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Dankosky To Leave Connecticut Public After 25 Years

Chion Wolf
John Dankosky


Veteran radio reporter and editor John Dankosky is leaving Connecticut Public, the organization announced Monday. 

Dankosky, who has worked at the company for 25 years and is the executive editor of the New England News Collaborative, has taken a voluntary separation option offered to longtime employees.

His last day will be Nov. 1, the company said.

“I hope to be very involved in the collaborative in the transition for Connecticut Public, and I hope to be very involved in the collaborative in New England moving forward past Nov. 1,” Dankosky said.

In July, Connecticut Public offered voluntary buyouts to 18 employees who have been with the company for at least 20 years.

When the buyouts were announced, Mark Contreras, who took over as CEO in March, said it was not a cost-cutting move, but rather a reward for people who have given many years to the company. In a statement to staff Monday, Connecticut Public did not disclose whether any other employees have taken the buyout option.

“We are very grateful for his service to our audiences,” Contreras said of Dankosky, “and we will certainly miss him.”

Dankosky was hired at the Hartford station in 1994 as host for the Morning Edition news program. He would later become the host of Where We Live and move on to co-host The Wheelhouse with Connecticut Public’s Colin McEnroe.

Over the years, Dankosky took on more leadership roles at Connecticut Public, NPR, and with other projects around the country. He co-founded the New England News Collaborative, an eight-station consortium of public media newsrooms throughout the region, and he is the host of its weekly program NEXT.  Dankosky also regularly appears as a fill-in host for the national program Science Friday.

While Dankosky has won national awards for his work, he said he’s most proud of his involvement in growing the Connecticut Public organization and its news coverage.

“I was lucky enough to work with and then hire dozens and dozens and dozens of incredibly talented journalists and hosts and producers and audio creators,” Dankosky said. “The thing I’m most proud of is having gotten a chance to work with all those people on so many interesting projects and shows that were meaningful to the people of Connecticut and meaningful to the people of the country.”

Terry Gildea is the executive director of Public Media Journalists Association, formerly Public Radio News Directors Inc. He’s worked with Dankosky on training and mentoring programs.

“He has been an example to many public media journalists in the system, not just through his job as a reporter and an editor, but his job as a host, as well,” Gildea said of Dankosky. “He’s really been an example of how to do the job right and how to do the job with high ethical standards.”

Dankosky wouldn’t say where he’s headed next, but he said he does have some projects in the works and intends to stay in the news media. His decision to take the buyout option was not made lightly, he said.

“I have spent a full half of my life -- not my adult life, but half of my life -- at Connecticut Public,” Dankosky said. “So this is pretty hard.”

Connecticut Public intends to continue and lead the New England News Collaborative, Contreras said.

Nicole Leonard joined Connecticut Public Radio to cover health care after several years of reporting for newspapers. In her native state of New Jersey, she covered medical and behavioral health care, as well as arts and culture, for The Press of Atlantic City. Her work on stories about domestic violence and childhood food insecurity won awards from the New Jersey Press Association.

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