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Posts Tagged ‘Jay Penske’

Jay Penske Tells WWD Employees About the Money They’ve Been Losing

FFMLogoNew York Times reporter Laura M. Holson has the details of meetings chaired by Jay Penske with Women’s Wear Daily staff the day after the announcement of his acquisition of Fairchild Fashion Media.

The meetings took place on Third Avenue, in a seventh floor conference room. But the number that jumps out from Holson’s article is much larger: $50 million, or the amount Penske told gathered employees that Fairchild has lost over the past five years:

Through a spokeswoman, Mr. Penske declined to be interviewed. But Gerry Byrne, the vice chairman of Penske Media Corporation, confirmed Mr. Penske’s plans for WWD’s digital and overseas expansion.

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Penske to Acquire Fairchild Fashion Media

FFMLogoCondé Nast wouldn’t comment. But according to New York Times media reporter Ravi Somaiya, Jay Penske is about to add an impressive group of media properties to his PMC empire.

From Somaiya’s report:

Condé Nast plans to sell Fairchild Fashion Media, the group behind trade publications like Women’s Wear Daily and Footwear News, to Penske Media for around $100 million, according to a person familiar who has been briefed on the deal.

Fairchild’s employees will go with the new company, the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity to reveal an as-yet unannounced deal, said.

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Nikki Finke Cranks Out Her Best New Story Yet

JeffBlakePicWhy did Nikki Finke return to the Internet airwaves, under threat of litigation from her former boss Jay Penske? So she could continue sharing stories like this one.

Finke’s behind-the-scenes account of what led to this week’s forced exit of Sony Pictures Entertainment vice chairman Jeff Blake (pictured) expertly triangulates his fate with the politics of a conglomerated studio lot, the machinations of Dan Loeb and the actions of Blake’s scrambling, fearful bosses (Amy Pascal, Michael Lynton). It’s a must-read and, best of all, is only Part One.

Finke reveals that Blake was almost scapegoat-fired last summer following a secret July 4 meeting. She notes that when it all, almost came crashing down last year, Blake, a longtime box office source, shared an unusual request:

I loathe those calls I sometimes have to make telling Hollywood bigwigs they’re in danger of getting axed. To my surprise, Blake verbally shrugged it off except to say “Water rising here”.

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Mike Fleming Cautions Those Who Choose Nikki Finke

BartFlemingLogoFor anyone with a granular interest in the Hollywood trades, the latest edition of Mike Fleming and Peter Bart‘s weekly Deadline column is a must-read

Fleming confirms it was his idea to bring Finke back into the Deadline fold. He details how the negotiations with PMC chief Jay Penske fell apart and ends this latest conversation with former Variety boss Bart with a stern warning:

“Since the thrust of her new site seems to be Deadline-bashing, I feel comfortable in making this clear: those who choose to break their news with her will need to be happy with that result. You might get a scant mention, but you’ll find no love here.”

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Variety Adds TV, Real Estate Editors

DebraBirnbaumPicThere’s a fair bit going on these days at Jay Penske‘s Deadline and Variety twin trades.

On the Deadline side, Dominic Patten recently started anchoring daily video reports under the rubicon DeadlineNow. From PMC’s new westside Los Angeles digs, he has been chatting with reporter Jen Yamato, film editor Anita Busch, east coast-based chief theater columnist Jeremy Gerard and others about the latest developments on each journalist’s beat.

Meanwhile, Variety has been staffing up. This morning, TV EIC Cynthia Littleton announced that Debra Birnbaum (pictured) has joined the publication as executive editor, television:

Birnbaum came to Variety in April to help spearhead the eight Extra Edition special issues published this month in conjunction with Emmy season. She will be at the helm of Variety’s expansive TV awards season coverage leading up to the July 10 nominations announcement through the 66th annual Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony on August 25.

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NikkiFinke.com Finally Launches

Nikki Finke is back and doing one of the things she does best: tooting her own horn.

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From her slightly delayed nikkifinke.com launch announcement:

That’s why I designed my new logo to look the way it does – gritty and bullet-riddled with a fiery palm tree shooting sparks into the night sky more dramatically than any fancy klieg light.

Let those wimpy Hollywood websites do glossy or garish or rewrite press releases or post stenography instead of sturm und drang. I’m all about this town’s gritty reality exposed through the harsh glare of my reporting.

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A Couple of Great Nikki Finke Strands [Updated]

Here’s the first one. And… Because we can never for whatever reason get on-the-record cooperation from PMC, we intentionally did not go to them for comment. If, after reading this item, someone from that end wants to chime in, we’ll be happy to update below.*

Through the grapevine, we hear that Jay Penske, Mike Fleming Jr. and Nellie Andreeva are actively trying to convince Nikki Finke to return to the Deadline fold. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that Deadline, minus Finke, now gets traffic-beat by TheWrap. But that’s just a guess. The discussions, we’re told, are ongoing.

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Now, on to the second, even juicier bit of Finke business. We say that because this strand involves some rare phone and email contact between Finke and rival Sharon Waxman.

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Nikki Finke’s Version of TGIF

A week after Good Friday, Nikki Finke is celebrating Good Riddance.

The hiatus-ed one’s Twitter feed is dominated these days by links to Studio System content. But every once in a while, the veteran entertainment journalist chimes in about things like the Oscars or – in this case – the object of her one-time home office affections:

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New York Magazine Charts Finke-Penske Ups, Downs

BenjaminWallacePicAmong the many fascinating revelations in the New York magazine feature by Benjamin Wallace (pictured) about the evolution of Nikki Finke‘s relationship with Jay Penske is the way she helped her PMC boss drive down the acquisition price of Variety, the property that would eventually prove to be their Deadline Hollywood undoing:

Finke says she advised Penske on how to game the bidding by telling friendly reporters the other bidders were overpaying for it, in order to scare them off. Soon after a Los Angeles Times article to this effect was published, Ron Burkle dropped out.

[Editor's note: Burkle reportedly walked away after his substantially lower offer than Penske's eventual purchase price was rejected.]

Adding to the noteworthiness of this particular New York magazine passage is the fact that the LAT article in question appears to have been written by none other than Patrick Goldstein, author of a Los Angeles magazine profile of Finke and co. that went online last Thursday. In the portion of the Los Angeles magazine article where Goldstein discloses his personal relationships with trade players, he begins the summary of his Nikki dealings with, ‘Finke and I have been friendly for years.’ Apparently so.

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Where Did All Those @Variety Twitter Followers Come From?

That’s a question that caught the attention of Hollywood trade watchers late Friday thanks to Ben Dreyfuss, engagement editor for Mother Jones. He noticed and shared that in late September, the follower count for Jay Penske‘s publishing concern had a “boffo” day.

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What may shock you even more is how cheap something like this is to pull off. Check out for example the prices from this instant-popularity purveyor; they suggest Variety‘s early fall surge could have cost as little as $500.

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