Media News

The legend of Hollywood industry reporter Nikki Finke

January 21, 2023

Posted by Chris Roush

Nikki Finke

Jacob Bernstein of The New York Times writes about Hollywood industry reporter Nikki Finke, who died in October and was the founder of Deadline Hollywood.

Bernstein writes, “Her site became a must-read thanks to her day-by-day, and sometimes hour-by-hour, coverage of the writers’ strike of 2007-2008. ‘Like it or not, everyone in Hollywood reads her,” Brad Grey, then the chief executive of Paramount, said in a 2007 interview with The Times. Ms. Finke listened to the strikers and made them into sources. ‘I quickly realized that the trades and newspapers were reporting the moguls’ lies as truths,’ she wrote.

“She was not above resorting to the hardball tactics that had made Walter Winchell and other gossip columnists of the print age into household names. Executives who didn’t take her calls risked being slagged on Deadline. The same held true for those who appeared at promotional events run by her competitors. Describing her approach in a 2015 interview, she said, ‘I mean, they play rough. I have to play rough, too.’

“Critics said she played favorites — like Mr. Emanuel, a founding partner of Endeavor who inspired Jeremy Piven’s character on the HBO series ‘Entourage,’ and Mr. Meyer. But her habit of getting great dirt, along with her lightning-fast publishing speed and gleeful prose style, made the age-old daily papers and trade publications seem fusty by comparison.”

Read more here.

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