NEW YORK — Nikki Finke, the veteran reporter who turned one in every of Hollywood’s high journalists as founding father of the leisure commerce web site Deadline.com and whose sharp-tongued tenacity made her the most-feared columnist in present enterprise, has died. She was 68.
Finke died Sunday in Boca Raton, Florida, after a chronic sickness, in line with Deadline.
A famously reclusive blogger, Finke started writing LA Weekly’s “Deadline Hollywood” column in 2002 and made it important studying for gossip and commerce information. 4 years later, she launched Deadline Hollywood Every day as a web site.
Running a blog at Deadline.com, Finke made a pugnacious media empire of scoops and gossip, famend for her “live-snarking” award reveals and story updates that blared “TOLDJA!” when one in every of her earlier exclusives proved correct.
Finke’s sharp-elbow type earned her loads of enemies in Hollywood. However the Lengthy Island native’s common drumbeat of exclusives proved her appreciable affect with executives, brokers and publicists. In 2010, Forbes listed her amongst “the world’s strongest girls.” Finke was unapologetic, declining to melt her method for probably the most glamorous stars or probably the most highly effective studio executives.
“I imply, they play tough,” Finke informed The New York Instances in 2015. “I’ve to play tough, too.”
Finke did all of it largely from the confines of her residence in west Los Angeles, not schmoozing at red-carpet premieres or cocktail events. However from her reclusive take away, Finke might ruthlessly skewer executives whose resolution making she disapproved of. She as soon as known as Jeff Zucker, then-president of NBC Common, “some of the kiss-ass incompetents to run an leisure firm.”
“I can not assist it!” Finke informed The New Yorker in 2009. “It is like meanness pours out of my fingers!”
In 2009, Deadline Hollywood was bought by Jay Penske, whose firm, Penske Media Company, would later additionally purchase Selection and The Hollywood Reporter. Finke usually quarreled with Penske, significantly after his buy of the Deadline rivals. She departed the location in 2013 after months of public acrimony, however remained underneath contract as a guide. “He tried to purchase my silence,” Finke wrote on the time. “No sale.”
“At her greatest, Nikki Finke embodied the spirit of journalism, and was by no means afraid to inform the exhausting truths with an incisive type and an enigmatic spark. She was brash and true,” Penske stated in an announcement Sunday. “It was by no means straightforward with Nikki, however she’s going to all the time stay some of the memorable folks in my life.”
After her departure, Finke performed with varied tasks however by no means returned to leisure journalism. Her cope with Penske reportedly prohibited her to report on Hollywood for 10 years, although she at one time threatened to go solo once more with NikkiFinke.com. As a substitute, she debuted HollywoodDementia.com, with fictional showbiz tales as an alternative of actual ones.
Earlier than her notoriety with Deadline, Finke had spent years as a reporter for The Related Press, Newsweek, The Los Angeles Instances, the New York Put up and the New York Observer. She impressed a 2011 HBO pilot that starred Diane Keaton as reporter Tilda Watski.