Shani O. Hilton. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Shani O. Hilton

Shani Hilton is the former managing editor for new initiatives and senior vice president of Los Angeles Times Studios. She was responsible for driving The Times’ efforts to expand its journalism and to foster a newsroom culture of aggressive, organic experimentation with form and approach.

Hilton joined The Times as a deputy managing editor in 2019 and has worked with staffs across the newsroom — from Business to the Washington Bureau to Politics to Entertainment — to focus The Times’ coverage through a California lens.

She later oversaw the Originals and Audio departments, working with those teams and other collaborators to sharpen The Times’ video and podcast strategies. She also worked within the newsroom to cultivate ideas and create an environment where journalists could try new things, launch products and pursue different ways to engage subscribers and the community with their reporting.

Previously, she was at BuzzFeed News in New York City for six years, where she worked as vice president of news and programming, executive editor and deputy editor-in-chief. She oversaw the company’s news show programming and led efforts to diversify BuzzFeed News revenue through shows with a focus on live video, including “AM to DM” on Twitter and the documentary series “Follow This” on Netflix.

Hilton’s role also included structuring the news team, running special projects and managing a U.S. news staff of more than 200 award-winning journalists. She worked as an editor and oversaw tech, politics, national, entertainment and business coverage.

Prior to working at BuzzFeed News, Hilton was an editor and reporter at outlets including NBC Washington, Washington City Paper and the Center for American Progress. She grew up in Fontana and Stockton and studied journalism at Howard University in Washington, D.C.