Rachel Iacovone

Gulf Coast Live Associate Producer, Reporter

Rachel Iacovone is a reporter and associate producer of Gulf Coast Live for WGCU News. Rachel came to WGCU as an intern in 2016, during the presidential race. She went on to cover Florida Gulf Coast University students at President Donald Trump's inauguration on Capitol Hill and Southwest Floridians in attendance at the following day's Women's March on Washington.

Rachel was first contacted by WGCU when she was managing editor of FGCU's student-run media group, Eagle News. She helped take Eagle News from a weekly newspaper to a daily online publication with TV and radio branches within two years, winning the 2016 Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award for Best Use of Multimedia in a cross-platform series she led for National Coming Out Day. She also won the Mark of Excellence Award for Feature Writing for her five-month coverage of an FGCU student's transition from male to female.

As a WGCU reporter, she produced the first radio story in WGCU's Curious Gulf Coast project, which answered the question: Does SWFL Have More Cases of Pediatric Cancer?

During Hurricane Irma, Rachel was live on air as the sun shone through the eye of the storm, as it passed over the Collier County Emergency Operations Center where she was stationed.

Rachel graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

Last week we hosted an event in our TV studio called Civil Discourse in a Polarized Society. It was the culmination of a partnership with Gulfshore Life Magazine where we explored how we’ve gotten to the place in our society where talking about difficult issues is practically impossible.

About 100 people turned out for the discussion, led by Dr. Christopher Phillips, author of Socrates Café and Constitution Café, as well as a decades long advocate for civil dialogue. We streamed the event live on Facebook, and you can still watch it there in its entirety, but today we’re going to play a portion of it to give our listeners a sense of what was discussed.


Alliance for the Arts

As WGCU News has been reporting this week, the Florida Legislature’s newly approved budget includes severe cuts to cultural affairs programing. The new nearly $89 billion dollar budget would almost completely defund the Culture Builds grant program from the Division of Cultural Affairs

School District of Lee County

A month after the mass shooting at a Parkland high school, students across the nation planned to walk out of class in solidarity with victims and survivors, but at one Lee County school, students were unsure whether or not they could join the movement.

Quincy Walters

Some Southwest Florida students walked out of their classes at 10:00 this morning on the one month anniversary of the day a 19-year-old walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and opened fire with his legally-obtained AR-15 rifle, killing 17 people.

Before school this morning, students at South Fort Myers High School assembled on the athletics field in the shape of a heart for a vigil. But, for the actual walkout there was some confusion in Lee County as to whether students would be able to participate. In Sarasota County the district and school principals announced they would permit students to participate without fear of repercussions.

WGCU’s Rachel Iacavone was at Cypress Lake High School in Lee County, and Quincy Walters was at Venice High School in Sarasota County, and they both joined us in studio to give us a sense of how it went.


Starting next month, Bailey Tract, a 100-acre part of the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, will close for a hydrological restoration effort. It’s one of the lesser-known trails at the preserve. Biologists say the plan involves partially filling the Ani Pond, reconnecting wetland habitat and other hydrological enhancements, to benefit the State-threatened Sanibel Island rice rat, as well as marsh birds and other species dependent on the marsh habitats. We’re joined by Jeremy Conrad, he’s a Senior Wildlife Biologist at the refuge.