Nikki Finke posted a response this morning in which she neither confirms nor denies that she has been "fired" from her own Deadline Hollywood by owner Jay Penske, as Sharon Waxman reported Sunday at The Wrap. The only part of the Waxman report that Finke addresses is a sentence that says “the most recent conflict between Penske and Finke involved an email that Finke sent to two partners at UTA in the wake of losing a scoop, according to an individual with knowledge of the exchange." Finke says the email doesn't exist and posts copies of other emails regarding UTA, the Hollywood talent agency. "True, I’ve occasionally lost my temper and sent nasty emails to Hollywood. And not once has Jay Penske ever complained to me about them. (He knows I’m a bitch. That’s why he bought me.) But I never sent the email described above," Finke writes.
Finke says she's away on vacation, but stays away from her status with Penske, who bought her Deadline site a few years ago. Excerpt:
Right now I am not going to discuss my Deadline Hollywood contract or my relationship with my boss Jay Penske. Why? Because I don’t have to. If that changes, I’ll tell you. (I also didn’t post about this imbecilic digital ad about me which my parent company ran without my knowledge in NYC’s Times Square all week during the recent TV upfronts. See below.) The fact is I’m out of town and about to begin my long-planned summer vacation. And the last thing I want is to be bothered now by a bunch of media and/or moguls asking for comment. As it happens, I was napping in a different time zone when The Wrap crapped on me yet again Sunday night. That said, I could pick apart her so-called “shocker” line by line, but I won’t. I’d much rather spend my remaining pre-vacation time writing up some great scoops to post this week. Instead, I’ll simply correct one point from her article to illustrate what a bad reporter Waxman is....
Waxman had posted, based on "multiple individuals with knowledge of the situation," that Penske fired Finke after tiring of her storminess and she would be "leaving the company as soon as this week." Waxman and the LA Times report that Finke herself has been informing Hollywood types that she is leaving. Her contract reportedly is up for renewal.
* Wow (12: 20 p.m. update): It appears that after Finke posted fragments of email to show that Deadline doesn't threaten its sources, she or someone went back and deleted a line that contains a threat to the agency UTA. According to Gawker, the email is from her staffer Michael Fleming, who is mad at UTA executives for a scoop that ended up in The Hollywood Reporter. The part Finke left out is when Fleming wrote, "false denials come with consequences at deadline hollywood, i’m sure you understand. because
they piss us off and most people know better than to do that."