The long-simmering tension between Nikki Finke and the owner of the Hollywood news site she founded may have reached a boiling point.
Finke, whose no holds barred reportage and deep industry sources have made Deadline.com an essential read within the entertainment community, may no longer be welcome at her own site.
Finke posted this item today on Deadline.com at 12:41 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.
The split had been hinted at for some time. Finke no longer owns Deadline.com, and she has clashed repeatedly with the site’s new owner, Jay Penske.
In an interview with the Guardian on Friday she accused Penske, who owns Deadline, of ruining the site and attempting to muzzle her with legal letters. “I will not be harassed and I will not be intimidated by the company that employs me,” she said….
Deadline evolved from Finke’s blog, which drew fans with scoops, reputation-shredding attacks on industry figures and “live snarking” commentaries during award ceremonies. She sold it to Penkse in 2009, reportedly for $14m, and stayed on as editor despite warnings of a rocky relationship.
Finke announced today that she’ll be working on her own site, NikkiFinke.com, which she hopes to officially start early in the new year. She has only begun to fight, apparently, witness this Tweet earlier today aimed at her current boss:
Earth To Penske: Hollywood tried and failed to intimidate me. Big Media tried and failed to intimidate me. I like to brawl, remember?