[Blind Gossip] While we normally talk about actors or singers or models, we have a little variety for you today. We’re going to take you behind the scenes of the nasty war between two prominent female entertainment reporters!
One is claiming that the other is getting fired very soon!
The Claimer says that The Firee has been acting unprofessionally, that she is irritating the hell out of everyone around her, and that the executives at her company can’t wait to see her go. The Firee refuses to address the issue of her possible termination directly, but instead is vaguely denying it in the form of blustering and personal insults hurled at The Claimer. The Firee’s Boss is flat-out denying that he will be breaking The Firee’s contract.
Well, we found out that the truth is somewhere in the middle. The Firee’s Boss – who denies that anything is happening – does want to fire her, but he doesn’t want to suffer any sort of legal or industry backlash for doing so (even though he is the one who created this mess). He has asked The Firee to “voluntarily” step down with a generous compensation package.
The Claimer and The Firee are long-time rivals at competitive media companies, so The Claimer is quite pleased about The Firee’s demise.
However, true to form, The Firee is not going down without a fight! She’s feisty, that one. And more than a little scary. In fact, she’s so scary, some will be happy to see her go.
The Claimer: Sharon Waxman, TheWrap.com
The Firee: Nikki Finke, formerly of Deadline.com
Firee’s Boss: Jay Penske, PMC
If you don’t know – or don’t care – who any of these people are, you are probably in the majority… but you definitely do not work in Hollywood!
These three media characters have been brawling with each other for years, much to the amusement of everyone in the industry. Everybody in this scenario hates each other, and everybody is probably relieved that it’s finally over.
We would offer Nikki Finke a job, but Ace is really all the feistiness we can handle around here. We do have a suggestion for Jay, though: Since Penske is now down one employee, perhaps you should consider bringing in George Costanza to work on The Penske File?
From Deadline’s nemesis TheWrap.com:
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.
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.
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 NikkiFinke.com, 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.
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 Deadline.com 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.”
Ha! They aren’t “parting ways.” Nikki Finke was fired, Sharon Waxman gets to say “Toldja!”, and Jay Penske gets to pee on photos of both of them while yelling, “You’re not white enough!”
Did you catch the “Variety” clue? Penske bought out Variety last year. Must be nice to have lots of Daddy’s money to spend!
Everybody in Hollywood got this one right! Congrats to Tanzania for being first!
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