John Henry Smith | Connecticut Public Radio

John Henry Smith

John Henry Smith is Connecticut Public’s host of All Things Considered, its flagship afternoon new program. In his 19th year as a professional broadcaster, he’s covered both news and sports. 

Before coming to Connecticut Public, John Henry served as sports director for NBC Connecticut and as a Public Relations Specialist for Baldwin Media in New Britain.

Earlier in his career, John Henry spent a year-and-a-half as a news anchor and reporter for News 12 Networks. While there, he won a Deadline Award for his breaking news coverage of a shooting at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital. He’s also worked in various roles across the country, including as a morning show reporter and anchor for nationally broadcast Al Jazeera America in New York City, as a sports reporter in the San Francisco Bay Area for Comcast Sports Net Bay Area. 

John is a 1990 graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga. He worked as a Financial Analyst in the banking industry before getting a M.B.A. from the University of Rochester (New York) and going to work for Eli Lilly and Company. He also earned his masters degree from Syracuse University in 1999.

John was born in San Francisco, CA and raised in Detroit, Mich.  He and his wife, Belinda, have a daughter, Isabella, and a beloved cat named “Scout.” 

Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

The associate dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies at Southern Connecticut State, Jonathan Wharton, was also once a congressional staffer. In the aftermath of the invasion by pro-Trump extremists into Congress, he talked with All Things Considered host John Henry Smith about what happened in the previously hallowed hallways he once roamed, as well as what it all means going forward.

An illustration picture shows vials with COVID-19 vaccine stickers attached and syringes with the logo of U.S. biotechnology company Moderna on November 17.

As he weighs free agent offers this offseason, former Yankee Didi Gregorius is partnering with Johns Hopkins to encourage folks who have tested positive for coronavirus to enroll in a clinical trial for a new covid therapy. 

Johns Hopkins wants to see if plasma drawn from an asymptomatic COVID-19 patient and injected into someone who has tested positive within 6 days could help that newly diagnosed patient recover faster. 

Ingram Publishing / Thinkstock

Earlier this month, a cybersecurity company named SolarWinds revealed it had been hacked. And because it had been hacked, many of SolarWinds’ clients got hacked too -- including most of the federal government. Cybersecurity expert Tim Weber of Farmington-based ADNET Technologies joined All Things Considered to talk about why this hack is a big deal and what it can teach us about being safer online.

Donna Sullivan visits with her longtime partner, Walter Zbikowski, through a window at Parkway Pavilion at Enfield nursing home.
Cloe Poisson /

A Hartford architect says outdated nursing home designs probably contributed to the rampant spread of the coronavirus among nursing home communities. Myles Brown, a principal at Amenta Emma Architects, says many nursing homes statewide are decades old and were designed in a way that discourages social distancing. Though he acknowledges the cost of either retrofitting existing homes or building new ones will be high, he says the cost of doing nothing will be higher. He spoke on All Things Considered.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Now that COVID-19 vaccines are starting to roll out, will schools and workplaces require their people to be vaccinated? Is that even legal? To talk more about this, Pullman & Comley attorney Mark Sommaruga joined All Things Considered.

Richard Drew / Associated Press

Connecticut’s own William Tong is one of 48 state attorneys general suing Facebook over its alleged anti-competitive practices. What’s the harm of Facebook’s practices? And what are the chances this lawsuit will succeed? To answer those questions, we invited Bloomberg News journalist Sarah Frier to join us on All Thing Considered. She covers social media companies extensively, and she’s written a book called No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

With the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine already here in Connecticut and the Moderna version reportedly close behind, the big question now is: Will enough of us actually take the vaccine? Recently, Yale infectious diseases specialist Dr. Manisha Juthani joined All Things Considered to talk about why we should not fear taking these new COVID vaccines.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Some 31,000 doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine arrived in Connecticut Monday -- a mere nine months after America and much of the world shut down due to the pandemic. Multiple experts have told us here at Connecticut Public Radio that vaccines usually take years to develop and that a key factor in expediting the novel coronavirus vaccine has been the over 40,000 people worldwide who have volunteered for clinical trials.

Cloe Poisson / CT Mirror

Some restaurant workers in Connecticut are planning a demonstration in front of the governor’s mansion to protest comments made by a Yale infectious disease specialist at a recent official coronavirus media briefing. Dr. Manisha Juthani said that indoor dining is too risky right now in this time of pandemic. 

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Since Joe Biden became the president-elect, we’ve heard a lot about the series of losses the Trump campaign has suffered in court as it scuffles to find a way to keep President Donald Trump in the White House. Less talked about, but perhaps more important, is the Trump White House’s string of losses in court regarding its efforts to neuter the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

By a nearly 2-to-1 margin, House Democrats recently tapped Connecticut’s 3rd District congresswoman, Rosa DeLauro, to become the second woman and the first person from Connecticut to chair the powerful U.S. House Appropriations Committee.

Chion Wolf

The Mashantucket Pequot tribe, owner of Foxwoods Resort Casino, says it’s made a deal with the online sports betting and fantasy sports operator DraftKings. Rodney Butler, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, indicates this move is largely in anticipation of state lawmakers legalizing sports gambling in Connecticut next year.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Joe Courtney, Connecticut’s 2nd District congressman, has returned to work after a bout with COVID-19. He recently joined All Things Considered, and after he updated us on his condition, Courtney talked about the elevation of his colleague, 3rd District Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, to chair of the House Appropriations Committee.

