WJCT Public Media’s longtime radio call-in show First Coast Connect will continue with an interim host whose voice will be familiar to listeners of the NPR affiliate. Al Letson, the host of nationally-syndicated NPR program Reveal and creator of numerous other projects, will join the show as interim host. The news comes following the departure of Melissa Ross, who hosted the show from 2009 until June 13 of this year when she stepped down to join the administration of incoming Jacksonville mayor Donna Deegan.

Letson grew up in the First Coast and has long been a familiar voice on WJCT radio. Since 2013 he has hosted Reveal, public radio’s first hourlong investigative journalism program, which is heard on over 500 public radio stations across the U.S. and Canada. It currently airs on WJCT News 89.9 at 3 p.m. on Saturdays. Previously, he hosted State of the Re:Union, which was syndicated nationally by WJCT Public Media from 2013 through 2015. The show featured stories from across the country from people and communities that are often overlooked by mainstream media. As a journalist, Letson’s work has received three Peabody Awards and four National Edward R. Murrow Awards, among other accolades.

Letson has had a very diverse career as a storyteller. In addition to radio, his curriculum vitae includes spoken word, screenwriting, graphic novels and playwriting. His playwriting credits include The Centre Cannot Hold, Summer In Sanctuary, Chalk, Julius X and Griot; screenwriting credits include shows for AMC, Apple TV and Hulu.

“It’s great to have Al back on the team here at WJCT Public Media,” said WJCT’s CEO David McGowan in a press release. “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.”

First Coast Connect’ airs live on WJCT News 89.9 every Monday through Friday from 9 am to 10 am. The show also re-broadcasts at 8 pm and 1 am, 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. You can follow the show on Facebook and on Twitter at @FCConair.

Article by Bill Delaney. Contact Bill at wdelaney@moderncities.com.