Publications: Tampa Bay Times
A founding member of the Florida Film Critics Circle, Persall was practically born into a career as a movie critic. He was conceived behind a drive-in theater, in a house that was part of his father’s deal to manage the place. Persall grew up in projector booths and behind concession stands, reading the works of Pauline Kael and Vincent Canby like other kids read comic books. After 16 years of teaching high school social studies and stringing for the St. Petersburg (later Tampa Bay) Times, Persall accepted the movie critic position in 1993, currently making him Florida’s longest-tenured journalist on that beat. He’s also a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association. His commentary on all things cinema is heard weekly on Tampa Bay’s Eagle 107.3 and WWBA 820, and internationally on RadioIo.com, along with occasional television appearances on four local stations. He doesn’t care how you did anything up north.