TOLDJA! Nikki Finke Leaves Deadline

TOLDJA! Nikki Finke Leaves Deadline

She'll no longer be writing weekend box office or filing stories going forward, according to the website's editors

Nikki Finke has officially parted ways with Deadline Hollywood, the website she founded in 2006 and sold to car racing scion Jay Penske in 2009.

“Despite attempts by all to have it go otherwise, Nikki Finke will no longer be leading Deadline Hollywood, and she will not be writing weekend box office or filing stories going forward. This is an emotional and painful parting of the ways for us,” wrote Deadline editors Mike Fleming Jr. and Nellie Andreeva.

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

TheWrap first reported in June that Finke would be parting ways with the site due to the collapse of her relationship with Penske, who has said nothing since the turmoil reared its ugly head.

“Jay Penske has just told me I am free to leave. He tried to buy my silence. No sale,” Finke tweeted on Tuesday evening.

“Businesses evolve and change, and we've learned that no one is indispensable. We will be adding a few significant hires to our staff imminently and, though we will never completely replace Nikki's unique voice, we will continue ahead, charging hard, breaking every story possible. On behalf of everyone at PMC and Deadline Hollywood, we wish her well and appreciate the opportunity to have worked alongside her,” wrote Fleming and Andreeva.

Penske has been grooming Fleming to take Finke's place, according to sources, but few in the industry believe that the former Variety reporter can truly replace Finke's authoritative voice, which made for a compelling read, even at her most vicious.

Also read: Variety Stakeholder Dan Loeb Tried to Get Nikki Finke Fired ‘At Least Three Times’ (Updated)

Finke made her bones during the 2007-08 writer's strike and it remains to be seen who will take over her must-read box office column. She is planning to start, though it's unclear when; her contract with Penske ran to 2016.

Trouble has been brewing on the Finke front for 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.

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 have 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 when Penske apparently shut off Deadline's automatic Twitter feed to her personal account, allegedly 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.'”

Finke quickly updated her Twitter bio after the news of her departure broke, changing it to read: “Editor Emeritus & Founder, Deadline Hollywood.”




[Full Disclosure: Jeff Sneider used to work at PMC-owned Variety.]

  • 2loveybunnies

    Perfect timing for TheWrap to bring Finke on board…

    • Matt Clayton

      Why would Waxman invite her frenemy on board? Nikki would quickly grow bored and rip Sharon a new one.

    • Jimmy

      Please, no! Finke is better on her own. She is obviously unable to work as part of team and eventually would turn on everyone.

  • thoughtsandthoughts

    I think Deadline is making the right move here. Finke is better off on her own.

    • katwa1290

      Finke is better off on her own because she clearly can't be
      managed. Not positive she's mentally stable enough to start from scratch again and not sure what investors she thinks she's going to get?

  • Nicholas

    I think this is going to end up hurting everyone at Deadline some credibility. Especially Fleming. These folks lied and then went out of their way to slam the people who work at this site and also the readership. It was obvious to anyone who reads Deadline that something was going on and for Fleming to play head cheerleader and then turn on Finke at the end and publicly call her out and ask her to behave, well, it was a pathetic site. I say all this but we must not forget that Finke should really consider taking meds for whatever mental issues she's got. And, now, maybe Hollywood folks will stop putting her on her pedestal. Yes, she was hot for a quick second but now that Hollywood Reporter and Variety are finding their groove, this site and places like BadAssDigest are growing, Finke just isn't as important as she claims she is. Deadline is probably the fourth website I visit for my news nowadays when it used to be first. Reading her became as painful as watching Nancy Grace…how is that fun?

    • Nikfi

      Not a fan of Finke's behavior, but if she were a man exhibiting the same behaviors you would not be crying out for him to “take his meds.” That's so dated already. It's offensive that an aggressive woman is labeled as mentally disordered, and one way to neuter them is to marginalize them as “crazy.”

      That said, if her new site is like the way Deadline originally was, it's going to be an interesting ride. Fleming is horrible and hopefully she doesn't bring him over.

      • Nicholas

        No way…I'd call out Rush Limbaugh or Bill O'Really the same way. In fact, during a discussion on Survivor's season earlier this year, I pointed out how a male character's actions were clearly the result of PTSD and how shouldn't have been put on the show in the first sake.

        BTW: Finke isn't aggressive. She's a bully. Two different things.

        • ADK

          oh puhleeze, you sound unstable yourself…fake physician, heal thyself

        • Jillz

          Yeah, maybe you should skip the diagnosis of people you don't actually know and have never talked to. It's so easy to read tweets/gossip and diagnose a person with “whatever mental health issues she is dealing with,” or watch them on TV and see their “actions were clearly the result of PTSD.” You might THINK the person has mental health issues, but you are not their doctor, so maybe cool it with these types of comments. Otherwise, you're going to get some internet backlash.

