Russell in the video below added a few things about herself:
- She's not very tall at 5 foot 1 - "a little taller than Snookie, a little shorter than Kim Kardashian,"
- She loves "Real Housewives of Atlanta" and can't get Sheree Whitfield's classic insult "Who gonna check me boo" out of her head.
- She loves hip-hop and name dropped OutKast's Andre 3000 and Jermaine Dupri as well as Kandi Burruss.
- She was a competitive swimmer in high school and college
- She likes to sing and was part of an a cappella group in college.
"I love the heat," she said. "When I worked in Boston, I wore snow pants every day during the winter. My photographer used to call me 'shivering Shiba.' Even here, when I go to a restaurant, I always bring a shawl and a sweater. I get cold very easily. Here, it's refreshing to go out of a restaurant and it's warm. It feels like the body is going to live 15 years longer!"
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She wasn't one of those girls who dreamed of being an anchor.
"I was never that kid who watched the news," she said. "But I took this class senior year of high school. I thought I was going to be a lawyer. I still have the love of the law, which works well with this job because we cover legal cases. I took this senior production class and I got to anchor the news. I remember doing that with my cheerleading outfit on. I also did the announcements in the morning."
Russell realized she got bored easily and loved writing. And she's a visual person. "Every day would not be the same," she said. "I really enjoyed it."
In college, she wasn't sure whether she would be behind the camera or in front of the camera. Sh majored in communications at College of New Rochelle. Through internships at WCBS, WPIX, BronxNet and a hip-hop magazine, she clarified what she wanted to do and decided she wanted to be on camera.
She attended Northwestern graduate school. "That program kicked my tail," she said. She reported for two stations while in D.C. Her first job was at News 12 on Long Island, followed soon after at News 12 in the Bronx.
Russell enjoyed on-the-ground reporting in the Bronx. "I liked to speak for the little people," she said. She later worked in Pittsburgh and Boston before going to New York.
This is her first job in the South though her father is from North Carolina, so she picked plenty of Southernisms as a child.
"I saw 'easy peasy.' I say 'bless your heart.' I say 'y'all' sometimes," Russell said.
She hopes to do some investigative work on top of her anchoring work. "My passion is long-form journalism," she said.
This is my Facebook Live interview with the entire cast.