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Posts Tagged ‘Nikki Finke’

Nikki Finke/Deadline Spat Tarnishes Powerful Media Brand

Deadline founder Nikki Finke is unquestionably one of the most powerful trade reporters in showbiz. She’s like Mashable for movies and TV: she always gets the scoop, and while publicists have learned to both love and fear her, they turn to her first to get breaking news out.

She’s also spent much of the past year in a very public disagreement with her publisher, Jay Penske—and it may have damaged the value of her brand. According to The New York Times, some film studio execs have even “pressed Mr. Penske to resolve the matter” so Finke can return to covering the industry with the “truthful and brutal” style that has become her signature rather than being distracted by internal disputes. In this case, the journalist is the brand, and that brand has as much, if not more, value to business insiders than to the general public.

Finke wants to either buy the site back from Penske or break off and form her own media entity, but her contract prevents her from doing so until 2016. It’s made for an interesting PR back and forth, with Penske’s spokespeople telling all who will listen that Finke isn’t going anywhere while denying her claims that she hasn’t received the resources promised.

Will Hollywood publicists continue going to Finke first, no matter where she lands? Do they really have any other options?

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‘The Daily’ Takes Ratings Dip, Says It Might Have Finke Pic

There was a lot of hoopla surrounding the launch of The Daily, and it appeared that the publication was well-received by iPad readers. However, it looks like issues with loading images are pushing down user ratings.

Folio quotes one user’s comments: “It crashed before, now it doesn’t load. Great app when it works.”

The Daily has released an app update, which will eventually cost 99 cents per week following a trial period.

And in other news from The Daily, the publication published a photo today that could have been Deadline Hollywood blogger Nikki Finke under the headline “Is this the most powerful woman in Hollywood?” Finke denies that it’s her. But TheWrap has published a picture of her from her college days, in case you want to see what she looked like 30+ years ago.

[Image via TheDaily.com]

LAPD May Know Who Ordered the Hit on Ronni Chasen

Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen may have been murdered due to a business deal gone bad, according to an email sent to Nikki Finke by journalist Allison Hope Weiner.

Chasen was shot multiple times on her way home from a movie premiere on November 16, and the details of the case keep getting weirder.  Suspect Harold Martin Smith killed himself as the police were closing in, and it’s been revealed he talked about receiving $10,000 for the hit on Chasen.  Yesterday her road rage was thought to provoke the shooting, and now it looks carefully planned.

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Variety to PR: Give Us Your Scoops, Or Else!

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Entertainment PR pros: you’ve been warned. If you give scoops to other online publications, Variety won’t run your story in print.

Via the LA TimesPatrick Goldstein:

My sources at a number of different studios say that Variety Editor Tim Gray and various entertainment reporters at the trade have been telling publicity execs that if they give casting scoops to any of Variety’s online competition, the paper won’t run their big announcement stories in print, relegating them to online posts only.

Variety Editor Tim Gray also confirmed the new policy to Goldstein. It’s just the latest example of how heated the war for scoops is getting, with relatively new competition like Nikki Finke‘s Deadline Hollywood Daily and Sharon Waxman‘s The Wrap that routinely break news.

PR executives are not impressed. “It’s a terribly analog way of thinking in a digital world,” one studio PR chief told Goldstein.

Matt Labov Leaves Hollywod PR Firm B|W|R

“What’s bizarre is that this follows B|W|R last month promoting [him] to co-president with Leslie Sloane Zelnik,” writes DeadlineHollywood.com’s Nikki Finke.

Labov handles Jack Black, Steve Carell, Sacha Baron Cohen, Will Ferrell, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow, among others. Rumor is he’ll be taking all of this talent with him as he starts up his own shop.

Interview: Hollywood Publicist Liza Anderson, Founder, Anderson Group Public Relations

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Liza Anderson knows it’s not easy to grow your agency in the midst of a recession. Her tricks: Hard work, hiring lots of great people, and “constant hustling.” Anderson founded Anderson Group Public Relations, and has since taken on a number of celebrity clients including Eva Longoria and Michael Emerson of Lost.

In this interview, Anderson talks about her style of PR (“I don’t see the benefit of being on Page Six.”) why truth and honesty is key to her business (“I don’t think press is necessarily used to that from a publicist.”) and if Hollywood is overly scared of blogger Nikki Finke (“I don’t pay that much attention.”)

You’ve quadrupled the size of your agency in three years. What are they keys to growing an agency?

Very little sleep. Lots of hard work. I’ve just been working a lot and hiring lots of great people. It’s constant hustling. The minute we opened our doors there was the writer’s strike then the actor’s strike followed by recession. There was a constant black cloud that’s followed us as we’ve grown as a company. That overwhelming gloom and doom is a great motivator for success. It makes you work twice as hard. Sometimes fear is great motivator and it’s worked wonders in my case.

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Nikke Finke on New Yorker Profile: Story “Manipulated By Hollywood”

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Is Nikke Finke Hollywood’s most powerful scribe? Certainly many in the industry seem to think so, and she has been the center of feature stories in both The New York Times, and now The New Yorker, whose sub-head today reads: “Why Hollywood fears Nikki Finke.”

Her Deadline Hollywood Daily blog has become Hollywood’s “most dreaded news source,” as executives fear being labeled “one of the most kiss-ass incompetents to run an entertainment company,” as Finke once described NBC Universal C.E.O. and president Jeff Zucker.

It’s not surprising that there was a lot of PR influence in her New Yorker feature. Says Finke:

…I wasn’t the only one able to knock out a lot of negative stuff in the article without even one lawyer letter, email, or phone call. I witnessed how The New Yorker really bent over for Hollywood. NYC power publicist Steven Rubenstein succeeded in deleting every reference to Paramount’s Brad Grey. Warner Bros and Universal and DreamWorks and William Morris/Endeavor and Summit Entertainment execs and flacks and consultants also had their way with the mag. (They were even laughing about it. When I asked one PR person what it took to convince Tad to take out whole portions of the article, the response was, “I swallowed.”)

While Finke’s response may be entertaining, our question is: What story, especially a feature story of this caliber isn’t manipulated in some way? Read the full New Yorker profile here, and Finke’s response here.