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Posts Tagged ‘Sharon Waxman’

Anonymous Website Group Claims to Have Outed Nikki Finke

MankaBrosNikkiFinkeIllustrationA turbulent week of media coverage for Nikki Finke just got a whole lot more turbulent.

Following pieces by BuzzFeed‘s Kate Aurthur and NYT‘s Ravi Somaiya about Finke’s current settlement talks with PMC, a mysterious new website – nikkistink.com – has gone live today with footage it claims is that of the reclusive Hollywood journalist. For those in LA who care about such things – and there are many – the video and multi-camera-angle screen grabs depict a woman the site claims is Finke getting into a black Town car.

From the Hollywood Reporter item about this:

According to two sources who spoke to The Hollywood Reporter on the condition of anonymity, one of whom has met Finke in person in recent years, the woman in the NikkiStink.com video is the real Nikki Finke. A call and email to Finke were not immediately returned.

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Hollywood Trade #IceBucketChallenge Devolves Into Twitter War

LAObserved got the ball rolling with some media coverage of TheWrap’s August 18 #icebucketchallenge and the admittedly funny visual of site founder Sharon Waxman seeming not to get wet while underlings to her left and right did.

However, as Waxman subsequently tweeted – and LAObserved’s Kevin Roderick updated – she did in fact sustain collateral ice-cube damage. The lack of an SW torrent was the result of TheWrap’s decision to opt, in drought-stricken SoCal, for the most optimally water-supply-friendly route.

But it is on Twitter where the real cold water was poured on TheWrap. After TheWrap senior film reporter Jeff Sneider did not take kindly to the LAObserved coverage, he got into it with David Poland (Movie City News) and Kristopher Tapley (HitFix/In Contention), both of whom with Poland harshly criticizing the above video. [Editor's Note: Tapley has taken exception with my characterization; please see comments, below.] Also chiming in more neutrally: Sneider’s former colleague Josh Dickey, now with Mashable, and Wall Street Journal film reporter Joe Flint.

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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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Report: Nikki Finke May Soon Be TOLDJA-ing at NikkiFinke.com

New York Post media reporter Claire Atkinson has info this morning that would seem to confirm the report on Defamer last week by Beejoli Shah that Nikki Finke may indeed finally be on the way out at PMC.

According to Atkinson’s sources, Jay Penske will be sitting down this week for a board meeting with Penske Media Group Corp. colleagues to address the (latest) percolating Finke situation. The key date, apparently, falls right after Labor Day:

Finke, who is said to be bristling under Penske’s management of the website, feels the terms of her employment contract have been broken and is eyeing a Sept. 3 exit, according to a letter a lawyer for the star journalist delivered to Penske late last week, sources said.

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Josh Dickey’s Tenure at TMZ Lasts All of Three Months

TMZ founder Harvey Levin can be a demanding boss. His ability to ferret out stories, sources and exclusives in a telephone manner that is second-to-none creates exceedingly high expectations for all those who work alongside him in the 24/7 newsroom.

Did the Levin horizon of journalism deliverables have something to do with the exit in late June of Josh Dickey (pictured), hired as TMZ.com managing editor just a few months earlier? Probably.

This morning, just as TheWrap provided a friendly, familiar home for fired Variety film reporter Jeff Sneider, it is now also the new place of re-employ for Sneider’s old boss. Dickey has rejoined Sharon Waxman‘s operation as managing editor, bumping Joseph Kapsch up to Lisa Fung‘s vacated executive editor slot.

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From Projectionist to President of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association

As first reported by Steve Pond of TheWrap, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association on Monday elected a much younger new president. Theo Kingma, who started out as a projectionist and later became a photographer, is just 46. The two previous heads of the HFPA were both in their seventies when they took office.

Kingma has indicated he plans to improve the reputation of the HFPA, which has been further targeted in recent weeks via a pair of TheWrap stories by site founder Sharon Waxman. From Pond’s earlier op-ed piece:

In recent months, TheWrap has been contacted repeatedly by members of the HFPA and by studio reps who deal with the group. None wished to be identified, but all complained in increasingly strong terms about HFPA policies and practices and described the upcoming election as pivotal… Kingma originally agreed to speak for this story, but cancelled when he did not receive permission from HFPA leadership to do so.

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David Carr Gets a Phone Call from Nikki Finke

The most noteworthy element in David Carr‘s summary of the latest Sharon Waxman-Nikki Finke coup de guerre is his claim that Finke’s contract does not, as reported elsewhere, allow her to opt out starting this month. Rather, the New York Times media columnist says Finke’s obligations to PMC run through 2016 and that it is only next year, 2014, that an opt-out clause can be exercised.

Carr also details his efforts to check in with Finke to get her version of the past week’s events. That portion of the article begins as follows:

I buckled up and sent an e-mail to Ms. Finke, and in a subsequent phone call she did not disappoint. After chewing me out for 15 minutes over a four-year-old story she didn’t like, she turned to the matter at hand.

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Gary Susman Ponders the Nikki Finke Drama

The headline for this particular TIME op-ed asks a great question: “What’s Next for Hollywood’s Most Feared Reporter?” Unfortunately, there’s not much in the article itself about where Nikki Finke might ostensibly Toldja! from next.

Article author Gary Susman, a veteran entertainment journalist who has written for Moviefone, Entertainment Weekly and People, winds his way to a tacit conclusion drawn by several others since Sharon Waxman fired a shot across the bow of HMS Deadline on Sunday night. Namely, that Finke could opt out of her Penske contract any day now and re-incorporate as a standalone blogger.

One place Finke will definitely not be going is Manka Bros. Studios, an entirely fictitious operation overseen by Warner Bros. business development executive John Perry. But that didn’t stop Perry from alter-ego blogging a June 3 job offer.

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Nikki Finke Can Cross BuzzFeed Off the List

Sharon Waxman has now famously reported that Nikki Finke is already fired. Joe Flint and Dawn Chmielewski responded in the LA Times with the sourced information that Finke can opt out of her PMC/Deadline contract starting this month.

Either way, we have spent a bit of time today thinking where Finke might go next. One of our recurring thoughts was BuzzFeed.

Think about it. A great majority of Finke’s writing would fit right in with BuzzFeed’s numerical-countdown article format and matching headlines. For example, her Deadline riposte this morning (“Nikki Finke to Sharon Waxman: Just Stop It“) could have very dynamically instead been turned into “17 Reasons Why Sharon Waxman Will Never Win a Pulitzer.” (We’re not sure why, but 17 seems to be one of BuzzFeed’s favorite of all numbers.)

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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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