In today's episode of Hollywood Dance Moms, the feud between Deadline's Nikki Finke (Abby Lee, natch) and The Wrap's Sharon Waxman (sucks to be Cathy) goes for another round: this time over Waxman's upcoming annual conference on the intersection of journalism, entertainment, and technology, TheGrill. FX's president is scheduled to speak there, a transgression that has earned his network a coverage ban in Finke's Deadline.com.
Sources tell us that Finke has told FX president John Landgraf, who is scheduled to speak at the September event, that she will pull all coverage of FX from the site, even if the network wins any of the 26 Emmys its shows are currently up for. A recent "Emmys Q&A" article with FX's American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy first appeared on Deadline on August 15th with three mentions of FX. It has since been edited to not mention FX at all.
After my e-mails to FX flack John Solberg were forwarded to her by someone within the 21st Century Fox organization, Finke—who is in the midst of plotting her escape from the clutches of Jay Penske, the racing scion who purchased Deadline in 2009—reached out to me with a comment of her own:
I'm not going to confirm or deny that I'm calling people to not appear at TheGrill. But I have noticed that [Waxman] has a history of advertising people as speakers who don't know that they've been asked to speak. And she also publicized an advisory board of Hollywood's VIPs who didn't know they were her advisors. I find this incredibly amusing.
Finke is referring to TheGrill 2011, when she busted Waxman for using the names of six of Hollywood's high ups (including Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton and CAA partner Bryan Lourd) as part of TheGrill's "advisory board." According to Finke, all six were completely unaware that they were part of any such board.
While this isn't an an explicit confirmation or denial by any means, for someone who merely finds this 'amusing,' Finke had some choice words for FX as well:
One of the things I find hilarious is that so many people up and down Newscorp [ed. note: FX's parent company] at the film studio level, the TV studio level, the broadcasting level, so many people will not talk to The Crap [sic] and will not answer their calls because they are so inaccurate in their reporting. And yet, here is Landgraf endorsing them by being a speaker. What's his next gig? Supermarket openings? I know that shows on FX are in the witness protection program, but really? Does he really think this is going to get his shows publicity?
Yikes. FX had no comment.
Finke and Waxman's beef is storied, as is Finke's undermining of Waxman's conference. This isn't the first year that Finke has pressured speakers to drop out, and I hear she's been successful in years past. I called Waxman for a comment and, after a delightfully condescending conversation, received this email:
Beejoli—Since we've never worked together before, and you are apparently new at reporting, I wanted to give you my quote in writing. I look forward to working with you going forward: I'm not aware of the issue you mentioned. We are looking forward to a fantastic Grill conference this year, with another incredible line-up of industry leaders and innovators, including John Skipper from ESPN and Ted Sarandos from Netflix. Now in our fourth year, we're really proud to have established this high-level conversation about the future of content and the intersection with technology. People should check it out.
So there you have it. This round of the feud takes place September 23-24th in Beverly Hills, so if you have $995 and a Team Sharon t-shirt, now's the time to sign up for a front row seat.