Nikki Finke Claims to Be Leaving Deadline, Announces NikkiFinke.com (Updated)

NikkiFinkeJayPenske

She took to Twitter to share the news

Nikki Finke says she is set to leave the website she founded and start over again at NikkiFinke.com, announcing it on Twitter on Thursday.

“I am building out NikkiFinke.com and will unveil it right after the new year,” she tweeted. “Can’t wait to report the real truth about Hollywood.”

Finke added in another tweet: “All that’s left is for the lawyers to disentangle me from [owner Jay] Penske. I have no idea why he has fought so hard to keep me. I’ll be free soon.”

Also read: SHOCKER: Jay Penske Fires Nikki Finke From Deadline Hollywood, Sources Say

Update, October 25 8:58 a.m.: On Friday, Finke wrote several more tweets updating readers on her situation:

“Penske keeps sending me legal letters since I began giving interviews. Latest one this am demands I remove and retract my tweets,” she wrote. “Earth To Penske: Hollywood tried and failed to intimidate me. Big Media tried and failed to intimidate me. I like to brawl, remember?”

 

Finke also mentioned that Deadline would be undergoing a redesign, though she’d had no say in the process and didn’t seem confident that it would be an improvement: “Penske has given the Deadline redesign to the same guy that redesigned Variety’s unreadable website. I’ve still had zero input.”

Trouble has been brewing on the Finke front for several months. TheWrap broke the news in June that Finke and Penske were at loggerheads, to the point where insiders said that the Variety and Deadline owner had fired her.

In June, Finke declined to respond to TheWrap’s report in advance or afterward, while Penske called the report “untrue” but declined to respond to repeated questions to clarify her status. Later he issued a statement saying PMC would honor its “obligations” to Finke.

Also read: Nikki Finke Breaks Silence on Jay Penske Feud: Gimme Deadline Back

Matters had been ambiguous since that point, with Finke ducking in and out of “vacation,” and at one point sending an email blast informing the industry she would no longer be reporting on the box office “until further notice.” Finke then wrote a box office story shortly thereafter.

She made her desire to buy Deadline.com back from Penske known in interviews with several news outlets, but things came to a head on Thursday when Penske apparently shut off the automatic Twitter feed of Deadline article to her account, apparently because she had too many followers.

“Penske makes it official: With no advance warning, he pulled the Deadline news feed from my Twitter account,” Finke wrote. “I have ‘too many followers’.”

By Thursday night, Finke explained her position to BuzzFeed and Defamer.

“I think Deadline is very bland and boring, and doesn’t tell the truth about Hollywood anymore,” she told Defamer. She added that Penske forced her to work seven days a week and would not let her take vacation time.

“He somehow thinks he owns me like I’m his slave. He’s breaking federal law and state law,” she said.

Finke noted that she already had new backer for NikkiFinke.com, telling BuzzFeed she’d been offered over $5 million and was looking forward to moving on. “All I have to do is start writing,” she said.

Neither Penske nor Finke responded to requests for comment.

Her tweets are below: