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

Eric Deggans

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.

Deggans is also currently a media analyst/contributor for MSNBC and NBC News. In August 2013, he 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. The same month, Deggans 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." And in 2019, he was named winner of the American Sociological Association's Excellence in the Reporting of Social Justice Issues Award.

In 2019, Deggans served as the first African American chairman of 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.

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.

[+] read more[-] less

Story Archive

Nicole Kidman And Hugh Grant Star In New HBO Thriller, 'The Undoing'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/927564453/927564454" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Kaz Fantone/NPR

'Racism Is Death, Anti-Racism Is Life' Says Author Ibram Kendi

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/927100641/927354895" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Streaming Service Quibi To Shut Down

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/926809338/926809339" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

HBO To Present Adaptation Of Broadway Hit 'David Byrne's American Utopia'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/924648140/924648141" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

'Social Distance' Will Move Even Cynical Survivors Of Real-Life Lockdowns

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/923885904/923885908" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

PBS Documentary, 'Driving While Black,' Examines Long Road Of Racism

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/923170416/923170417" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Netflix's 'Deaf U' Shows The Deaf Experience Through The Eyes Of Students

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/922936081/922936082" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Ethan Hawke Brings Abolitionist John Brown's Story To Life

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/919006728/919006729" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

(Clockwise from upper left) Joshua Caleb Johnson in The Good Lord Bird, Rafe Spall in The Salisbury Poisonings, Whoopi Goldberg in The Stand, Nicole Kidman in The Undoing, Joseph Gordon-Levitt in The Trial of the Chicago 7 and Amelie Smith in The Haunting of Bly Manor William Gray/Showtime, James Pardon/Dancing Ledge/BBC ONE/AMC, James Minchin/CBS, Niko Tavernise/HBO, Niko Tavernise/Netflix, Eiki Schroter/Netflix hide caption

toggle caption
William Gray/Showtime, James Pardon/Dancing Ledge/BBC ONE/AMC, James Minchin/CBS, Niko Tavernise/HBO, Niko Tavernise/Netflix, Eiki Schroter/Netflix

Larry Wilmore And Amber Ruffin Host Late-Night Shows For Peacock

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/917014366/917014367" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Chris Rock Stars In Newest Season Of 'Fargo'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/916807329/916807330" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

'Watchmen,' 'Succession,' 'Ozark,' 'Schitt's Creek' Win Key Emmys

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/915171190/915171191" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Rhea Seehorn as Kim Wexler, Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill in Better Call Saul, an Emmy snub but a Deggy winner. Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television hide caption

toggle caption
Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Sunday The Emmys, But First The Deggys

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/914195917/914281616" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript