Ceri Thomas appointed BBC news head of programmes: 'It's vital we don't stop taking risks'

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Today editor Ceri Thomas has been promoted to head of programmes for BBC News following the departure of Stephen Mitchell in the wake of the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal. 

 
In his new role Thomas will oversee programmes including Panorama, Today and Newsnight , as well as new programmes on Radio 5 Live and the Asian Network. 
 
Mitchell left the corporation in December after coming in for criticism in the Pollard Review into the dropping of Newsnight’s Jimmy Savile documentary. 
 
The BBC is also recruiting a new director of news after moving Helen Boaden to the job of director, BBC Radio.
 
Thomas 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.”
 
Boaden commented: “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.”
 
Thomas 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.
 
He moved to Radio 5 Live as Breakfast Editor and eventually to became 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.
 

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