Carrie Pratt/Simply Blue Studios
Eric Deggans
Carrie Pratt/Simply Blue Studios

Eric Deggans

TV Critic

Eric Deggans is NPR's first full-time TV critic.

Deggans came to NPR in 2013 from the Tampa Bay Times, where he served a TV/Media Critic and in other roles for nearly 20 years. A journalist for more than 20 years, he is also the author of Race-Baiter: How the Media Wields Dangerous Words to Divide a Nation, a look at how prejudice, racism and sexism fuels some elements of modern media, published in October 2012, by Palgrave Macmillan.

In August 2013, Deggans guest hosted CNN's media analysis show Reliable Sources, joining a select group of journalists and media critics filling in for departed host Howard Kurtz. Earlier in the same month, he was awarded the Florida Press Club's first-ever Diversity award, honoring his coverage of issues involving race and media. He received the Legacy award from the National Association of Black Journalists' A&E Task Force, an honor bestowed to "seasoned A&E journalists who are at the top of their careers." Deggans serves on the board of educators, journalists and media experts who select the George Foster Peabody Awards for excellence in electronic media.

He also has joined a prestigious group of contributors to the first ethics book created in conjunction with the Poynter Institute for Media Studies for journalism's digital age: The New Ethics of Journalism, published in August 2013, by Sage/CQ Press.

Deggans has won reporting and writing awards from the Society for Features Journalism, American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Black Journalists, The Florida Press Club and the Florida Society of News Editors. In 2010, he made national headlines interviewing former USDA official Shirley Sherrod at the NABJ's summer convention in San Diego, leading a panel discussion that was covered by all the major cable news and network TV morning shows.

Named in 2009, as one of Ebony magazine's "Power 150" – a list of influential black Americans which also included Oprah Winfrey and PBS host Gwen Ifill – Deggans was selected to lecture at Columbia University's prestigious Graduate School of Journalism in 2008 and 2005. He has lectured or taught as an adjunct professor at Loyola University, California State University, Indiana University, University of Tampa, Eckerd College and many other colleges.

His writing has also appeared in the New York Times online, Salon magazine, CNN.com, the Washington Post, Village Voice, VIBE magazine, Chicago Tribune, Detroit Free Press, Chicago Sun-Times, Seattle Times, Emmy magazine, Newsmax magazine, Rolling Stone Online and a host of other newspapers across the country.

From 2004 to 2005, Deggans sat on the then-St. Petersburg Times editorial board and wrote bylined opinion columns. From 1997 to 2004, he worked as TV critic for the Times, crafting reviews, news stories and long-range trend pieces on the state of the media industry both locally and nationally. He originally joined the paper as its pop music critic in November 1995. He has worked at the Asbury Park Press in New Jersey and both the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Pittsburgh Press newspapers in Pennsylvania.

Now serving as chair of the Media Monitoring Committee for the National Association of Black Journalists, he has also served on the board of directors for the national Television Critics Association and on the board of the Mid-Florida Society of Professional Journalists.

Additionally, he worked as a professional drummer in the 1980s, touring and performing with Motown recording artists The Voyage Band throughout the Midwest and in Osaka, Japan. He continues to perform with area bands and recording artists as a drummer, bassist and vocalist.

Deggans earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science and journalism from Indiana University.

More From Eric Deggans

[+] read more[-] less

Stephan James and Sanaa Lathan star as federal investigators looking into a racially charged shooting in Fox's new limited series Shots Fired Fred Norris/FOX hide caption

toggle caption
Fred Norris/FOX

Seeking Empathy, 'Shots Fired' Creators Flip The Script On Police Shootings

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/521006704/521135599" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Netflix's 'Iron Fist' Stumbles In Depiction Of Asian Culture

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/520576925/520576928" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Dan Fogelman is the creator of the breakout NBC family drama This Is Us. Producer Kevin Falls, who has worked with Fogelman on previous shows, has coined a term for the twists and monologues that Fogelman sprinkles into scripts: "Fogeldust." Maarten de Boer/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Maarten de Boer/Getty Images

'This Is Us' Creator Dan Fogelman Says He Didn't Mean To Make You Cry

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/519986806/520162964" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Reality Show Networks Getting Into High Quality Scripted TV

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/519879461/519879462" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Anthology TV Series Undergo Renaissance With 'American Crime,' 'Feud'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/519499982/519499983" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Feud tells the story of Bette Davis (Susan Sarandon) and Joan Crawford (Jessica Lange) in the early 1960s, a time when both actresses were struggling to find work. Suzanne Tenner/Courtesy of FX hide caption

toggle caption
Suzanne Tenner/Courtesy of FX

'I Create Worlds': 'Feud' Showrunner Ryan Murphy On Making TV

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/518128765/518292201" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Late Night TV Shows Take Aim At Trump, Score Well In Ratings

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/516695471/516695474" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

'The Good Fight' Offers Edgier Version of 'The Good Wife' In Series Debut

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/516137854/516137855" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Syd (Rachel Keller) and David (Dan Stevens) find themselves at the end of their tether in Legion. Chris Large/FX hide caption

toggle caption
Chris Large/FX

The Stylish FX Series 'Legion' Suffers From A Split Personality

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/513904622/514049776" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Patriots' Victory Overshadows Super Bowl Commercials, Lady Gaga

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/513388122/513388123" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

BET Continues To Redefine Brand With Nelson Mandela Miniseries

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/512906712/512906713" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

TV Review: '24: Legacy' Is A Lot Like What We've Seen Before

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/512799944/512799945" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Empire and Star creator Lee Daniels at this year's Television Critics Association winter press tour. He says brilliant art may come from Donald Trump's victory. Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic hide caption

toggle caption
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Hollywood Grapples With TV In The Age Of Trump

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/510594392/510628905" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

There's A Lot Of Great Stuff Coming To All TV Platforms, Our Critic Says

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/510383935/510383936" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript