Rupert Murdoch says his company’s “collective future has never been brighter”.

21st Century Fox today announced that the Board has appointed Lachlan Murdoch non-executive co-chairman and James Murdoch has been promoted to the position of co-chief operating officer.

The announcement was jointly made by Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO; Chase Carey, president and COO; and the 21st Century Fox Board of Directors.

The ‘filmed entertainment’ part of Murdoch’s media empire includes film studio Twentieth Century Fox, Twentieth Century Fox Television, Fox 2000; fox21.; Fox Animation/Blue Sky Studios; Fox Home Entertainment; Fox International Productions; Fox Searchlight; Fox Television Studios; and production giant Shine Group.

Lachlan had previously worked in executive positions at the company from 1994 to 2007, elevating to deputy COO responsible for the group’s most important publishing businesses in addition to its US TV station holdings.

Speaking about his appointment to non-executive co-chairman, Rupert Murdoch said: “Lachlan is a strategic and talented executive with a rich knowledge of our businesses… I’m very pleased he is returning to a leadership role at the company, where he will work closely with me, Chase, James, and the rest of the Board of Directors to drive continued growth for years to come.”

In his new role, Lachlan will work closely with senior management and the rest of the 21st Century Fox Board in developing global strategies and guiding the overall corporate agenda, dividing his time between Sydney and New York.

Comming on the promotion of James, Murdoch snr said: “We are pleased to elevate James into this important role alongside my partner and trusted advisor Chase Carey. I’m confident James and Chase will continue to make a great team during this time of immense opportunity.

“James has done an outstanding job driving our global television businesses and our shareholders, customers, and colleagues will benefit greatly from his many talents.

“This company has never been better positioned to capitalize on the increased global demand for quality storytelling and news, and our collective future has never been brighter.”

James has spent 17 years with the company in key leadership roles across almost all of its major TV businesses, including London, Mumbai, Munich and most recently the US. He is widely considered the heir apparent to his father.

As co-chief operating office, he will partner with Carey to set the strategic direction across the company’s global portfolio of assets and will have direct responsibility for Fox Networks Group, which will now report to him.

James will also have direct responsibility for the strategic and operational development of the company’s owned and controlled interests in the pay-television Sky and Star services in Europe and Asia, respectively. He will continue to report to Carey.

In addition to these appointments, the company also announced that Peter Rice, chairman and CEO Fox Networks Group, has agreed to extend his employment agreement.