The ongoing battle between PMC's Jay Penske and Deadline's Nikki Finke started with a bang and is now ending with a whimper, as Finke is finally out of the motor oil heir's slippery clutches. Finke shared with me that while she's happy to be free from Deadline, she is sad over the way the separation played out, and offered parting thoughts on Penske, Deadline film editor Mike Fleming Jr., and the fact that at one point, she offered to quit online blogging entirely.
Vanity Fair has joined the Nikki Finke Watch with new-ish allegations: that investor Dan Loeb, who helped Deadline owner Jay Penske finance the purchase of Variety in 2012, was one of the driving forces who wanted Penske to muzzle Finke—particularly after she wrote two nasty missives about him this summer.
Nikki Finke is not leaving Deadline quietly. In fact, according to my exclusive conversation with her on Thursday night, she's leaving amidst a litany of accusations ranging from boredom to slavery. According to Finke, "[Penske] owns me like I'm his slave" and has been harassing her. She goes on to say that the current iteration of Deadline is "bland and boring," and that Penske's working conditions are "breaking federal and state law."
Swirling tornado of anger Nikki Finke has openly declared war on current boss Jay Penske in her continued efforts to finagle Deadline Hollywood back from Penske's PMC. Mind you, this is but a mere two weeks after she told The Wall Street Journal, "I have confidence that no matter what happens, Jay and I can reach an amicable solution to all of this."