Yale University (magna cum laude) - Bachelor of Arts in British Literature, Focus in Creative Writing
Anne M. Russell doesn't just have a job we want now, she's had a whole string of gigs we'd love to boast on our resume. Currently she is the editor-in-chief of VIVmag. Before that she served as editor-in-chief of Shape magazine and before that she was the editorial director of Fox Television's Health Network, where she oversaw the network's website, as well as on-air content. Rewind her resume a bit further and you'll see she has also been interim editor-in-chief of Vegetarian Times, editor-in-chief of Living Fit, and ran her own custom-publishing company, Extra Special Media, whose clients included Family Circle and Women's Day. Early in her career, Anne was the founding editor of two trade magazines — Photo District News and Digital Creativity — as well as the editorial director for a trade publishing service and a book editor for two technical photo books.
With experience like this, we can't wait to see what she does with VIVmagazine, an all-digital magazine offering insight, advice and authentic stories to inspire and motivate women in their quest for a balanced and healthy lifestyle.
Creative dialogue and problem-solving is what makes life worthwhile.
How did you discover your current job?
I had the great fortune to meet VIV’s founder, David Gilmour, who wanted to do something completely new in magazine publishing.
What is your typical day like? What types of things do you do in your job?
A lot of my day at VIV is spent doing exactly what I’m doing right now -- typing on a laptop. I’m either sending or answering an email or writing and editing. However, when I’m not at my desk, I could be doing almost anything -- traveling, going to a screening, attending a shoot or trying a new workout or beauty treatment.
What is the most rewarding part of your job? The most challenging?
The most rewarding aspect is interacting with the VIV staff -- creative dialogue and problem-solving is what makes life worthwhile. The most challenging factor is adapting to the ever-changing technology of digital-magazine creation.
What is the biggest personal sacrifice you have to make because of your job?
Not getting a tattoo, a nose piercing or shaving my head isn’t exactly a major concession, but for professional reasons I do need to keep my style fairly mainstream. If I didn’t have to make the occasional public appearance, who knows!
What is one lesson you've learned in your job that sticks with you?
“Be prepared.” Okay, I stole that from the Boy Scouts, but it does pay to be ready with alternate scenarios and solutions at all times, because nothing in the publishing business ever goes quite as planned.
What do you feel is the biggest challenge for women today, particularly females in your industry?
The magazine industry is contracting and evolving extremely rapidly right now; that will mean opportunities for some people, but there will be increasing competition for fewer positions. I hope in the coming years to see more than a handful of women in the top executive roles.
Who are your role models?
My mentor, Anthea Disney, formerly of News Corp; my former boss at Working Woman, Anne Mollegen Smith; and the late Grace Mirabella of Mirabella and Ruth Whitney of Glamour for their courage to do the right thing and their devotion to excellence.
What are some of the rules you live by?
The Golden Rule pretty much covers what I aspire to: If you wouldn’t enjoy being treated a certain way, don’t do it to other people.
What advice do you have for girls who want to be in your industry?
Become a social media maven. Figure out the whole constellation of social media options and make yourself an expert. It will get you in the door with publishers. Also, learn to spell; it does count.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Editing VIV really is the best job in the world, so I hope to be right where I am. You really DO want my job.
What are three things you love aside from your job?
Triathlon. That’s three activities -- swimming, biking and running -- in one, so one word covers it.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I’m constantly amazed by our readers. We have a section on the VIV website where readers share their "VIV Moments," and these women’s range of experiences is astonishing. We recently started a VIVMagnificent Women program to honor all the amazing VIV women. You can find out more by visiting vivmagnificentwoman.com.