Meet Sally Lou



Name:

Sally Lou Loveman

Birthplace:

Philadelphia, PA

Current Hometown:

Northfield, IL

Nicknames:

With a name like Sally Lou I get a lot of nicknames!  Lou and Lou Lou are what my family and friends call me, but I answer to pretty much anything except Sally! When I meet someone new and they call me Sally Lou, I always say “Thanks for the Lou!”

Family/Pets: 

I have 2 daughters and 1 son. Marin is 26 and graduated from Vanderbilt University. She lives in New York City and works as a Marketing Specialist at NBC for the network’s integrative marketing team. She started as an NBC Page, and worked in production for the TODAY Show. She loves the business end of television.

Carly is 24 and graduated from Lafayette College, She chose the TV production route and works in Nashville as an Associate Producer for the talk show Pickler & Ben – hosted by Kellie Pickler and Ben Aaron.

Billy is 19 and a sophomore at Northwestern University where he studies film and theater. When he was 4-years-old he told me he wanted to be the guy who punches the buttons to make TV shows when he grows up. That’s called a Technical Director! Who speaks like that at 4? Billy Loveman! 

Billy wants to be a director now and loves being on a stage – whether he’s acting, singing or blocking a scene.  My kids all have a little piece of show business in their blood, which I assume comes from me since my husband Mitchell works in Commercial Real Estate!

After we lost our beloved 16-year-old Shih Tzu Tinker, we rescued a Yorkshire Terrier and named her Gracie Lou because grace is always welcome and we needed another Lou in the family! The kids weren’t ready to welcome a new dog yet, but I won the battle and Gracie Lou now rules our house.  She has a big personality and keeps us laughing and loving her.

Job or Life Passion:

I knew I wanted to work in television since I was 14-years-old. My mother invited me to the filming of The Mike Douglas Show, one of the first TV talk shows, which happened to be produced in my hometown of Philadelphia. As I sat in the studio audience, I spotted a girl on the set with a clipboard. I didn’t know what she did, but she was a woman (it was 1976), she was wearing a headset which made her automatically cool, she was holding a clipboard which made her official, and she looked really busy. I knew in that moment that whatever it was she was doing, I would do it one day too.

I loved being in a TV studio. I loved the smell of the studio, the sounds of the lights, the feel of the camaraderie of the crew, the taste of the excitement and seeing all the action. I quickly learned that when an environment sucks you in and pleases all 5 of your senses, to make a career out of it.  When I graduated from college. I applied for a TV job in Chicago and got it! I hadn’t traveled beyond the east coast, so Chicago was very much new territory for me. I moved here without knowing one person.

The same year I moved to Chicago, Oprah moved to Chicago to host AM Chicago. I met Oprah when she was a guest on a show at the PBS station where I worked. She complimented my blouse. I interviewed with her 2 years later when she took her show national and she complimented my suit. And when she hired me a year later, she complimented my work.

Working for Oprah was like getting a masters in living your best life, wellness, gratitude and spirituality. Every lesson I have ever learned from Oprah,  I incorporate into my daily life and work. My 20-plus years with Oprah allowed me to start my own business as a speaker, emcee and speaker coach. As the Audience Producer for The Oprah Winfrey Show, I entertained the audience before the show. With my business lovespeaks, I connect audiences to brands, just like I did for Oprah. And when I’m not working on my business, I consult for start-up talk shows with a studio audience, because I am happiest in that environment.

Favorite Place to Travel:

The Jersey Shore! There I said it. I love New Jersey and I especially love the Jersey Shore. Growing up in Philadelphia, we went to the Jersey Shore every summer so it’s home for me. At 10-years-old my dad gave me and my sisters Bruce Springsteen’s The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle album,  which made me love New Jersey even more. 

We take our kids every summer so they love it too. My sister has a home in Bay Head, NJ so we are lucky to be able to gather there for family vacations. I also love Maine and of course Europe! 

