MacDonald is currently VP of programming at A+E Networks U.K., a joint venture of between A+E and BSkyB. He will take over later this year.
Exec is BSkyB’s second choice. The BBC’s Liam Keelan accepted the job, then turned it down after he was offered a top slot at BBC Worldwide.
MacDonald will report to BSkyB content topper Sophie Turner Laing.
After years of struggling to find an identity, Sky 1’s fortunes revived under Murphy. It has beefed up its U.K. commissions to complement a lineup of U.S. shows that includes fare like “The Simpsons” and “Modern Family.” MacDonald will be expected to build on that success.
Like Turner Laing and Murphy, MacDonald is a former BBC staffer. He was head of planning and scheduling at flagship web BBC1.
He has also worked for U.K. commercial terrestrial broadcaster ITV and shingle IWC Media.