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Kevin Smith Revs Up Nikki Finke Way-Back Time Machine

Long before the Jay Penske deal, Nikki Finke was of course already at it.

Today on HuffPost Live, writer-director Kevin Smith chimed in re: the whole Sharon Waxman mess by recalling a tussle with Finke in the summer of 2006. She wrote that Clerks 2 was “well on its way to more failure,” prompting Smith to respond and Finke to post anew on July 26:

I’ve edited out the jejune personal attacks. But because I’m always in favor of a dialogue based on the merits or demerits of my editorializing, I’m honored to give director Kevin Smith his say…

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Website Asks Wrong Nikki Finke Rhetorical Question

Unless, that is, Contact Music knows something we don’t. Namely, that Finke has already bolted from PMC for a new stealth enterprise and is quickly having second thoughts there.

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Nikki Finke Gets Her First Public Job Offer

Sharon Waxman may not be completely useless to Nikki Finke after all.

In the reader comments to Waxman’s Sunday night article heard around the Hollywood world, Finke got a job offer this morning from the New York City Star. The New York City what?

The URL newyorkcitystar.com rolls over to the organization’s Twitter page. And that’s where this whole job offer gets really hilarious, from a west coast point of view:

Hyperlocal News for the five boroughs of New York City. NewYorkCityStar.com is in development.

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PMC Dismisses Sharon Waxman Bombshell Report

Sunday, bombshell Sunday.

At 6:45 p.m. PT tonight, Sharon Waxman posted an article titled “SHOCKER: Jay Penske Fires Nikki Finke from Deadline Hollywood.” She has since updated her article with information also contained in a DHD denial shared at 7:46 p.m. by Mike Fleming.

It’s not so much what Fleming writes but rather the internal emails he references. One was sent by Jay Penske to Waxman and the other to staff from PMC  head of communications Lauren Guillion. The latter communication ends with this:

It is sad when a rival business feels the need to fabricate stories to create traffic and notoriety. Due to the defamatory and disparaging nature of some of the completely inaccurate statements made by Waxman, PMC has turned this matter over to our attorneys.

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Sharon Stone Gag Article Hits Front Page of Yahoo

We were definitely stunned this morning when we saw the following headline parked at the top of Yahoo’s front-page Entertainment news scroll:

Although the front page outlet-tag credits only Variety, the article is actually from the Hollywood trade’s satire partner Hollywood & Swine. The four-paragraph item was fed to Yahoo on Saturday and republished minus the framing disclaimer, fooling some readers, puzzling others and offending many more:

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THR Snags a Couple of Variety Film Reviewers

No, we’re not talking about Justin Chang and Peter Debruge. That would be huge and… somewhat nonsensical.

Still, for Hollywood trade watchers, the defection from Variety to The Hollywood Reporter of international freelance reviewers Jonathan Holland (based in Madrid) and Boyd van Hoiej (Paris, Luxembourg) would seem to suggest that there’s concern on their part about the future of their beat. A rep for THR tells us that van Hoiej is already at Cannes, and that both will immediately start contributing to the efforts crowned of course by another Variety alum, Todd McCarthy.

Holland, who focuses mainly on Spanish and Latin American films, has also written for The Guardian and Conde Nast’s Traveller. He separately penned the 1994 novel The Escape Artist.

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Pete Hammond’s Not-So-Great Gatsby Moment

The bigger picture here is that Deadline fudged some previously published information. They are certainly not alone on the Internet in that regard. But a trade that consistently likes to trumpet its superiority should, we think, be opting for sweeter correction music (redlining, a footnote,…).

The following sentence is no longer part of Pete Hammond‘s May 15 Deadline coverage of the opening night party at the Cannes Film Festival for The Great Gatsby. It was shortened, rewritten and made parenthetical not long after the item went live with this:

Clearly there seems to be a group of pseudo-critics who like to try and take down a movie, and this [The Great Gatsby] was a target, even though some of them (I am talking about you, The Wrap) obviously had never read the book.

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Janice Min: ‘The Only Thing We Kept Was the Name’

It’s hard to argue with the selection of Janice Min for this week’s LA Weekly issue celebrating “the most interesting people” in Los Angeles. The name-brand editorial director has completely re-invigorated a moribund Hollywood trade, showed Jay Penske the way with her weekly glossy print edition and essentially steered clear of Nikki Finke‘s core beat.

So much so that a New York Post story today about the contract renewal status of Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter mentions Min as a logical successor. Here’s a taste from Gendy Alimurung‘s LA Weekly profile of the “tiny, friendly” 43-year-old:

The new Hollywood Reporter launched in November 2010, a scant four months after Min took charge. The compressed schedule forced her to think clearly, she believes. Sometimes too much time muddles your thinking. The proof is in the numbers: Online traffic is up 800 percent. More importantly, revenue is up 50 percent.

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Lawsuit Pits Jay Penske Against Former Variety Exec

It was to be called Beverly Hills Entertainment Week. But the 2012 event never happened and according to reports late last night on Deadline and TheWrap, past and present regimes of Variety are tangled up in the 90210 details.

Variety Media LLC is claiming in an April 29 LA Superior Court complaint that a $500,000 event sponsorship deal set up previously at Variety with Beverly Hills Media Group was fraudulent. In addition, the trade’s new ownership alleges that because the sponsorship deal was never properly disclosed during due diligence for the PMC-Variety deal, they are now on the hook for a penalty.

The defendants, in a counter-claim filed Tuesday, insist they tried to set up a meeting with Penske during the Variety acquisition process but were denied.* From Sharon Waxman‘s report:

The complaint accuses the unnamed “executive officer” of Variety of engaging in a “fraudulent, self-dealing transaction while the assets of Variety were being marketed for sale for the purpose of diverting substantial revenues generated by Variety…”

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An Historic Hollywood Trades Panel

We’ve attended many Digital Hollywood’s and similar conferences over the years. For the life of us, we cannot remember another time when editorial representatives from all four Hollywood trades participated in the same panel discussion.

The May day confluence will occur tomorrow afternoon at the Ritz-Carlton in Marina del Rey. Moderating “The New Digital Age of the Hollywood Trade Press” will be Rick Markovitz, president of Weissman/Markovitz Communications. And participating:

- Andrew Wallenstein, editor-in-chief, digital, Variety
- Chis Krewson, editor, THR.com, The Hollywood Reporter
- Dominic Patten, reporter, Deadline Hollywood
- Joseph Kapsch, deputy managing editor, TheWrap

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