And he talked policy. Will President Trump veto a pay raise for our troops? What’s holding up coronavirus stimulus money? And why did Connecticut lose out on a new C-130 wing at Bradley Air National Guard Base?

Hear the interview below:

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

With the second wave of coronavirus infections seemingly roaring across Connecticut, state teachers unions have been calling for students to go to a distance-learning-only model for the time being. But the state -- led by Gov. Ned Lamont -- remains adamant about keeping kids at least partially in the classroom.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The folks who do the actual casting of votes to the Electoral College in presidential elections are having something of a higher-profile moment now with President Trump and his team openly angling for them to vote for him in Michigan, Arizona, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania -- states where the popular vote went to Joe Biden.

Rhoda Baer/National Cancer Institute / Creative Commons

While we’re all focused so much these days on the novel coronavirus, the flu hasn’t gone away. It’s still very much a threat. In a recent discussion, Dr. Albert Ko of the Yale School of Public Health explained why none of us should fear the flu shot, and he emphasized that controlling the flu also will help control COVID-19.

Hear the interview below:

West Farms Mall
Ryan Lindsay / Connecticut Public Radio

For years, the Thanksgiving schedule for so many of us has gone as follows: family, football, feasting and Friday … Black Friday, that is: the day we go shopping for that new TV at the unbelievable sale price! But this Black Friday comes amid a pandemic. Suddenly, gathering in hordes at the mall doesn’t seem like the safest idea.

William Neuheisel/flickr creative commons

Much has been made about how the pandemic we're all living through has severely hampered things like air travel, dining out and gathering for holidays. Something that’s not talked about as much is the chilling effect the pandemic seems to have had on adoptions and foster kids in Connecticut.

Courtesy: Purdue Pharma

A federal bankruptcy judge has approved an $8.3 billion settlement between Stamford’s Purdue Pharma and the U.S. Department of Justice. Connecticut is one of the states that brought suit against the drugmaker for its part in the opioid epidemic, and the state’s Attorney General, William Tong, has been outspoken in condemning the DOJ deal.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public

On Connecticut Public Radio’s recent election special, departing state GOP Chairman J.R. Romano pointed to the fact that Raytheon -- the parent company of East Hartford-based Pratt & Whitney -- had chosen North Carolina instead of Connecticut to build a new plant. He said that’s evidence that years-long Democratic control of state politics has been devastating to Connecticut’s economy. 

Yale SOM

We’ve heard much rhetoric from politicians and the media about President Trump’s allegations of election fraud as he continues to refuse to concede to President-elect Joe Biden. One group we haven’t heard much from is our nation’s corporate chief executive officers. 

Sanofi Pasteur / Creative Commons

The Center on Climate Change and Health at the Yale School of Public Health has just released a report on climate change and health in Connecticut. It comes to some troubling conclusions and makes urgent calls to action. One of the authors of that report is Laura Bozzi, Ph.D. She outlined the report’s findings on Connecticut Public Radio’s All Things Considered.

jwblinn/iStock / Thinkstock

The U.S. Supreme Court’s new 6-3 conservative majority was assumed by many to be the death knell for the Affordable Care Act. But a funny thing seems to have happened Tuesday during oral arguments. Conservative Justices John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh appeared to indicate their support for leaving the ACA intact -- with the exception of the individual mandate. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Amidst the slow-moving count of votes in 2020 presidential election, Connecticut's outgoing house minority leader Themis Klarides wrote a defense of election workers, praising their efforts and saying that "every vote will and should be counted." Klarides joined All Things Considered to talk about why felt the need to make her thoughts on the matter known. She also weighed in on her new Super PAC, and she her latest thoughts on a run at Ned Lamont's job.

Tim Rasmussen / Connecticut Public

Now that the voting is over, the analysis of what happened begins. Connecticut Mirror Capitol Bureau Chief Mark Pazniokas joined All Things Considered to talk about state races across Connecticut. He talks about his biggest takeaways, and he says Election Day 2020 was a good day for Connecticut democrats-- suburban women in particular.

Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte / Thinkstock

If you’ve gotten a steady flow of texts and phone calls from political campaigns this election season, you are not alone. It made us curious -- how do political campaigns get hold of your personal information and how much of it do they have? 

Courtesy: Town of Prospect

The state’s new color-coded COVID alert system has designated 19 Connecticut towns as “red alert towns” for having positive test rates exceeding 15 per 100,000 residents for a two-week period. Gov. Ned Lamont has given these towns the option of pulling back from Phase 3 reopening to Phase 2.

Constitution Plaza in downtown Hartford.
Henk Sijgers / Creative Commons

What if the work-at-home trend becomes permanent? What will happen to Connecticut’s downtowns? Economist Victor Calanog of Moody’s Analytics joined All Things Considered to opine on whether downtowns are as good as dead. He also broke down what he thinks city planners should be doing right now to prepare.

Yale University

The U.S. Justice Department is suing Yale University, claiming it discriminated against Asian and white students in its college admissions process. The lawsuit, filed Oct. 8, accuses Yale of violating federal civil rights laws by making admissions decisions based on a candidate’s race. 

Official ballot boxes outside West Hartford Town Hall have sped up the process of accepting absentee ballots, according to Essie Labrot, West Hartford's town clerk. Voters can drop ballots in the boxes up until 8 p.m. on election day.
Ali Oshinskie / Connecticut Public Radio

The rise in mail-in voting this year due to the coronavirus led to a couple of bumps in the road for Connecticut’s August primary election. With a low percentage of voters familiar with absentee ballots, it was something new for everyone.