2023. The show’s host since 2009, Melissa Ross, stepped down from her role; her final day on the air was June 13, 2023.

The announcement marks a homecoming of sorts for Letson, who grew up in Northeast Florida and remains both a familiar name and voice on WJCT News 89.9. As the host of “Reveal,” public radio’s first hour-long investigative journalism show, Letson’s reporting is heard on over 500 public radio stations every week — including WJCT News 89.9, where it airs every Saturday at 3 p.m.

Letson’s interdisciplinary work as a storyteller spans from radio broadcasting to spoken word, and from screenwriting to graphic novels. His playwriting credits include “The Centre Cannot Hold,” Summer In Sanctuary,” “Chalk,” “Julius X” andGriot.” He has worked in TV writers rooms for AMC, Apple TV, and Hulu. He has also sold and developed shows with AMC, FX, STARZ and EONE.

“It’s great to have Al back on the team here at WJCT Public Media,” said David McGowan, WJCT’s CEO. “We want to make sure the voice of ‘First Coast Connect’ can carry on the region’s most important conversation every day, with a conversational approachability and strong journalistic instincts. Al is more than qualified on every count. He’s an engaging storyteller, and makes every conversation an invitation for listeners to connect with each other and their community in meaningful ways.”


Longtime listeners will recall Letson’s work on “State of the Re:Union,” which was syndicated nationally by WJCT Public Media from 2013 through 2015. The show told America’s story from the ground up, traveling the country to tell stories of, by and for many of the individuals and communities that are regularly forgotten by mainstream media. As a journalist, Letson has received critical acclaim and numerous awards, including three Peabody Awards and four National Edward R. Murrow Awards.

“I’m so excited to be hosting ‘First Coast Connect,’ and reconnecting with the city,” said Letson. “It’s an honor to talk to the community I know and love every morning. Storytelling is what I do, and I’m grateful for this opportunity to be a part of Northeast Florida’s story every weekday morning.”

"First Coast Connect'' airs live on WJCT News 89.9 every Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. The show also re-broadcasts at 8 p.m. and 1 a.m., and episode recaps are shared daily at news.wjct.org/firstcoastconnect. Additionally, the show can be streamed online on the WJCT Public Media app, wjct.org, Alexa, and most major audio streaming platforms like iHeartRadio and TuneIn. It is also available as a podcast on all major podcasting platforms including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.

For more information about First Coast Connect, please visit https://news.wjct.org/firstcoastconnect. More updates can be found on Facebook (facebook.com/WJCTFirstCoastConnect) and Twitter (@FCConair).


About WJCT Public Media

WJCT is the community-owned and operated public media organization serving Jacksonville and the First Coast since 1958, using television, radio, digital media, and live events to help community members learn, share, and grow.  For more information on WJCT’s in-depth programming content, log on to WJCT Online at wjct.org.  Like WJCT on Facebook (facebook.com/wjctjax) and follow WJCT on Twitter (@WJCTJax) and Instagram (@WJCTJax).