UK pubcaster BBC has bolstered the commissioning teams of its natural history and specialist factual units as part of the corporation’s overall restructure of factual commissioning.
Tom McDonald (pictured, left) will continue to head the natural history and specialist factual department, adding overall strategy on television and digital to his oversight for natural history, science, and religion and ethics across BBC1, BBC2 and BBC4.
Working in partnership with McDonald will be Craig Hunter (right) as commissioning editor for science and factual, Scotland, and Fatima Salaria as commissioning editor for religion and ethics. The pair will act as lead on the editorial and digital strategy for their respective areas.
A commissioning editor for history, as well as two commissioning editors working across the whole span of the genre, will be announced in the near future.
In his new role, Hunter will serve as commissioning lead for all science and factual content in Scotland. Previously factual commissioning editor for Scotland, Hunter has commissioned such series as the BAFTA-winning Big Blue Live, the RTS- and Grierson-winner Oak Tree: Nature’s Greatest Survivor, The Big Life Fix, The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs and specialist factual formats Trust Me, I’m A Doctor and Inside the Factory.
Salaria, meanwhile, has previously served as an assistant commissioner on the BBC Content Commissioner Development Program, working across a raft of religious content including Carols from King’s, Fern Britton Meets, An Island Parish, Muslims Like Us and My Mediterranean with Adrian Chiles.
Prior to this, Salaria was a series producer on such BBC specialist factual titles as Mixed Britannia, Andrew Marr’s History of Modern Britain and The ’70s.
“These two new appointments [Hunter and Salaria] demonstrate our commitment to genre specialism and to simplifying processes within the BBC to the benefit of our suppliers and our audience,” said Alison Kirkham, BBC controller of factual commissioning, in a statement.