Hobbies:

I don’t really have many hobbies because I spend most of my time working. I guess working out is my main hobby.  I love yoga, of course, Shred 415, Pilates and running. I also meditate daily, which is my FAVORITE thing to do and what I look forward to most in my day. 

My husband and I spend Sunday mornings at church and some Friday nights at Shabbat Service. We travel constantly because our families all live on the east coast so you can most likely find us in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut or Philadelphia when we are not in Chicago. I also love Broadway musicals and spend as much time as I can in a theater seeing shows.

Just before Billy left for college, I had an opportunity to work in New York for The TODAY Show as a consultant.  I completely avoided my empty nest by leaving it first, which I highly recommend! 

I lived in Times Square and saw 12 Broadway shows in the 6 months I was there. I felt like a kid in a candy store! After a long day at work, if I had the energy, I would pick a show and go to the box office and get the cheapest ticket. 

Since the TODAY Show opportunity,  I have had more work in New York which gives me the high of being back in television and the opportunity to spend time with my family there. We call it “casual family plans” which never happens in Chicago since we are the only family members, on both sides, who live here.  My husband and I treat my work like an adventure and make it fun. So far, empty nesting has been a very busy time for me.

Name 1 moment that completely changed your life:

I really wanted to study in London my Junior year in college, but my dad thought it was too far away, so I went to Washington, DC instead, which is where I learned about the TV opportunity in Chicago.  If I had gone to London I would have never moved to  Chicago, which ultimately led me to work for Oprah. I would have also met my husband Mitchell in London because he was on the program I would have been on. My best friend from college, Andrea, was on Mitchell’s program and is the one who eventually introduced us when I moved to Chicago. 

Whenever my kids want to do things I’m not comfortable with, I remember London and realize that we can’t stop whatever journey our kids are on. It helps me manage my anxiety when I worry about them being out of my control!

One thing that would surprise most people about you:

My nursery school teacher Mrs. Thompson told my mother that I would never make a friend because I was so shy. Lesson learned – don’t let labels define you, let them inspire you!

When did you start practicing yoga & why:

When the Oprah Show ended I discovered the West Loop. We moved to Harpo Studios in 1989 and I think we were the only people in the West Loop, besides the meat packers. When the show ended in 2011, and I was able to actually walk outside the building, I discovered a thriving fabulous neighborhood. 

And in this neighborhood there was a yoga studio! I kept seeing a well-known yoga teacher, Margo Kellison, in the local grocery store at lunch time and I told her I wanted to practice with her. She became my teacher and I would sneak away from work to take privates with her. I never thought I would ever be good enough to actually take a class, but my dear friend and yoga teacher, Pam Miller told me “Yoga is about community.” I listened to Pam’s words, and because my business and life is all about community, I joined a class and understood immediately what Pam meant.

Around the same time I started practicing yoga, I was trained in Transcendental Meditation. Oprah gave her employees the gift of TM. Both practices have transformed my life in so many positive ways. I kind of think about my life as “pre-yoga and meditation” and “post yoga and meditation.” 

Favorite Pose:

Triangle. I feel my whole body adjust in this pose and it feel so good every time! It feels like I am new again when I am in triangle.

Favorite Mantra:

“To love another person is to see the face of God” – from Les Misérables. The beauty of God, Source, a higher power, or whatever you want to call it – is reflected in the people around us. All you have to do is look and there it is. 

Best Advice Ever Given:

To forgive. My parents always taught me to forgive and Oprah did too. Forgiveness is not about saying what someone did is ok, it’s about allowing yourself the freedom to move on. 

Best Advice to Give:

Do what you love. It’s the foundation of my life and business. When we use our talents in an environment we love, it never feels like work. My advice is don’t fight it! Own your talent, share your talent with the world and you will always be happy.

Favorite Song

September by Earth, Wind & Fire – since the 10th grade we sang it “Sally Lou remember” instead of “Say do you remember.” That’s my song!

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