LisaRaye McCoy, Claudia Jordan pump up new Fox Soul streaming network

Two of the biggest stars on Fox Soul are LisaRaye McCoy and Claudia Jordan. CR: AJC file; Fox Soul
Caption
Two of the biggest stars on Fox Soul are LisaRaye McCoy and Claudia Jordan. CR: AJC file; Fox Soul

Credit: AJC file photo; Fox Soul

Credit: AJC file photo; Fox Soul

The old-school cable world has multiple channels that cater to the African-American audience: BET, TV One, OWN and Atlanta-based Bounce TV are the most notable.

But there are also comparable options on the web in streaming form. Fox Soul, which launched last year, is one of the more ambitious.

I spoke with two of its key personalities recently: LisaRaye McCoy and Claudia Jordan, both multimedia hosts who have spent plenty of time in Atlanta over the years. (Jordan was even on ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta” one year.)

Jordan hosts her own Fox Soul show “Out Loud With Claudia Jordan” and is part of the weekly panel discussion group show “Cocktails With Queens” featuring McCoy, Jordan, actress Vivica A. Fox and Atlanta R&B singer Syleena Johnson. It comes out every Monday evening at 10 p.m.

Here are highlights from each interview.

LisaRaye

On starting “Cocktails With Queens” remotely during the pandemic: “We started doing the show on Mondays and it gave me a reason to dress up and look forward to having conversations and an audience. I had to be current on all things gossip, all things entertainment, all things politics, all things trending. It forced me to get in the know... It gave me purpose!”

How “Cocktails With Queens” came about: Fox Soul, she said, gathered the four women for an interview but they ended up gabbing amongst themselves. “Vivica called me later and said Fox Soul wanted us to do Mondays together every week. ‘Would you be down for that?’ I was at first, like, ‘We’re in a pandemic. I’ve gained a couple of pounds. I have to put on some makeup.’ I was like, ‘Really?’ She said, ‘What have we got to lose? We’re inside!’ So Monday after Monday, we found our chemistry. Fox Soul saw it from the beginning. Here we are a year later!”

How they spread the word: “We used to stream the show through my Instagram and it has 2 million people. I was able to use my outreach to get some of those fans and some of that audience over to Fox Soul. It kind of whispered through the social media universe.”

How do the women know each other: “Hollywood is small, especially Black Hollywood. Claudia and I, we haven’t worked together but we’d see each other all the time. I adore her and how outspoken she is. Vivica and I are personal friends. She was in my wedding when I was First Lady of Turks and Caicos. We go way back and we have history. Syleena and I are both from Chicago. We worked together in hosting some gigs on weekends. All of them are my girls. Now that we get to see each other every Monday, they have become my sister friends. I say that not lightly. There are personal things we go through. We have a chat on WhatsApp. I send them nasty porn videos to make them laugh. They’re like, ‘LisaRaye!’ And I say, ‘Just take that until we see each other Monday!’”

What’s different from ‘The Talk’ and ‘The Real’: “We are talking about Black culture to our Black community. Right now, being Black is great as much as we say racism is out there because it is. But what it has done is have us unite in a way in which we needed to and we always should have. Why are we fighting among ourselves? We have a bigger fight that’s outside. So let’s do something different here and let’s talk about the things we’re going through.”

What each woman brings to the table: “Claudia is a journalist all day long. Syleena is an R&B singer and a talk show host herself. Vivica is into sports and politics. She is iconic, that veteran actress. Me? I’m just down-to-earth home girl, former First Lady. I don’t apologize for the things I say. I am the grandmother. I am the mother of the group. Syleena is the wife of the group. We collectively have a strong voice. And we are America! We are affected by what’s going on in our community.”

CLAUDIA

What “Cocktails With Queens” is like: “We just have drinks. We go over hot topics in our lives. Politics. We sometimes do celebrity interviews. It’s really kind of like fly-on-the-wall with girlfriends talking. Someone is always saying something that goes viral. Someone is always getting in trouble. It’s usually me or LisaRaye. It’s a great balance from four different perspectives. Nobody is afraid to hold back. Most celebrities can’t say that.”

Adjusting to a new world: “I wasn’t comfortable with streaming at first. I was late to the party. I was late to online shopping! But Fox Soul has been great. They support me. I love when people ask if I own part of the network because I’m everywhere! It feels good.”

Her interview with Mo’Nique: “Tyler Perry saw my interview with Mo’Nique. We had 45 uninterrupted minutes of conversation. She was very open with me. She trusted me to do a good interview. Tyler Perry reached out to me within 24 hours.” [Perry and Mo’Nique have had disputes and Mo’Nique told Jordan that Perry depriving her of work has cost her “generational wealth.”)

On her short run as a morning radio host in Dallas: “We had some funny content. We had the right personalities. But we were on an R&B show. I think we felt more like hip-hop. So they got rid of the show.”

WHERE TO WATCH

“Cocktails With Queens,” every Monday at 10 p.m. on Fox Soul

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