Endemol Taps Former FremantleMedia Exec To Oversee Asian Operation
In the latest in a string of executive appointments, Big Brother producer Endemol has named Fotini Paraskakis managing director of its Asian operations to oversee creative, production and format sales activities across the region. The exec joins from FremantleMedia Asia where she was director of content for all of the company’s formats in the region including Idols, Got Talent and X Factor. As Endemol looks to expand in Asia, its recent projects there include a first series of Fear Factor and a second season of The Money Drop for Astro in Malaysia; a third season of Your Face Sounds Familiar on Hunan Satellite TV in China and the return of Deal Or No Deal and the launch of The Money Drop in the Philippines.

News International Closing Phone-Hacking Compensation Program
News Group Newspapers, the subsidiary of News Corp.’s UK press arm News International which published the now-defunct News Of The World, is winding down the compensation scheme it set up for phone-hacking claimants. The company said it believes it is “in the interests of all concerned that there be clarity as to the duration of operation of the Compensation Scheme. Accordingly, NGN would like to announce that only applications received by midnight on 8 April 2013, which is two years from when the Scheme was first announced, will be considered for admission.” Putting a deadline on the applications for damages will leave the company open to more civil claims. News International has paid out millions in damages and legal costs and the decision to shut down the compensation structure is seen as part of News Corp.’s bid to distance itself from the phone-hacking scandal. On Friday the high court will hear formally that at least 130 out of 167 civil claims filed last fall have settled out of court, The Guardian reported.

Lebedevs Win London TV License
Russian billionaires Alexander and Evgeny Lebedev beat out four other bidders for a local London TV license that is the first new one issued by regulator Ofcom since the launch of Channel 5 in 1997. The Lebedevs’ channel will offer 18 hours of programming a day including news, current affairs, entertainment, weather and sport. The father and son own newspapers the Evening Standard, The Independent, The Independent On Sunday and the i. The Guardian reports the free-to-air channel could launch in September with access to about 4M homes. The Lebedevs also plan to make it available on the Sky and Virgin Media platforms. Among the groups who had been vying for the license was the Channel 6 Consortium which was supported by Sony Pictures Television Networks.

Al Pacino To Receive Inaugural Jack Valenti Prize At L.A. Italia Fest
Al Pacino is to receive the first Jack Valenti – L.A. Italia Legend Award at the Los Angeles, Italia – Film, Fashion and Art Fest. Director Lina Wertmuller made the announcement today. Valenti’s daughter Courtney, EVP of production at Warner Bros., will present the award to Pacino on February 17 at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. The festival’s eighth year includes about 40 contemporary Italian movies and a celebration of the spaghetti western genre. It runs from February 17-23. The new Valenti prize will be given annually to an outstanding Italian-American who has made major contributions to the global motion picture industry. The festival is produced by founder Pascal Vicedomini and chaired by Rick Nicita, with producer Martha De Laurentiis serving as president and producer Mark Canton serving as honorary chair.