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Has 'Scourge Of Hollywood Media' Nikki Finke Been Fired?

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The knives are out for Nikki Finke, the founder of Deadline.com and possibly the most hated woman in Hollywood, as a rival site claims she's been fired.

On Friday, competing publication The Wrap reported that Finke—known for picking fights with Arianna Huffington and saying divisive things like "pretty women can't be funny"—was ousted by Jay Penske, whose Penske Media Corp. (PMC) owns Deadline Hollywood.

That story was quickly denounced by PMC, who published a statement on Deadline Hollywood that called the piece by Sharon Waxman "libelous, false, and defamatory" and that it didn't have an "ounce of truth to it." In her "shocker" article, Waxman called Finke "the scourge of Hollywood media." She writes that one "top executive" informed her that the final straw was Finke's emails to Penske saying, "I'm going to f--- you.'"

Of course, everyone took the discussion to Twitter, Nikki Finke, Fake Nikki Finke and other (real) industry insiders weighed in.

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The Hollywood Reporter's Chris Krewson tweeted about the "schadenfreude" over Finke's potential firing, also saying about PMC's statement: "Please note the careful wording. Something's definitely up at Deadline." Critic Stephanie Zacherek wrote, "Even if Nikki Finke wasn't really fired...she's still nuts."

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PMC points out that Finke has a "multi-year contract with the company." However the L.A. Times notes rumors that Finke's been looking to leave since PMC bought Variety and that there's window in Finke's contract that would allow her to leave.

According to The Atlantic, "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."

Waxman wrote, "The prospect of a defanged Deadline Hollywood without its Viper-in-Chief is an interesting one. Finke has both terrorized and riveted Hollywood by shredding the reputations of executives she dislikes and heaping praise on those she does." We should point out this kind of thing is nothing new: "Nikki Finke Twitter Bloodbath" is a headline from last year.

Finke, so far, has merely tweeted a link to the PMC statement on Deadline and continued to use Twitter to promote unrelated news stories.

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Related:
Game Changer: Deadline.com's Parent Company Buys Variety
She'll Huff and She'll Puff