So What Do You Do, Anne-Marie O’Neill, General Manager of


Anne-Marie-O'Neil-articleAnne-Marie O’Neill has worked for some of the biggest names in print media. Originally from Australia, O’Neill was recruited to work at People in the United States after an early career in newspapers. After eight successful years at the celebrity glossy, she moved on to shelter mag Real Simple. During her tenure there, the pub added more than 1 million readers and was No. 1 in circulation growth in its competitive set.

After 15 years on the East Coast, O’Neill realized she needed a change. With her husband and twin boys, O’Neill made the move out West to Los Angeles, where she helped launch She’s currently general manager of the site, which has a distribution partnership with AOL and averages 5 million monthly uniques. Here, O’Neill talks about celebrity news, how she handles the work-life balance and the importance of old-school journalism.

Name: Anne-Marie O’Neill
Position: General manager of
Resume: Started her career at News Corp. in Australia, where she was a national correspondent for all of Rupert Murdoch’s seven metropolitan daily newspapers. Started working for Time in Sydney and was later recruited to work for People in the U.S. Worked at People for eight years, first as a senior writer then as a senior editor. Was eventually recruited to Real Simple and became deputy editor. In 2012, she helped launch, where she is currently general manager.
Birthdate: November 3
Hometown: Brisbane, Australia
Education: Queensland University of Technology
Marital status: Married with twin boys
Media mentor: “A stand-out for me was Larry Hackett, who was a former editor of People. Larry had a brilliant news instinct, incredible energy. He was always a really shining example of how to get the best out of creative people in a high-stress situation, without being a pill.”
Best career advice received: “Stretch yourself and put yourself in positions that make you uncomfortable because that’s the only way to learn and grow.”
Guilty pleasure: Binge-watching TV shows
Last book read: Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
Twitter handle: @Momdotme

What sparked your interest in journalism?
I grew up in Australia, and I had always been interested in the news. My father was a news junkie, so I’d get home from school in the afternoon and might get in an episode of Gilligan’s Island, and then it was about three different news shows before dinner. So I’ve always had a love of news and current affairs. I also loved writing. Being able to bring writing and communicating together with being up with what was going on in the world was really what made me interested.

How did you get recruited from Australia to work for People in the U.S.?
I started out my career in newspapers in Australia, and I was lucky enough to land my dream job at the age of 22. I had always wanted to work for news magazines and was a huge fan of Time and managed to wrangle my way into a job at Time in Sydney.

After a couple of years there, one of the editors who had hired me, who was from New York, went back to New York and called me up one day, and said, ‘Would you like to come and work for People for the summer, and if it works out you can stay, and if it doesn’t work out, we’ll hold your job back in Australia?’ I honestly can’t imagine that opportunities like that even happen anymore. I feel like I was incredibly lucky. And so I went to People by myself, in New York City for three months, and it worked out. I had a blast, and it obviously worked out from their end as well, and they asked me to stay.

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