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Up Close with Todd Smith, Editor-in-Chief, Outdoor Life
My alma mater: University of California at Los Angeles.
Where I worked prior to Bonnier: Petersen Publishing in Los Angeles.
My main duties as editor-in-chief of Outdoor Life: I am in charge of all content, both in print and online. My duties include: being a steward for our brand, planning the yearly editorial calendar, managing our staff of print and online editors and working closely with our sales and marketing departments on a variety of integrated content programs, which play out across multiple media platforms.
Professional goals for 2010: Continue to make every issue more exciting than the last, deepen my Web and digital content knowledge and launch several new initiatives online at outdoorlife.com, including much deeper survival and weather information.
Favorite part of my job: Working with a staff that is truly passionate about hunting and fishing and getting to occasionally travel to some truly amazing places.
Most challenging aspect of my job: Continuing to enhance the quality of everything we do while at the same time working to increase the margins across all aspects of our business.
Daily/weekly traditions: I try to make it to the gym every day. I try to have dinner with my family every night. I try to book several hours in my appointment book each week just for myself. This gives me time to research new websites, develop new ideas — and dream.
On my office walls: You will find several game heads, including an elk from Colorado, a chamois from the Austrian Alps and an antelope from Wyoming. We have many game heads adorning the walls of our offices. Each tells a story and each reminds me of some wonderful days spent in the field.
Todd Smith with the elk whose antlers hang in his office. He found the elk during
a horseback hunt in Colorado.
Best day on the job to date: The day I received the first-bound editions of our new redesign. So much work went into those pages, and seeing so many ideas come to life — not just for myself, but also for our entire staff — was really gratifying.
Greatest advice for success: The reader always comes first. If he is truly happy, then every other success will follow. Never be afraid to take chances. Unless you push the boundaries, you will never know where the edge really is. Hire those who are strong in the areas where you are not. Listen twice as much as you talk. Make an appointment with yourself each week to give yourself time to think, plan and let your creativity soar. That’s how the best ideas are born.