McNamara, who has worked at The Times since 1990, previously served as television critic and senior culture editor. When she won her Pulitzer for criticism in 2015, the judges cited her "savvy criticism that uses shrewdness, humor and an insider's view to show how both subtle and seismic shifts in the cultural landscape affect television." She also was a Pulitzer finalist for criticism in 2014 and 2013, and has won other awards for her criticism and feature writing.
McNamara was an assigning editor for the Los Angeles Times Magazine, a feature writer for Life & Style and a reporter covering movies before becoming a television critic in 2008.
Before joining The Times, she was an editor at Ms. magazine and wrote for other publications, including Ms., Glamour, Mademoiselle and the New York Times. She is the author of the Hollywood mysteries "Oscar Season" and "The Starlet."