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

The Revs. Jesse Jackson (left) and Al Sharpton (center) and attorney Ben Crump during a press conference Tuesday following the verdict in the murder trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis. Kerem Yucel/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Kerem Yucel/AFP/Getty Images

Ken Burns speaks during the PBS segment of the Summer 2019 Television Critics Association Press Tour. Amy Sussman/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Filmmakers Call Out PBS For A Lack Of Diversity, Over-Reliance On Ken Burns

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/982706363/982953874" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) reluctantly participate in a therapy session together, while their therapist (Amy Aquino) looks on. Marvel Studios hide caption

toggle caption
Marvel Studios

In 'The Falcon And The Winter Soldier,' Sam And Bucky Are Vib(ranium)ing

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/982352708/982423230" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Tina Turner and her children, photographed in 1967. Courtesy of HBO hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of HBO

Tina Turner's Life Explored In New Documentary

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/979683306/979683307" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Streaming Services Decide Whether To Put Advisories On Content That Hasn't Aged Well

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/979340044/979340045" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Courtney B. Vance, left, as C.L. Franklin, with Cynthia Erivo as Aretha Franklin, in a scene from the miniseries Genius: Aretha set at The New Temple Missionary Baptist Church. Richard DuCree/National Geographic/Richard DuCree hide caption

toggle caption
Richard DuCree/National Geographic/Richard DuCree

Aretha Franklin Shines In, And Despite, The New Miniseries, 'Genius: Aretha'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/979056315/979056338" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Zack Snyder directs Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot. Zack Snyder's Justice League is the director's 2021 cut of the 2017 film. Clay Enos/HBO Max hide caption

toggle caption
Clay Enos/HBO Max

Here At Long (Really Long) Last, 'Zack Snyder's Justice League' Is ... Not Bad?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/978227026/978832120" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The Bachelor Finale Brings To Light Systemic Issues Within The Show

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/977928954/977928955" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

On Monday's After the Final Rose special, bachelor Matt James revealed why he broke things off with Rachael Kirkconnell after photos of her at an antebellum South-themed party surfaced on social media. Craig Sjodin/ABC hide caption

toggle caption
Craig Sjodin/ABC

'The Bachelor' Finale Will Air As The Franchise Faces A Racial Reckoning

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/976949052/976949053" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript