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.
Celebrities seem to work their way back into the spotlight after scandals, including Will Smith after slapping Chris Rock at the Academy Awards earlier in 2022.
A teary Will Smith gave his first major interview since he slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars to Trevor Noah of the Daily Show. Smith described how he lost it over Rock's joke about his wife's hair.
After my commentary about Dave Chappelle's turn on Saturday Night Live, a flood of hateful and personal invective erupted. But what do they think the job of a critic is?
Chappelle's monologue seemed filled with justification and minimization.
FX's comedy-drama series "Atlanta" is ending Thursday after four seasons. The show is centered on the lives of a group of Black millennials living in Atlanta.
Season 5 of the Netflix drama begins streaming Wednesday, and offers sordid details from the life of a younger Prince Charles — just as the real-life Charles has begun his reign as king.
Consumers often make decisions about TV streaming platforms based on three factors.
Judging by the relentlessly average, borderline uninspired season opening episode, this 48th season of SNL is off to a bumpy start, writes our critic Eric Deggans.
Noah increasingly looked like a performer who was growing beyond the grind of a late-night Comedy Central show. If he doesn't find a new perch in the genre, the industry will be all the worse for it.
This is an old debate and one the TV news industry seems to have already decided — but until someone is seriously injured doing this kind of reporting, it will continue.