Deadline Hollywood executive editor Michael Cieply is stepping back from the publication after just three months, individuals with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap.
Multiple insiders said Cieply would take on a reduced role after clashing with Deadline editors in chief Mike Fleming and Nellie Andreeva. One said he would be a freelancer rather than top editor.
Cieply declined to confirm the reports. When reached for comment the former New York Times Hollywood correspondent said via email this weekend that the change represents “a slight shift in my arrangement” but declined to give any details.
He also denied reports from numerous industry insiders that he was leaving the executive editor role.
Reached by TheWrap, Fleming declined to comment. Andreeva did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on Sunday afternoon.
The person who initially told TheWrap of the change cited a poor relationship between Cieply, Fleming Jr. and Andreeva as the reason. Deadline proudly announced Cieply’s joining top editorial leadership of the site in a July news release.
“We could not be more excited to welcome Michael to our editorial team,” Fleming and Andreeva wrote at the time. “He has been a preeminent journalist in this space for years, with an impeccable reputation for being fearless, fair and ethical.”
Cieply boarded the online magazine on a three-year-contract, an individual with knowledge of his employment arrangement told TheWrap.
Prior to his tenure at the Times, Cieply worked at the Wall Street Journal and Forbes. He co-authored 1981 book “The Hearsts: Family and Empire.” Before his days as a journalist, Cieply was a producer, most prominently at Columbia Pictures from 1991-2000.
Deadline Hollywood is owned by Penske Media, which also owns Variety.