Ceri Thomas, the current editor of Panorama, will be leaving the BBC after nearly 25 years of service to become Director of the Public Affairs Office at Oxford University.
Thomas began his career in broadcasting at LBC before becoming editor of Radio 4’s Today programme from 2006 to 2012, as well as editor of Radio 5 Live’s breakfast show. He took over Panorama in 2014 and in 2012 was appointed as Acting Deputy Director of News at the BBC. He also has a background at Harvard University, where he spent a year as a Nieman Fellow in Journalism.
Ceri Thomas told the Oxford University Press Office, “Oxford is a byword for ideas, knowledge and progress, and deserves the reputation as a force for good in Britain and the wider world. I can’t think of a more inspiring place to be, and I’m delighted that I’ll be able to be part of it.”
Thomas’ colleague and the BBC’s director of news and current affairs, James Harding, highlighted Thomas’ positive qualities, telling the Guardian, “He is questioning, thoughtful and decent – qualities that have echoed through the programmes he has edited. The BBC has had many exceptional editors of the Today programme, but none could claim to have done a better job than Ceri.”
As Director of the Public Affairs Office, Thomas will be responsible for “developing public understanding of the aims and activities of the collegiate University, and for promoting effective internal communication in a large and dispersed institutional structure.” This will include overseeing community and government relations, providing information about the University to the public and news to students and staff and managing the content of the high echelons of the University website.
Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, has expressed enthusiasm about the appointment. She commented, “Ceri Thomas has enjoyed a distinguished career at the BBC in both radio and television, editing two of its flagship programmes, Panorama and Today. I am very much looking forward to the vision, energy and strategic insight that he will bring to our external relations.”