Eric Deggans will join NPR, leave Tampa Bay Times

Tampa Bay Times

The versatile critic Eric Deggans will join NPR as its first-ever TV critic, Deggans writes in a blog post.

"The new job is a continuation and amplification of the work I’ve already done as a freelance commentator for NPR, offering critical analysis of everything from media coverage of the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman controversies to picking out who really deserves Emmy nominations," Deggans writes. "After years of serving as an NPR fan and occasional contributor, I’ll get a chance to join one of the strongest journalism organizations in the nation, reaching 27 million listeners each week."

Poynter owns the Tampa Bay Times. Deggans has written for this site many times (and has been a very cool person to hang with when I've visited St. Pete.)

"Mostly I will miss his sensitivity and fearless voice," Managing Editor Jeanne Grinstead writes in a memo to Times staffers. Full thing below.

This is a difficult note to write, but one that comes from the heart.

It is with a mix of pride and sadness that I give you the news our colleague and good friend Eric Deggans is leaving the Times in late September to join National Public Radio as its TV critic and correspondent.

Eric has spent a good part of his career with us, working at the Times for the past 18 years. He came to the Times in 1995 as pop music critic, and moved to the TV beat two years later. He took a break to join the editorial board in 2004 before returning to the critics’ corner, first as media writer in 2005, then again as TV critic in 2006. He also has provided commentaries about television and media to CNN and NPR, and is the author of the excellent book Race-Baiter: How the Media Wields Dangerous Words to Divide a Nation. On Friday Eric will receive the 2013 national NABJ Arts & Entertainment Task Force Legacy Award to honor his career as a journalist and recognize his terrific influence on those who will follow him.

We shall miss Eric's expertise about all things TV and media, as well as his smart, honest commentary on how the world of diversity looks through his eyes. We appreciate the insight he has shared over these many years.

Mostly I will miss his sensitivity and fearless voice. I have worked with many journalists in the past 35 years, and only a few have matched his courage. If you care about your country, and the place and state of journalism within it, you have to read Eric Deggans.

And now, you will listen to him.

Love you, man.


  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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