MEDIA
06/03/2013 07:03 am ET Updated Aug 03, 2013

Nikki Finke Fired? Deadline Hits Back At Report It Has Ousted Founder

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The long-raging Hollywood media war between Deadline's Nikki Finke and The Wrap's Sharon Waxman took a juicy new twist on Sunday night, when Waxman reported that the much-feared Finke had been fired from the site she created.

Waxman wrote that Jay Penske, the man who owns Deadline, had "told several top Hollywood executives last week that he was firing Finke, complaining she had crossed the line one too many times in sending poison-pen emails berating sources over scoops she lost to competitors."

Deadline immediately denied the story, posting a "personal note" from the site's Mike Fleming along with an official statement. The statement called Waxman's story "libelous, false, and defamatory," and said there was "not an ounce of truth to it." Case closed, right?

Not just yet — the story took a second twist when Waxman's version of events was bolstered by a Los Angeles Times report:

Although the statement from PMC said the company had not fired Finke, it also said she "has a multi-year contract with the company, and it is the company’s absolute intention to continue its obligations under the agreement."

According to people close to Finke, her PMC contract has a window, opening this month, that allows her to leave Deadline.

[...]

The mercurial Finke has been telling people that she is looking to leave Deadline and go back into business for herself. While she was filing her box-office report for this weekend she told some people that it would be her last such piece for Deadline.

UPDATE: Finke herself replied on Monday morning:

I am not going to discuss my Deadline Hollywood contract or my relationship with my boss Jay Penske. Why? Because I don’t have to. If that changes, I’ll tell you ... the desperate Sharon Waxman and her revolving door staff have been writing inaccurately about me for years, and doing it to drive traffic to her failing website, and refusing to correct even the most blatant errors.

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