People/Biz

BBC Studios taps Tom McDonald as director of factual

BBC Studios, the commercial production arm of British pubcaster the BBC, has appointed Tom McDonald as director of factual. McDonald (pictured) served as head of natural history and specialist factual commissioning at BBC ...
September 23, 2019

BBC Studios, the commercial production arm of British pubcaster the BBC, has appointed Tom McDonald as director of factual.

McDonald (pictured) served as head of natural history and specialist factual commissioning at BBC Content since 2016. The executive is currently responsible for all natural history, science, history and religion and ethics programming across BBC1, BBC2, BBC3, BBC4 and iPlayer.

He will assume the role at BBC Studios in early 2020.

“I feel incredibly lucky to have worked with some of the very best directors, producers and indies — as well as amazing colleagues — over the last seven years,” McDonald said in a statement. “During my time in commissioning, the broadcasting landscape has changed at an extraordinary pace. So now feels like the perfect moment to take on a new challenge, building on BBC Studios Production’s global reputation and helping to shape their factual output for the years to come.”

At BBC Content, McDonald’s commissioning credits include series, single films, live events and formats, including the blue chip docuseries Blue Planet II and feature documentary Untouchable: The Rise and Fall of Harvey Weinstein.

He first joined BBC as commissioning editor in documentaries, science and natural history in 2012. Prior to that, McDonald worked in the independent sector as an executive producer on factual titles such as 24 Hours in A&E on Channel 4 and Who Do You Think You Are? on BBC, BBC1 and BBC2.

BBC Studios factual production includes four business units: natural history, science, documentary and Factual Salford, the company’s Salford, England-based production unit that focuses on prime time topical consumer series, such as Watchdog, and daytime topical series such as Rip Off Britain, Food: Truth or Scare and the forthcoming For Love Or Money with Kym Marsh, among others.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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