The company backing Nikki Finke's Deadline Hollywood blog is expanding the site with two more entertainment journalists. Mike Fleming is leaving Variety after 20 years to become the editor of Deadline|New York. Tim Adler, formerly editor of Screen Finance, will be the editor of Deadline|London. From the release:
Deadline.com now enters its next phase of editorial and geographic expansion. Finke will remain Deadline.com's general manager and editor in chief, and editor and founder of Deadline|Hollywood. But Fleming's ability to consistently deliver high-profile scoops and provide on-the-spot analysis will help make Deadline.com a “must-read” for influencers and leaders in the global business of entertainment and media.
Finke earlier added Diane Haithman as a freelancer writing about TV showrunners. Sharon Waxman at The Wrap observes that although Finke's release calls Fleming a friend of many years, her latest reference to him on the blog was as a "hypocrite" and "desperate to get noticed." Waxman analyzes the latest moves by her rival:
This is good news for Finke, who has been trying to fill a slot for an east coast reporter for seven-plus months. Fleming will be the Deadline editor for New York, covering not just film but "offering analysis about books, media, TV news, theater, and other Gotham-based infotainment arenas," according to the press release. Deadline has also hired Tim Adler, an apparently well-known entertainment journalist based in London.
This is very bad news for Variety, which has watched the wholesale departure of talent - mainly by shoving them out the door. Now the voluntary departure of a talented, news-breaking reporter like Fleming is a very bad sign indeed, just as the trade has made two high-level hires - of Daily Variety, and Variety.com - of journalists who have no knowledge of the entertainment industry.
Indeed, with the loss of veteran Mike Speier (who briefly joined TheWrap last year), the departure of Fleming, the upstairs bump of ex-editor Peter Bart and the removal of Dana Harris to supervise a subscription product, I wonder how many people are left at the trade to report on and parse the film industry.