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Posts Tagged ‘Jay Penske’

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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Morning Media Newsfeed: FoxNews.com Defaced | Finke, Deadline Split | Ford Blames Reporters

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Fox News Website Defaced, ‘Internal Production Problem’ to Blame (The Verge)
Fox News’ website briefly appeared to be defaced Tuesday afternoon in what the network is calling an “internal production problem.” For several minutes, the site’s foremost story was changed to the headline “WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE,” with the blurb beneath it reading, “STUFF YO.” Another headline read, “HERE IS SOME STUFF FO YO,” but the website — aside from what were seemingly a few display glitches — was otherwise untouched. Even the headlines regarding zombies and Apple’s “Maverick Sea Lion” were actually old stories that had been resurfaced. NY Observer Fox News addressed the glitch on social media, tweeting, “As you may have seen, http://FoxNews.com is having issues. It’s an internal production problem and will be fixed soon. #FoxNews” AccessAtlanta.com / The Buzz “During routine website maintenance, a home page prototype was accidently moved to the actual site,” Fox News’ chief digital officer, Jeff Misenti, said in a statement. “As with any mistake in testing, engineers noticed the error and quickly brought the site back to its normal function.” FishbowlNY We take back all the mean things we’ve ever said about Fox News. “WEEEEEEEEEEEEEE” and the simplistic, yet startling accurate “STUFF YO” is some of the most concrete reporting we’ve seen on the site in quite awhile.

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The Nikki Finke-PMC Era is Officially Over

DeadlineHollywoodlogoIn a co-bylined post that few would have thought possible just a few months ago, Nikki Finke’s film and TV workhorses Mike Fleming Jr. and Nellie Andreeva announced at 9:26 p.m. ET tonight that their days of reporting to the volatile Finke are over:

Despite attempts by all to have it go otherwise, Nikki Finke will no longer be leading Deadline Hollywood, and she will not be writing weekend box office or filing stories going forward. This is an emotional and painful parting of the ways for us…

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Variety Recommits to Film Criticism

Not too long ago, Hollywood pundits were interpreting the hiring of New York-based Scott Foundas by Variety as a major sleight to the publication’s two other film critics, Justin Chang and Peter Debruge. Time to reverse that punditry.

Variety Studio At Chivas House - Day 1 - The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival

Per an announcement in the trade today, Chang and Debruge have been raised to Foundas’ “chief” tier. Fellow chief film critic Chang will remain based in Los Angeles while chief international film critic Debruge will work from a Paris base:

“We are aggressively stepping up our efforts in film criticism, which has been a hallmark of Variety for many decades,” said Jay Penske, chief executive officer of parent Penske Media Corporation. “We will continue to be the dominant force in this significant arena as we expand our voice in every key territory overseas.”

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