The Los Angeles Times has named Shani Hilton a Deputy Managing Editor for news. Hilton will report to Executive Editor Norman Pearlstine and Managing Editor Scott Kraft.
Hilton is currently Vice President of News and Programming at BuzzFeed News, where she has been an editorial executive for the past six years. She’ll join The Times in June.
“Shani Hilton comes to The Times with a reputation for principled journalism, and for management, leadership and collaboration.” Pearlstine said. “We’re thrilled that Shani will be returning to California where she will play a critical role in the newsroom while also working with colleagues across The Times.”
“The Los Angeles Times is in the midst of a renaissance and Shani will play a key role in our renewed commitment to distinctive journalism,” Kraft said. “We are truly fortunate to welcome such a gifted industry leader to the team as we ramp up our efforts to reach ever-larger audiences.”
At BuzzFeed, Hilton has overseen news programming and U.S.-based news operations, including structuring the news team, overseeing special projects, managing a staff of over 200 journalists, and maintaining the company’s editorial standards. Additionally, Hilton led efforts to diversify BuzzFeed News revenue through shows and programming with a large focus in live video, including “AM to DM” on Twitter and “PROFILE” on Facebook Watch, and developing original programming.
“The L.A. Times is a critical voice in our national and global journalistic landscape,” Hilton said. “Its team of reporters and editors, supported by its owner and leadership, is more needed than ever as we look to the future of the business of journalism, the 2020 election and beyond.
“As a journalist, I couldn’t be more excited about joining The Times at this huge moment of transition and opportunity. And as a Californian, I’m thrilled to be heading back to the best coast.”
Hilton grew up in Fontana and Stockton and then moved to Washington, D.C. to attend Howard University, where she studied journalism and worked at the campus newspaper. After graduating college, she worked in publications and communications at Princeton University. She then held editorial roles at the Center for American Progress, Washington City Paper and NBC4 in D.C., before joining BuzzFeed as Deputy Executive Editor in 2013. While at BuzzFeed, Hilton was named to Forbes Magazine’s “30 Under 30 – Media” list in 2015, and the next year The New York Observer named her one of “10 Players in Media You Must Hire.”
The Los Angeles Times, San Diego Union-Tribune and their community publications in Southern California were purchased by Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong in June 2018. Since then, The Times has been rebuilding and expanding its newsroom. Hilton is the latest hire in an eight-month period that has seen 30% growth of The Times editorial staff.