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Notorious Hollywood Blogger Nikki Finke’s Boss Denies Firing Her

The proprietor of Deadline.com, known for her slash-and-burn style of ranting and reporting, became the subject of Sunday night’s story. No love lost.

A bitter rival reported Sunday that Nikki Finke, the reclusive editor in chief of the blog Deadline Hollywood, had been fired, producing a shock wave through the entertainment industry and a swift, if opaque, denial from the site’s owner.

The report from TheWrap’s Sharon Waxman trumped Sunday’s momentous episode of Game of Thrones in the twitter feeds of industry insiders. Finke, a former newspaper and magazine reporter, started Deadline 2006 out of her L.A. Weekly column and soon became known for her uber-aggressive, take-no-prisoners style of entertainment coverage, breaking Hollywood stories, burning executives and actors with sharp editorials that became her trademark, and punishing sources who wouldn’t cooperate.

The company that owns her site, Penske Media, last year bought the storied Hollywood trade — and Deadline rival — Variety, and has remade it into a weekly magazine. Finke has criticized Variety a number of times since the purchase, including in January when she quoted an anonymous source that was fiercely critical of the publication’s management.

According to Waxman, Finke and CEO Jay Penske’s combustible relationship had grown even rockier of late. The Wrap quotes a Penske exec saying “She’s been sending emails saying, ‘I’m going to f—- you,’ and Jay says he’s had it.”

Penske, whose firm bought Deadline in 2009, responded to Waxman in an email that said “Sharon, your story isn’t true and all of the ‘facts’ that you mention are completely erroneous,” but Waxman notes that he was silent when asked whether Finke was fired. Deadline film reporter Mike Fleming released a statement on the site praising Finke and trashing The Wrap, adding that he does not believe that Finke had been fired.

Fleming also reprinted an internal email from a Penske aide, Lauren Gullion. It does not directly deny the firing, but says Finke’s contract remains intact. (The email, though signed by Gullion, appears to have been written by Penske and refers to the claim that “I had fired Nikki Finke.”)

This is a complete fabrication, with not an ounce of truth to it. Just to be clear, Nikki Finke has a multi-year contract with the Company, and it is the Company’s absolute intention to continue its obligations under the agreement.

It is sad when a rival business feels the need to fabricate stories to create traffic and notoriety.

One thing’s for sure: the Hollywood journalism crowd certainly had a lot to discuss on Sunday evening.


Bilge Ebiri

@BilgeEbiri

Firedja!


Bilge Ebiri

@BilgeEbiri

Nikki Finke fired. Turkish protesters: “We’ll take it!”


Jensen Karp

@JensenClan88

I feel bad for Nikki Finke’s cats tonight.

as you might imagine, I'm happy to see her go. I hated the way she bullied everyone in town. Like you didn't know...

— colliderfrosty (@Steven Weintraub)

Steven Weintraub

@colliderfrosty

as you might imagine, I’m happy to see her go. I hated the way she bullied everyone in town. Like you didn’t know…

Sharon is 100% right -- Nikki just wasn't writing Nikki stuff anymore. Besides the box-office byline, what's going to perceptibly change?

— NotoriousJLD (@Josh Dickey)

Josh Dickey

@NotoriousJLD

Sharon is 100% right — Nikki just wasn’t writing Nikki stuff anymore. Besides the box-office byline, what’s going to perceptibly change?

For most of you right now, I can't tell if you're tweeting reactions to Game of Thrones or Nikki Finke being fired.

— mikeryan (@Mike Ryan)

Mike Ryan

@mikeryan

For most of you right now, I can’t tell if you’re tweeting reactions to Game of Thrones or Nikki Finke being fired.

OH MY GOD!!!!

— TheInSneider (@Jeff Sneider)

Jeff Sneider

@TheInSneider

OH MY GOD!!!!

Also: Schadenfreude, thy name is Twitter after a report that Nikki Finke's ankling Deadline.

— ckrewson (@Chris Krewson)

Chris Krewson

@ckrewson

Also: Schadenfreude, thy name is Twitter after a report that Nikki Finke’s ankling Deadline.

So, if true: Penske bankrolls Finke, and that disruptive organization eventually takes over Variety... whereby Penske drops Finke? Huh.

— ckrewson (@Chris Krewson)

Chris Krewson

@ckrewson

So, if true: Penske bankrolls Finke, and that disruptive organization eventually takes over Variety… whereby Penske drops Finke? Huh.

Is Nikki Finke more peeved about being fired or that The Wrap broke the story?

— deepsoap (@Sara Bibel)

Sara Bibel

@deepsoap

Is Nikki Finke more peeved about being fired or that The Wrap broke the story?

"Give me my goddamn check or I will rip off your head and breathe hell into your neck stump." -- Nikki Finke to the unemployment office.

— pajiba (@pajiba)

pajiba

@pajiba

“Give me my goddamn check or I will rip off your head and breathe hell into your neck stump.” — Nikki Finke to the unemployment office.

Two burning questions: 1. Who's the new Deadline EIC and 2. When and where does Nikki resurface?

— NotoriousJLD (@Josh Dickey)

Josh Dickey

@NotoriousJLD

Two burning questions: 1. Who’s the new Deadline EIC and 2. When and where does Nikki resurface?

Finke fired. Israel and Palestine now ready to talk long-term peace.

— rejects (@Neil Miller)

Neil Miller

@rejects

Finke fired. Israel and Palestine now ready to talk long-term peace.

Nikki Finke's sacking is the one time NO ONE will complain about seeing Sunday night tweets spoiling someone's demise

— BittrScrptReadr (@Bitter Script Reader)

Bitter Script Reader

@BittrScrptReadr

Nikki Finke’s sacking is the one time NO ONE will complain about seeing Sunday night tweets spoiling someone’s demise

Twitter is live-snarking the firing of Nikki Finke.

— misterpatches (@Matt Patches)

Matt Patches

@misterpatches

Twitter is live-snarking the firing of Nikki Finke.

Lesson: Bullies will always lose… eventually, in the end.

— slashfilm (@Peter Sciretta)

Peter Sciretta

@slashfilm

Lesson: Bullies will always lose… eventually, in the end.

Oh, c'mon, America. Don't make She Who Shall Not Be Named trend. Ugh.

— TVMoJoe (@Joe Adalian)

Joe Adalian

@TVMoJoe

Oh, c’mon, America. Don’t make She Who Shall Not Be Named trend. Ugh.

Cool that Nikki Finke is our J.D. Salinger.

— lianamaeby (@Liana Maeby)

Liana Maeby

@lianamaeby

Cool that Nikki Finke is our J.D. Salinger.

Nikki Finke couldn't be reached for comment regarding her dismissal from Deadline as she is vacationing in OZ, underneath a house.

— nailbiter111 (@Jay Jay)

Jay Jay

@nailbiter111

Nikki Finke couldn’t be reached for comment regarding her dismissal from Deadline as she is vacationing in OZ, underneath a house.

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