Finke Vs. Penske, Cont.

In the current climate of media consolidation and the always-competitive world of Hollywood movie trades, the apparent Nikki Finke-Jay Penske feud was probably inevitable.

Finke, founder and editor of Deadline Hollywood, is engaged in a semipublic feud with Variety and its owner, Penske.

The twist is that Penkse is now also the owner of – which Finke sold to him before he also bought Variety, putting competitors under the same corporate umbrella.

Complicating matters further, it’s been reported by rival bloggers that Finke expected to be given a plum editorial role – like editor-in-chief – at Variety but was rebuffed by Penske. Finke reportedly seeks to either buy back her website or start a new one. “Jay Penske shared my vision of what Deadline could be, [but] now the circumstances have changed with the addition of Variety and the issue is whether this shared vision is still intact,” Finke told the Wall Street Journal. “One of the most noble things Jay Penske could ever do would be to give me back Deadline.”

Penske doesn’t seem inclined to grant her wish, however. “We are very pleased with the overwhelming success of the Variety business since our acquisition, as well as’s continued growth of audience and revenue,” a spokeswoman for Penske told the paper. The company “has every intent to continue … our contractual relationship with Ms. Finke through the end of her term.”

Finke’s contract reportedly runs through 2016, and her attorneys are said to have proposed that she be let out of that contract. Penske hasn’t ruled out a sale to her. But if Finke can’t regain control of Deadline, she reportedly has said she may solicit backing to build a new website at

It “would fill a different need for the Hollywood community” than Deadline, according to the WSJ.

“I have confidence that no matter what happens, Jay and I can reach an amicable solution to all of this,” Finke added. The paper did not say if that quote came before or after a piece she wrote for regarding an alleged attempt by Variety investor Daniel Loeb to “shake up” Sony Corp.’s entertainment business. “I hope Hollywood expresses its disdain for Loeb’s despicable tactics by not reading or advertising in Variety, the in-house newsletter he owns with my boss Jay Penske,” Finke sniped, posted, removed and reposted, the Journal reported.