Nikki Finke, the veteran entertainment journalist who founded Deadline in 2006 and helped grow it into a major player among Hollywood trades, died Sunday morning in Boca Raton, FL after a prolonged illness. She was 68 years old.
The famously reclusive Finke set up his site as Deadline Hollywood Daily, the 24/7 Internet version of his long-running print column “Deadline Hollywood.” LA Weekly, She posted direct accounts, unconcerned about how she saw the entertainment business and groomed its biggest players. Her often biting, sharp posts called out wrongdoers and wrongdoers as she saw fit – making her a hero to many assistants and down-the-liners, while upsetting many in the C-suite. who did nothing less than praise.
However, he always picked up his phone.
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Finke’s no-prisoners style angered many of showbiz’s top players and delighted others. She often scored big exclusives, and when she was confirmed by Coms teams or campaigners, Finke would use her signature “Toldja!” Update your story using
Among Finke’s most famous — or infamous — assignments was his “live-snarking” of Hollywood awards shows, including the Oscars, Emmys, and Golden Globes. She applied warning labels to several of those live blogs, including, “Come for the blasphemy…Stay for the sabotage” and “Not for the easily offended or ridiculously gullible.” In fact, none of the execs, stars, producers or subjects were protected then — or in any other Deadline post.
“At its best, Nikki Finke embodied the spirit of journalism, and was never afraid to tell the hard truth with a sharp style and an enigmatic spark. Jay Penksey, founder, president, and CEO of Penske Media Corporation “She was brutal and true,” said the man who acquired Finke’s blog in 2009. It was never easy with Nikki, but she will always be one of the most memorable people in my life. ,
A Long Island, NY native, Finke’s pre-Deadline journalism career included some of the most powerful and influential media outlets around the world: as the Associated Press foreign correspondent in Moscow and London, a newsweek correspondent in Los Angeles and Washington, DC, and a Los Angeles Times Staff writer covering entertainment and amenities. She was the first West Coast editor and Hollywood columnist New York Observer and then for New York Magazine, He also hosted an entertainment industry radio show on public radio in Southern California.
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she joined LA Weekly as its “Deadline Hollywood” columnist in 2002, writing about the business, politics and culture of the media and entertainment industry. Finke launched the Deadline Hollywood Daily in March 2006 as a faster way to report breaking entertainment news than his weekly newspaper column, and purchased the domain name for $14.
Dow Jones’ Marketwatch calls Finke a “must-read” Hollywood Los Angeles The magazine stated that it is “essential reading for those following the industry, and New York Observer Finke was dubbed “Media Men of the Year”.
Finke – and, by extension, Deadline – was cemented in Hollywood’s media consciousness for her blanket coverage and myriad scoops about the writers’ strike of 2007–08.
After Deadline Hollywood was purchased by Penske’s PMC (then known as Mail.com Media Corporation) in 2009, Finke became its editor-in-chief and general manager. Deadline will become the official source for breaking news in the industry and insider analysis/comment. PMC controlled all three major Hollywood trade publications: Deadline, Variety and THR.
In 2010, Finke’s ranked 79th. Forbes’ List of most powerful women in the world.”
In the same year, HBO ordered tilda, A pilot starring Diane Keaton as a reclusive Hollywood blogger—like Finke—was conceived and written and developed without Finke’s knowledge or involvement. Also starring Elliot Page and Jason Patrick, it was co-produced by Bill Condon, who co-wrote the script and directed the pilot. He also starred alongside Alan Paol, Alexa Junz and John Hoffman. The pilot had a rocky production and post-production run due to creative differences, and HBO eventually passed it in early 2011.
Finke occasionally shook heads with PMC’s founder and chairman Penske, and he left Deadline in 2013.
In 2015, Finke launched Hollywood Dementia.com, a site dedicated to fictional stories about Hollywood (read an excerpt here). She signed a first look production deal with HBO for content from the site.
From 2011–21, she served as a judge for the Mirror Awards competition, which celebrates excellence in reporting from the media industry. The honor was presented by Syracuse University’s SI Newhouse School for Public Communication.
An alum of Wellesley College, Finke had long been a philanthropist for the school and spoke to its students over the years.
He has a sister, Terry Finke Dreyfus; brother-in-law James Dreyfus; and nieces Sarah Greenhill and Diana Leighton.
Memorial services will be private.