McDonald will move over to the BBC’s commercial production arm in early 2020 after four years as the British broadcaster’s head of natural history and specialist factual commissioning.
He will report to BBC Studios director of content Ralph Lee and is part of a new-look top team. Bodyguard and Line of Duty producer Priscilla Parish was announced as BBC Studios’ drama chief earlier this month, while Josh Cole is joining from Sky to become head of comedy.
As BBC Studios’s director of factual, McDonald will oversee the prestigious Natural History Unit, which is responsible for global brands including Blue Planet II and Planet Earth II.
Lee said: “Tom is a passionate and exceptional program maker, who’s overseen some of the most successful factual content of recent times.”
McDonald’s other commissions include Untouchable: The Rise and Fall of Harvey Weinstein and Peter Jackson’s World War I film They Shall Not Grow Old.