Eric Deggans serves as TV/Media Critic for the St. Petersburg Times. In 2004 and 2005, he sat on the newspaper’s editorial board and wrote bylined opinion columns, specializing in race issues, pop culture, media and national affairs. 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 also crafts commentaries on TV trends for National Public Radio.
A Times employee since November 1995, Eric originally joined the paper as music critic. He is chair of the National Association of Black Journalists Media Monitoring Committee and is past president of the Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists. Eric has also served on the board of directors for the national Television Critics Association.
As a guest lecturer and adjunct professor, he has taught at Loyola University, Indiana University, University of Tampa, University of South Florida, Eckerd College, St. Petersburg College, Columbia University and many other schools.
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.
Born in Washington D.C. but raised in Gary, Ind., Eric came to the Times after serving as music critic for the Asbury Park Press newspaper in New Jersey. His work also has appeared in the Washington Post, Village Voice, VIBE magazine, Detroit News, Chicago Tribune, Detroit Free Press, Chicago Sun-Times, Seattle Times, Hispanic magazine, Newsmax magazine, Smart Computing magazine, Rolling Stone Online and the MusicHound series of album guides.
“This book is an attempt to decode the ways media outlets profit by segmenting Americans. I call it the Tyranny of the Broad Niche; what happens as the biggest pieces of an increasingly fragmented audience are courted at the expense of many others.”
“If you care about this country, if you want to take part in a citizen’s movement that helps heal the deep racial, economic, and cultural divides tearing us apart, you must read Eric Deggans’ Race-Baiter. No book of recent vintage so thoroughly dissects the media’s monetized appetite for division. Provocative, honest, and smart, Race-Baiter is a supremely important book. Read it and let the conversation begin.”
—Connie May Fowler, Author of Before Women Had Wings