Nikki Finke, famously reclusive and feared Deadline columnist, dies at age 68

Nikki Finke, the veteran reporter who grew to become one among Hollywood’s prime journalists as founding father of the leisure commerce web site 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. Four years later, she launched Deadline Hollywood Daily as a web site.

Blogging at, Finke made a pugnacious media empire of scoops and gossip, famend for her “live-snarking” award exhibits and story updates that blared “TOLDJA!” when one among her earlier exclusives proved correct.

Finke’s sharp-elbow fashion earned her loads of enemies in Hollywood. But the Long 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 ladies.” Finke was unapologetic, declining to melt her strategy for essentially the most glamorous stars or essentially the most highly effective studio executives.

“I imply, they play tough,” Finke told The USA Prime Time in 2015. “I’ve to play tough, too.”

Finke did all of it largely from the confines of her condominium in west Los Angeles, not schmoozing at red-carpet premieres or cocktail events. But from her reclusive take away, Finke may ruthlessly skewer executives whose choice making she disapproved of. She as soon as known as Jeff Zucker, then-president of NBC Universal, “one of the crucial kiss-ass incompetents to run an leisure firm.”

“I am unable to assist it!” Finke told The New Yorker in 2009. “It’s like meanness pours out of my fingers!”

In 2009, Deadline Hollywood was bought by Jay Penske, whose firm, Penske Media Corporation, would later additionally purchase Variety and The Hollywood Reporter. Finke typically quarreled with Penske, notably after his buy of the Deadline rivals. She departed the location in 2013 after months of public acrimony, however remained beneath contract as a guide. “He tried to purchase my silence,” Finke wrote on the time. “No sale.”

“At her finest, Nikki Finke embodied the spirit of journalism, and was by no means afraid to inform the laborious truths with an incisive fashion and an enigmatic spark. She was brash and true,” Penske mentioned in a press release Sunday. “It was by no means simple with Nikki, however she is going to all the time stay one of the crucial memorable individuals in my life.”

After her departure, Finke performed with varied initiatives 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 Instead, she debuted, with fictional showbiz tales as a substitute of actual ones.

“There is lots of reality in fiction,” she informed the Times in 2015. “There are issues I’m going to have the ability to say in fiction that I am unable to say in journalism proper now.”

Before her notoriety with Deadline, Finke had spent years as a reporter for The Associated Press, Newsweek, The Los Angeles Times, the New York Post and the New York Observer. She impressed a 2011 HBO pilot that starred Diane Keaton as reporter Tilda Watski.

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