Media veteran continues broadcasting her syndicated program from her Southaven living room
Photo: Television personality Loretta McNary, who broadcasts her syndicated interview program from the living room of her Southaven home. (Bob Bakken/desotocountynews.com)
Just so you know, there is currently an nationally syndicated television talk show that is based in Southaven, Mississippi. It’s seen primarily on the internet and social media right now, but it is moving more into syndicated broadcast television. Its host has been a staple in Mid-South media for many years.
The show is the mission of Loretta McNary, who says she does it, so “people do better and feel better, have better, go better, try better, and cook better. I want to help people live at the highest level of their expression.”
McNary has been in Memphis-area media for many years, all the way back to a tumultuous year personally for her in 1999, when she was writing for a community newspaper. It was a difficult year for her personally, but an opportunity developed at the same time.
“In 1999, while mourning the loss of my dad, I got a call from Melvin Jones, general manager of a gospel radio station in Memphis and they had read an article I had written,” McNary said. “He said, ‘If you can speak as well as you can write, we want to talk to you about a potential job here at WLOK.’”
McNary was hired as a standby to Dorothy Williams, considered then the top talk show host at the station, but weeks later McNary was offered her own show to air on Sundays. McNary did the show for nearly two years but was then let go.
From radio, McNary moved into television, hosting a public access program for Time Warner cable and it’s grown from there.
McNary calls herself the “Queen of Pivot,” because she’s had to pivot to new providers and sources for her program, sometimes doing as many as three shows on three different stations for a year, and shooting the program from different places all across the city.
Then, the pandemic hit. That meant a new way of broadcasting McNary’s show took center stage.
“When COVID hit, that’s when I went online to do what you see today,” McNary said, adding that she is looking for studio space in DeSoto County to locate. But being online means the availability for people to find her.
“We are live on eight different social media platforms, including my Facebook pages, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn,” McNary said. “People log in from different places and they are available forever, I won’t take them down.”
McNary also has a website, www.lorettamcnary.com and she’s shown across the country in 35 states and 41 markets. McNary was excited that the program recently was about to return to the Baltimore, Maryland market at WMAR-TV.
Her talk show is interview-driven with guests galore, who she finds through working with a number of publicity companies. Among the special segments is one on cooking and another is about traveling.
“I’m no chef, I’m no cook, but I’ve found a new love for it,” McNary said. “Cooking with Loretta is a popular segment, people love it, and I’m not a chef, but I know people who cook really well. They’ll come over and cook with me here and we have a great conversation while we’re cooking a meal.”
The travel segment became popular when COVID was enveloping the country and had people on promoting destinations in places all over, from Los Angeles to Florida and everywhere in between.
Her company, McNary Media Network, was started in 2021. It is a global streaming platform with seven channels whereby viewers can view movies, sports, culinary, lifestyle, travel, live entertainment and faith-based programming on several platforms, including Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Smart TV, and on IOS and Android devices.
If you ask McNary what her mantra may be, she’ll respond by giving you her program’s closing quote, “Think positive, dream big dreams, and help someone along the way.”