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

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

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, announcing it on Twitter on Thursday.

“I am building out 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 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, 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:






  • TVNewserEr

    Pretty sure this article shoulda started with the word… “TOLDJA!”

    • TheWrap

      can't say we weren't tempted….

    • JoeS

      Let's see how many folks who ripped The Wrap for that story apologize now. (I bet it won't be too many)

  • solipsist mine

    Great, yet another site with Finke repeatedly “revealing” all the serious flaws in the skills, talents and ethics of virtually every journalist with whom she worked (and in most cases even hired) just the year before, or lamenting how their new boss obviously can't rein in their many weaknesses and failings, as she once had to do on an hourly basis. Sigh. Truly, only one industry is so riddled with spineless creeps and sneaks that it can support over an extended period of time the likes of Finke.

    I'm hoping her first big “scoop” is yet another explanation of the infamous e-mail SHE actually publicized wherein she literally announced that she'd “protected” a firm from uncomplimentary, but-nonetheless-true, unflattering stories, this amid a scathing scolding because the firm didn't give her a scoop that went to someone else. I mean, she later edited that section from her own email out of the story, effectively admitting the grossly unethical behavior of which she's oft been accused. But it's not as though anyone forgot having seem her inadvertent confession.

    Another site with childish name-calling directed at the competition, and another site where supposed scoops ultimately proved to be false magically vanish, or are rewritten, without comment. I'm already bored all over again.

    I hope The Wrap does the smart thing and simply ignores her this time around. Really, don't feed the trolls and they DO go away, even if the occasional dig and well-turned insult can be fun. Resist.

    • jeo

      Wasn't that Fleming guy part of that “protection” e-mail too?

  • Jimmy

    I'm an entertainment news junkie — and I make no apologies for that — so I visit a lot of sites like The Wrap and I think Deadline has been much better without Finke's involvement. She's petty, immature and I always thought her “snarking” of award shows was just sad.

  • SkipB

    Getting the truth in Hollywood is tough. Nikki's brand is a refreshing change from the crap headlines designed to increase page views, studio placed articles, payola, and general pablum and cronyism that passes for journalism in this town. I'm glad Nikki's leaving the muzzle and taint of Jay Penske behind, and I look forward to some more uncensored reporting.

  • lovethisbusiness


  • jillkennedy
    • solipsist mine

      Yeah, like Nikki ever can or will take a job working “for” someone else ever again. Hey, I'm sure she'll find someone else to hand over some cash to pay for her own masthead – ala DH. (Someone with whom she'll inevitably and eventually clash, and then accuse of all manner of wrongdoing.) But there's no way an ego like that is ever going to “settle” for working for a publication or site that gives the “Founder and Editor in Chief” title to anyone but herself. She inflated herself WAY beyond that years ago – about the last time that photo bore any resemblance to her.

  • JoeS

    Nikki just posted this on Deadline:

    By NIKKI FINKE, Editor in Chief | Friday October 25, 2013 @ 12:41pm PDT

    I have been locked out of the Deadline Hollywood site after founding
    it 7 1/2 years ago. So don’t expect any more box office. I also just
    tried to post an exclusive involving Jeff Robinov and Sony Pictures and
    GK Films’ Graham King and Dune Capital Management Steve Mnuchin but only
    the alert went through. What an extremely sad day.”

    • solipsist mine

      The comments under that Friday afternoon post are hilarious – most unintentionally so. There are 4 as of this writing, but the 4th will probably do a disappearing act in 5…4…3…

      • solipsist mine

        Yup – the “4th comment” that acknowledged the story that's ACTUALLY above vanished one, and was replaced by a different 4th comment, one on the same subject as the others – ironically enough “JackAss.”

  • St

    Two rich people are fighting for power… Yeah, I so care about it and who will win.

    I don’t understand. They wrote on the other site that she founded Deadline, then sold it for 14 millions dollars to this guy, then probably bought herself nice rich house and then… wanted to be in charge as she was before she sold the rights? And is now angry when denied? Well honey – you sold yourself, what do you want now? You work for guy.

    I used to respect Nikki Finke. But lately… She is just too full of herself now. It’s all: “Me! Me! Me! I’m so powerful and know everything. I rule Hollywood. They are all afraid of my power”. And she likes to bring down rival magazines or entertainment sites. That is just the worst. She was spitting at Variety and now just yesterday she spit on Hollywood Reporter for absolutely no reason. And then she closes comments so that people can’t even ask why.

    And that whole “I will live Shark Oscars or Emmys because they are all afraid that I will do it”. And then she doesn’t even write anything interesting in those live-sharks. Nikki Finke was good at first but then she become famous and you know how fame changes every person. She turned to one of those hollywood celebrities that think that world is spinning around them.

  • Guest

    I think it's monumentally hysterical.

    • St

      It really is. She is like so powerful and such a boss and then she runs to Twitter to cry and hysterically scream like any other 17-years old. And then she does that thing that every narcissistic celebrity does – retweets compliments that other people say to her. Don’t they understand how ridiculous it looks? Isn’t she suppose to be above those hollywood stars?

      And then she retweets question that some girl asked: ‘Why are the comments to Mike Fleming's hit job on @NikkiFinke turned off?” Really? Because this is exactly what Nikki Finke did so often. So many times there was news how she is on vacation or sick and comments were off in her own article. Or when she childishly blasts her competition sites like Variety or THR. Just few days ago she wrote another bashing article about Hollywood Reporter and… she turned off comments. And people can’t say that they don’t agree with her.

      And she wrote box-office report today and said that all comments off-top will be deleted. Because she can bash and humiliate other people or sites but can’t stand when people critique her. And then she retweets those “Ha-Ha. Where are the comments on Mike Fleming's article. Is he coward?”.

      She really is full of herself celebrity that acts like she is above everyone. And it was just embarrassing when she was having Twitter meltdown and was washing her dirty laundry on public.

  • helenofpeel

    “I love the smell of napalm in the morning.”

  • hupto

    The minute everyone–and I mean everyone–stops telling her stuff is the minute her career is over.