Radio 4’s Ceri Thomas is to take on the new role as the new Head of Programmes for BBC News, replacing Stephen Mitchell.
Ceri, who is currently Editor of the Today Programme, will take on the new role from 18 March in what continues to be a major shake-up of BBC management.
He’ll be responsible for all the major daily and weekly current affairs output, investigative journalism and major interview programmes including Panorama, Today and Newsnight. The department also includes services focused on distinctive audiences, including Radio 5 Live news programmes and Asian Network news as well as BBC Radio 1 news programmes such as Newsbeat.
Ceri said: “So much of the heart and soul of BBC News lives in this department. It’s full of variety and ambition and endeavour. It’s where we take risks – calculated editorial risks, but risks all the same – and it’s vital that we don’t stop taking them. It’s an enormous privilege and a huge challenge to take on the job of running it.”
Helen Boaden, BBC Director of News, says: “Ceri brings outstanding experience of running one of our highest profile daily Current Affairs programmes, Today, which he has brilliantly modernised while building new relationships across the BBC. He is passionately committed to delivering courageous, challenging current affairs journalism on all platforms and is one of the most creative thinkers in BBC News.”
Ceri started his broadcasting career in 1989 as a producer of AM at LBC Radio. He then joined the Today programme as a junior producer in 1991, progressing to Assistant Editor under Roger Mosey from 1995.
Ceri then moved to Radio 5 Live as Breakfast Editor and eventually to Head of News for the station. He spent a year at Harvard University as a Nieman Fellow and, on returning, took on the new role of Radio Newsgathering Editor, taking the lead in strengthening the relationship between Newsgathering and Radio News and reviewing and re-organising Radio News’ own reporting base.