Finke Speaks: On Fighting With Penske and THR

On her boss: “I threaten to call lawyers every minute of every day, but … “I’m still here.”

There is a great deal of static in the air Friday over whether Nikki Finke was offered the job of editor-in-chief at the Hollywood Reporter.

The Reporter’s CEO Richard Beckman says, No. Finke says, Yes, Beckman’s boss made the offer.

But here is a bitlet of information that emerged from the fray – Finke told the Reporter that she was unhappy with Penske, and looking to separate from him.

Could this be true? Only one way to find out.

I steeled myself and emailed La Finke and Le Penske. (Clarification: I emailed Le Penske, then steeled myself for the call from La Finke, which came shortly thereafter.)

Penske came back all diplomatic: “My relationship with nikki has never been better,” he wrote, “and i couldn’t be happier with the success of our deadline.com property.”

Finke was, true to form, more frank.

“Am I ever happy with my bosses? Never,” she said. “Maybe one second a day. I hate bosses. I complain about everybody and everything. I told him before I joined that I am the worst employee he will ever have.“

Can she be more specific? “I get furious,” she admitted. “I threaten to call lawyers every minute of every day.”

But, she added, she loves Penske, too: “I love this guy. More than life itself.” (No, seriously, she did say this.)  “I can’t believe I am so lucky to have somebody who puts up with me.”

“I want to leave every moment of every day,” she said. “And every other moment I want to stay every moment of every day. “

She said she held talks with the Reporter because she was “curious.”

At the same time she confirmed that she did indeed tell the new THR owners that she was unhappy with Penske.

“So what?” she retorted. “I’m still here.”

Meaning, she’s back. La Finke has been gone for two weeks, on vacation. (She told me where, but folks — it’s off the record.)

See previous: Is Nikki Finke for Sale Again? (updated II)

and Nikki Finke: Grilled