Nat Geo Names Tom McDonald EVP of Global Factual & Unscripted


Tom McDonald, currently BBC Studios’ managing director of factual productions, has been appointed executive VP of global factual and unscripted content at National Geographic.

McDonald, who will take up this newly created position in June, will be responsible for leading the development and production of all global unscripted series and specials from concept to execution. The content in his remit will cover such programming categories as travel, adventure, exploration, history, science and natural history that feed Disney+ and National Geographic’s linear channels.

McDonald will report to Courteney Monroe, president of National Geographic content, and joins Carolyn Bernstein, executive VP of scripted and feature documentaries, as one of Monroe’s top creative lieutenants. Bernstein will continue to oversee National Geographic Documentary Films.

At BBC Studios, McDonald currently oversees the creative and commercial strategy for the factual genre. Prior to joining BBC Studios, McDonald spent over seven years in the factual commissioning department of BBC Content.

Monroe said: “Tom is a brilliant creative executive with extraordinary vision and impeccable taste. Having spent a decade at the BBC creating premium, genre-defining factual content, Tom is the perfect person to lead our efforts to produce best-in-class, must-see National Geographic content. I have known and admired Tom for quite some time and could not be more thrilled he is joining our team as we expand our programming ambitions to help drive the global growth of Disney+.”

McDonald said: “It has been a privilege to work at the BBC, but the chance to join Courteney and her team at this pivotal moment in National Geographic’s evolution is an opportunity that was impossible to turn down. As I relocate to the U.S. and start a new chapter, I feel excited and energized by the opportunity to elevate National Geographic content across the Disney ecosystem. I cannot wait to get started.”