Brad Turell — senior VP of programming at Fox Broadcasting Co. and one of its longest-standing employees — has left the company.

The ouster of Turell, who started at Fox six years ago as VP of publicity before shifting to oversee all specials, has been expected, since Turell lost a major ally within the company when president-chief operating officer Jamie Kellner left in January.

In addition, Dan McDermott had been named senior VP of current programs and specials — establishing him as Fox’s No. 2 programming exec behind Fox Entertainment Group prez Sandy Grushow — altering the reporting structure. Turell reported to McDermott instead of directly to the entertainment division chief.

Turell will start his own production company and will reportedly bring with him production commitments from Fox in the specials area. During his programming tenure he oversaw development of “Sightings,” which has become a weekly series, as well as the Billboard Music Awards and Fox’s often-turbulent telecasts of the Primetime Emmys.

Before joining Fox in February 1987 (prior to the launch of its prime time lineup) Turell spent five years at PR firm Rogers & Cowan. He became senior VP of corporate creative services in 1988 and moved to his most recent position two years later.

Citing Turell’s role in the launch of Fox, former chairman Barry Diller called him “invaluable — a loud, exuberant enthusiast at a time when Fox needed it.”

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