Amid talk that the ownership of Deadline.com is on the verge of buying Variety, Nikki Finke announced on Deadline.com that her staff will be too busy next week on some unstated business to post breaking news nuggets. "The Deadline Team won’t provide 24/7 news coverage for at least the next week. One of the reasons is DH business affecting the entire staff in LA, NY, and Europe," Finke posted. "As a result, we’ll probably miss some breaking stories and delay monitoring some comments, emails, and phonecalls. Please cut us some slack for the duration."
Could this be the worst nightmare for the Variety staffers who have stuck it out at the fading trade this long? If there's a bright side for the Variety types, Deadline has some solid journalists including film editor Michael Fleming, who spent two decades at Variety, and TV editor Nellie Andreeva, who worked at The Hollywood Reporter for ten years.
The buyer, based on reports, would be Jay Penske's PMC in partnership with private equity fund Shamrock Capital Advisors.
Some links on the subject:
LA Times: "Deadline owner Penske likely to buy Variety"
Anne Thompson, IndieWire: "The question is what Penske plans to do with Variety, a hidebound institution that until now has kept its distance from the kind of traffic-chasing economics that Penske lives by...The economies of scale that Finke lives by are one reason she is so successful. Variety has no clue how to function the way she does."
David Poland, Movie City News: "Who runs Variety if Nikki doesn’t try to do so? Who is willing to be put in that position? I don’t know that anyone can turn down a paycheck these days… but many people have either left Deadline or refused to take lucrative offers from Deadline for one reason only. Nikki Finke."
LA Observed photo