David Carr came through town a week or so ago and lands on the New York Times' front page tomorrow with a piece on Nikki Finke. Her deal to sell Deadline Hollywood Daily means she "stands to make more than $5 million in the next eight years, and her deal could go as high as $10 million," says Carr. He calls Finke a well-traveled newspaper reporter who had trouble making deadlines and a penchant for innuendo, but is a must-read in Hollywood who "has found her moment as a digital-age Walter Winchell." Excerpt:
Most people in Hollywood are not able to meet Ms. Finke, 55. Like another influential blogger, Matt Drudge, she is private to the point of hermitic, spending most of her time in front of a computer at her home in Westwood. Her site has gone dark several times when she has worked herself to exhaustion....
As a traditional print reporter, she had a problem with deadlines, trying the patience of many editors. She began her blog in March 2006 partly of necessity: she had run low on money and options. A never-published book on talent agencies gave her sources, and LA Weekly gave her blog a home.
Her liabilities in the world of print — a penchant for innuendo and unnamed sources — became assets online. To admirers and detractors, she is the perfect expression of the Web’s original premise, which suggested that a lone obsessive could own the conversation, which she punctuates with the phrase TOLDJA in capital letters. “It is not a great mystery how all of this happened,” said Joe Donnelly, who edited her column at LA Weekly. “It happened because Nikki willed it to happen through a lot of hard work. She is not afraid of new technology and new ideas. She saw this coming.”
Finke hasn't commented yet on the story, but posts the news today that veteran tabloid editor Bonnie Fuller is joining her new parent company, MMC, as president and editor in chief of Hollywood Life.com.