Nikki Finke: Variety Ordered Hit Pieces On Me After Failed Attempt To Buy Deadline Hollywood Daily

04/24/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Nikki Finke Deadline Hollywood Daily

Since I did not sign a non-disclosure agreement, I am free to tell Hollywood the following: On February 27th, Neil Stiles, the president and publisher of Variety Group, called me saying Reed Business Information CEO Tad Smith was pushing him to discuss an acquisition of my site....

I can't discuss my end of the conversation (because of non-disclosure agreements I have with other interested parties). But, within a couple of days, the idea of Variety owning DHD was dead. I later learned that the trade publication's editor Peter Bart was not consulted by his overlords about the overture. Instead, he heard about it third-hand. (When axed staffer Anne Thompson wrote something nasty about me on her blog, still carried by Variety, I blurted out, "Anne, the same place that fired you is trying to buy me." Thompson immediately spilled the news to members of the Variety newsroom.)

I heard Bart was pissed. Then last week, Bart ordered up for Sunday's Weekly Variety not 1 (written by Mike Fleming), not 2 (written by Cynthia Littleton), but 3 (written by Peter) separate articles about Hollywood bloggers that focused on me. No one from Variety bothered to call me in advance.

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