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Gianopulos to top Fox pay TV unit

Twentieth Century Fox Intl. TV prexy Jim Gianopulos is expected to assume the reins of the weblet’s domestic pay TV and in-ternational homevideo operations early in the new year, sources said Monday.

The promotion would consolidate all domestic and international pay TV and homevideo operations under Gianopulos; he already oversees the distribution of feature film and TV product to terrestrial and pay TV services around the world and is developing the Hollywood studio’s role in international co-production and the sale of format rights.

Gianopulos, 39, who replaced longtime Fox Intl. TV prexy William Saunders almost two years ago, would pick up the duties of Jim Griffiths, former president of the 20th Century Fox pay TV and international homevideo division. Griffiths left for Hong Kong recently to oversee Rupert Murdoch’s Star TV satellite service as managing director.

Gianopulos’ new, expanded duties would include developing relationships and new outlets for Fox product in the burgeoning Latin American satellite and cable markets, previously the purview of former Fox exec VP Rafael Pastore, who ankled the company last month.

Before joining the fourth web, Gianopulos was from 1991-92 exec VP for international for Carolco Pictures and from 1988-91 senior VP of business affairs and international for Paramount’s homevideo division. Gianopulos will report to William Mechanic, the recently appointed president of 20th Century Fox.

Neither Gianopulos nor Fox reps were available for comment.

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