Fox Broadcasting has elevated its longtime marketing and public relations executive Joe Earley to a new post as chief operating officer.
The promotion of Earley is the first major move by Kevin Reilly, who himself was promoted from president of entertainment to chairman of entertainment for Fox Broadcasting earlier this month. In his new role, Earley will play a key part in programming, casting, scheduling and business affairs.
Reilly said in a statement that Earley is a "dynamic leader who inspires partnership and a sense of collective purpose across our entire company." Earley will report directly to Reilly.
Climbing through the ranks of publicity and communications to the executive suite is unusual in television, but it is not unprecedented. HBO Co-President Richard Plepler took a similiar path, as did Dana Walden, chairman of 20th Century Fox Television, and David Stapf, president of CBS Television Studios.
While Earley will, in essence, be Reilly's No. 2, Mike Darnell, Fox's president of alternative entertainment, which includes franchises "American Idol" and "The X Factor," will still report directly to Reilly.
Follow Joe Flint on Twitter @JBFlint.