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Owen's career included stints as a radio and television columnist at the Albany Times Union in Albany, New York. He was also a features writer at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Richmond, Virginia. His articles also appeared in the now-defunct NetGuide magazine.
During 1998-2010 he was TV editor and critic for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He is currently TV writer/critic for the Post-Gazette and his stories move on the Tribune News Service wire. In addition, he freelances regularly for Variety (Hollywood, Calif.), The Seattle Times (Seattle, Wash.), the Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.), the Richmond Times-Dispatch (Richmond, Va.) and the Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.). He is a past president of the Television Critics Association.
While at the Times-Dispatch, Owen helped create "inSync," a section for teen readers that preceded the boy band of the same name (but slightly different spelling).
Owen also wrote Gen X TV: The Brady Bunch to Melrose Place (Syracuse University Press, March 1997). The nonfiction book talks about shows that members of the Generation X age group grew up watching and the shows they watched in the 1990s. He was featured in the 2016 National Geographic Channel series "Generation X" as one of the experts interviewed on Gen X.