      • Samantha

        I'm a woman and I'm so, so tired of hearing “if she were a man…”
        Trust me, there are lots of things for which men are criticized that slide by for women. That's life, it ain't fair and it ain't pretty but, damn, it can be fun.

        • Parasite

          What a stupid and meaningless comment.

          So others should keep quiet on a persistence obstacle because you “Samantha” are tired of hearing about it.

          Whether you're tired of hearing it or not, the fact is that it's a persistent and common obstacle. Women like you make the burden that much harder for other women, but you sure won't be too tired to enjoy the fruits of their activism, will you.

        • bs101

          you're not a woman, your language gives you away…lol…loser

      • Susanna

        Um, regardless of her gender, it's clear that she was absent and behaved terribly. Of course she got fired. This was beyond a bad attitude and being a little difficult. She was erratic, and instead of dealing with her issues in a professional way, she made it very, very public. She was asking for them to fire her.

        Agree that the “take your meds” comment is stupid and callous. It's so easy to say something like that when a woman is hostile. Just an unnecessary jab. But I believe that the issue here is not a gendered one.

  • SoCalGuy

    Yawn…. seriously, who cares?

    • Dan Mitchell

      Well, you, at least, for one. Clearly.

  • Fikki Ninke

    And Deadline's story about this is NOT allowing comments???

    No, I'm not totally surprised… Just wondering, doesn't this make them look weak?

    • JerryD

      They're not allowing comments because everyone would point out how they insisted that The Wrap was wrong and Nikki wasn't going anywhere and that she was simply on vacation. They have lost all credibility. By the way, I love the fact this article used “Toldja” in the title.

      • TMS

        I love the Wrap and all but there's just know way they knew/know the real story here better than Deadline. I think they're doing the classy thing here, with all considered…moving on from the drama and doing they're jobs.

  • Script1977

    There is no way Finke walked away – there has to be more to the story than that.

    • LSiegel

      Agree- who's going to get that story I wonder.

    • seems clear

      Obviously it was a no-win for Penske. She wasn't going to be of value any longer although he was paying her a premium. Most of all, her comment “buy my silence” suggests she was going to trash him.

  • Kristy

    it's kind of funny actually, the way finke got to thinking herself to be so important, like the center of the universe…..just like the execs she likes to rip apart hollywood love to chew up and spit out talent, even evil journalists like her. (wonder what kind of taste that leaves….)

    • SandyV38

      Thats right – she was just a bully – and not a smart one. Now she has to start all over again (didn't she has less than 50,000 people reading her one woman blog before Penske bought her name?) Now Deadline has millions of readers. If one reporter leaves CNN does it crumble…… NO!

  • jillkennedy
    • LeslieR


  • JaneSmith100

    Sharon, now is the time for you and Nikki to make up and put down the swords. I have always been a fan of BOTH of you. You are both powerhouses, just bring Nikki here. You're both great. I love NF & her reporting. I also really liked all the Brit reporting that Deadline did because I'm a huge fan of Brit tv/movies.

  • Valleygrl

    Wow – its so funny how Nikki pretends shes free, when she obviously has been fired. Companies like PMC don't make comments like that because they let her go – that standard language when someone gets canned.

    • MaggieMoo

      Right? “He has set me free.” Bull. All of the Deadline language indicates a classic firing because they could not resolve their differences with her. I don't blame her for trying to twist it on twitter, but it is so thinly veiled, it's ridiculous.

  • JoeS

    My ear is open waiting to hear all the “I'm sorry I was wrong” apologies to The Wrap.

    What do I hear? crickets………………….

  • Robinson Crudite

    Not entirely true that Finke didn't respond when The Wrap revealed this back in June. She didn't talk directly to The Wrap, but she did say something several hours after the story broke, claiming she hadn't bothered to comment sooner because she was on vacation and taking a nap! Also, Deadline Hollywood claimed they were going to their attorneys to look into suing you guys for libel. What a pile of crap from DH and NF just to try to save face, but now they look like idiots. June wasn't that long ago, guys.

  • Judas

    She's some kind of a smart a$$, isn't she? Too much confidence and makes so many adversaries in carreer?

  • Jimmy

    OK, you totally deserve that “TOLDJA!”

  • Pete45612

    Does Nikki Finke know that anyone that invests in her will probably be sued – legal 101 people…..


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  • Jane

    Actually The Wrap: you people said Nikki got FIRED! That isn't the case. So NO, you didn't tell us anything.