TV Critic Scott D. Pierce, Former TCA President, Dies at 64

Renowned critic Scott D. Pierce leaves behind a storied legacy

by Zain ul Abedin
TV Critic Scott D. Pierce, Former TCA President, Dies at 64
© Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Scott D. Pierce, an influential television critic whose career spanned over three decades with The Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News, has passed away at the age of 64. His partner, Rob Sonoda, confirmed his passing, though the cause of death remains undisclosed.

Starting his journey as a TV critic on March 31, 1990, at the Deseret News, Pierce became a respected voice in the world of television criticism. His tenure at Deseret News lasted 20 years until he was laid off in 2010, during a significant reduction that saw 43% of the staff let go.

The following day, an opportunity at The Tribune came knocking, where Pierce’s role broadened beyond TV reviews to include general feature writing and occasional theater critiques. At The Tribune, Pierce also took on the early-morning breaking news shift, demonstrating his adaptability by covering a range of urgent stories from police shootings to overnight developments, all while continuing his passion for entertainment journalism.

Pierce's Enduring Legacy

Lauren Gustus, Tribune's executive editor, remembered him fondly in a message to the newsroom. “He was a friend to many of us and had a knack for making connections, always making an effort to welcome and integrate new reporters,” she said.

Pierce’s accessible and engaging conversational writing style made him a favorite among readers, and his readiness to tackle diverse journalistic challenges was greatly admired. Beyond his newspaper contributions, he was a fixture in the broadcasting community as well.

In 2008, Pierce joined the “Geek Show Podcast” as one of its original panelists, where he remained a vibrant presence for nearly seven years. His involvement with the Television Critics Association (TCA) was particularly notable.

A longtime member, Pierce frequently attended the biannual press tours in Los Angeles and had the honor of serving as TCA's president in 2014. His contributions to the association included emceeing the TCA’s awards ceremony, where he once presented a lifetime achievement award to his television hero, actress Betty White.

Scott D. Pierce’s legacy in journalism and his deep commitment to the television industry will be remembered through his last TV column, an interview with the creator of "The Chosen," a series filmed in Utah about the life of Jesus.

This piece is scheduled for publication in Sunday’s print edition of The Tribune, marking the end of a distinguished career.