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.
In August 2013, Deggans 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. Earlier in the same month, he 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." Deggans serves on 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.
Deggans has won reporting and writing awards from the Society for Features Journalism, American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Black Journalists, The Florida Press Club and the Florida Society of News Editors. In 2010, he made national headlines interviewing former USDA official Shirley Sherrod at the NABJ's summer convention in San Diego, leading a panel discussion that was covered by all the major cable news and network TV morning shows.
Named in 2009, as one of Ebony magazine's "Power 150" – a list of influential black Americans which also included Oprah Winfrey and PBS host Gwen Ifill – Deggans was selected to lecture at Columbia University's prestigious Graduate School of Journalism in 2008 and 2005. He has lectured or taught as an adjunct professor at Loyola University, California State University, Indiana University, University of Tampa, Eckerd College and many other colleges.
His writing has also appeared in the New York Times online, Salon magazine, CNN.com, the Washington Post, Village Voice, VIBE magazine, Chicago Tribune, Detroit Free Press, Chicago Sun-Times, Seattle Times, Emmy magazine, Newsmax magazine, Rolling Stone Online and a host of other newspapers across the country.
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.
Casey Miner is an audio producer and senior editor for KALW’s award-winning news, arts, and culture program Crosscurrents. She’s contributed work to NPR, Marketplace, Mother Jones, The Takeaway, Transportation Nation and PopUp Magazine. If you like rollover fires, fermenting cabbage, and/or taxidermy-in-progress, she suggests you also check out The Field Trip Podcast. Casey is a graduate of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and enjoys talking with people at length about what exactly they do all day.
Jerry Kenney was introduced to WYSO by a friend and within a year of first tuning in became an avid listener and supporter. He began volunteering at the station in 1991 and began hosting Alpha Rhythms in February of 1992. Jerry joined the WYSO staff in 2007 as a host of All Things Considered and soon transitioned into hosting Morning Edition. In addition to now hosting All Things Considered, Jerry is the host and producer of WYSO Weekend, WYSO's weekly news and arts magazine. He has also produced several radio dramas for WYSO in collaboration with local theater companies. Jerry has won several Ohio AP awards as well as an award from PRINDI for his work with the WYSO news department. Jerry says that the best part of his job is being able to talk to people in the community and share their experiences with WYSO listeners.
Greg Smith is the composer of four of NPR's most distinctive themes: Talk of the Nation, Day to Day, The Motley Fool Radio Show and Weekend Edition Sunday's "Voices in the News" theme. Aside from his musical contributions to NPR, he spent many years toiling in the trenches at the network. Greg started at NPR as a production assistant for Morning Edition in 1980 and over the next 20 years produced and/or edited many of the network's news programs, leaving the NPR's full-time staff in 1999 as senior editor of Weekend Edition Sunday.
In fact, his first theme for NPR was for the "Voice in the News" segment of Weekend Edition Sunday. "We were developing a segment for the show that would feature the most significant news sound clips of the past week," Smith says, "and I couldn't find a piece of music that would be somewhat serious and have a clean ending. I could hear in my head what I wanted, so I went to my music studio and had my drummer lay out a repetitive beat on the hi-hat and started playing along. It worked. What you hear on the air is the sixth take of that session."
Smith is fluent on a number of musical instruments and has played on and/or produced numerous albums. He has recorded six solo albums of his work and composed a number of film soundtracks. Aside from his music, Smith has worked for Lucasfilm, Ltd. and IMAX Films, among others, as a producer, director, sound recordist and/or post-production editor on more than 50 feature and documentary films.
He now runs his own film and music company, Pros from Dover Productions and currently is a Professor of Film at American University in Washington, D.C. Greg is married to NPR's Margaret Low Smith, whom he met when both were working the overnight for Morning Edition; thus making them one of the first in a long line of NPR marriages. They live in Rockville and have two sons, Benjamin and Jeremy.
Listeners who'd like to hear more of Greg's music can visit his website, gregsmith.net.
Karen Feagins joined WJCT in 2005, and has worked in many different roles at the station in both radio and television. Her love of journalism and storytelling began in the 4th grade when she was named editor of the newspaper at her elementary school in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Karen attended the University of Missouri to study Broadcast Journalism, and spent several years as a commercial television news reporter before finding her home in public broadcasting. She is now news director and head of radio programming WJCT, and assists with the production of "First Coast Connect."