WJCT Public Media Selects Anne Schindler to Host “First Coast Connect”

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Neily Braren, Promotion & Marketing Associate

904.318.2633 • nbraren@wjct.org

WJCT Public Media Selects Anne Schindler to Host “First Coast Connect”
Accomplished producer, journalist and editor will begin Monday, October 30 

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Oct. 12, 2023 — WJCT Public Media today announced the selection of Anne Schindler as the permanent host of “First Coast Connect,”  WJCT News 89.9’s flagship daily public affairs program. Schindler will begin her new role Monday, Oct. 30, 2023.

Schindler is a multi-skilled journalist with more than 30 years of experience, including broadcast television production, investigative reporting and editing. Since 2012, she has served as an Executive Producer of Special Projects for First Coast News, the news brand for Northeast Florida’s NBC and ABC affiliates. Previously, she spent 17 years with Folio Weekly during its peak circulation and readership in the late 1990s and through the aughts — first as a reporter, and working her way up to editor-in-chief from 2002 until her departure.

Al Letson will conclude his tenure as interim host of “First Coast Connect” on Friday, Oct. 13, with guest hosts from Oct. 16-27.

“Anne has a breadth of knowledge and insight about the First Coast that can only come from decades of on-the-ground experience, and we’re excited to welcome her as the full-time host of the region’s most important daily conversation, ‘First Coast Connect.’ Adding a journalist of her caliber is another important step in the strengthening of our newsroom team,” said David McGowan, president and CEO of WJCT Public Media. “As we welcome Anne, I also want to extend my deep gratitude to Al Letson for his exceptional service as the show’s interim host since July. Al’s talent, charisma and candor were on full display during the last months while we conducted the search for a permanent host. I wish him all the best in his many creative and journalistic endeavors — hopefully to include some additional work with us in the near future.”

Schindler is an award-winning journalist whose credits include a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for investigative journalism, eight Association of Alternative Newsweeklies Awards and five NATAS Suncoast Emmy Awards, including in the investigative reporting and topical documentary categories. During her tenure with First Coast News and Folio Weekly, she reported on high-profile criminal cases such as the murders of Maddie Clifton and Jordan Davis; complex business and political stories, like the attempted sale of JEA and the city’s discovery and remediation of toxic incinerator ash dumps; and societal concerns, from education to employment issues. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in journalism. She currently serves as the Chair of the Northeast Florida Media Committee and on the University of North Florida School of Communication’s Professional Advisory Board.

“I arrived in Northeast Florida at a time when Folio Weekly challenged elected officials and highlighted fringe tastemakers in equal measure. When I made the move to broadcast journalism, I had the opportunity to dig deeper into big stories. To bring everything I’ve learned to ‘First Coast Connect’ at this moment in our region’s evolution is a dream opportunity. I’m ready to listen — and to ask the hard questions that matter to our audience,” said Schindler.

“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 episodes are posted daily at wjctnews.org and disseminated through all major podcast platforms.

For more information, please visit news.wjct.org/show/first-coast-connect.  


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).