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

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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.

Story Archive

Peter Jackson's Beatles docuseries adds nuance and revelations to well-known stories

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Steven Van Zandt [left], James Gandolfini and Tony Sirico starred in HBO's hit television series, The Sopranos. HBO/Getty Images hide caption

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HBO/Getty Images

HBO revolutionized TV, but the next few years are tipped to be pivotal for its future

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A new book details the rise of Home Box Office since the channel debuted in 1972

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Netflix reboots 'Cowboy Bebop' starring John Cho

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Betsy, played by Kaitlyn Dever, and Dr. Samuel Finnix, Michael Keaton, discuss her first Oxy prescription for back pain from a workplace injury. Antony Platt/Hulu hide caption

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Antony Platt/Hulu

Paul Rudd and Will Ferrell play an unethical therapist and his conflict-averse client in The Shrink Next Door. Apple TV+ hide caption

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Apple TV+

'The Shrink Next Door' amounts to less than the sum of its parts

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Hulu's limited series is based in part on material from the nonfiction book Dopesick by journalist Beth Macy, who has written extensively about the opioid crisis. Rosario Dawson stars as Bridget Meyer. Gene Page/Hulu hide caption

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Gene Page/Hulu

Protesters during an Oct. 20 walkout by Netflix employees, activists, public figures and supporters. Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Imag hide caption

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Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Imag

Michael C. Hall and Alano Miller in Dexter: New Blood. Seacia Pavao/Seacia Pavao/Showtime hide caption

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Seacia Pavao/Seacia Pavao/Showtime

'Dexter: New Blood' struggles to find fresh meaning in an old story

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Jaden Michael plays a young Colin Kaepernick in Netflix's 'Colin in Black and White.' Courtesy of Netflix hide caption

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Courtesy of Netflix

Netflix's 'Colin in Black and White' shows a star athlete reaching toward Blackness

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Issa Rae stars in HBO's 'Insecure.' Glen Wilson/HBO hide caption

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Glen Wilson/HBO

HBO's 'Insecure' soars by staying true to its revolutionary mission

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'Succession's' highly anticipated 3rd season is finally here, and it's great TV

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