Pink-stained wretch The New York Observer spent the last two days gawking at New York's most beautiful single men and single women in media. The editors of the soon-to-be broadsheet made slideshows, or "Power Lists," of the 50 most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes on the New York media scene. At the beginning of July the paper made a Power List of the most powerful couples in media. The New York Times' Brian Stelter and CNBC's Nicole Lapin made the power couple list in July, and then broke up in time for both to make their respective sex's lists. The other selections are hard to argue with. All are young, beautiful, and successful. One selection, though, raised the eyebrows of the staff at The Village Voice's Runnin' Scared blog: Nikki Finke.
Finke is the founder and driving force behind Deadline Hollywood, and known for her secretive nature. There are no known recent pictures of the Hollywood industry media mogul. One of The Daily's first major scoops was a maybe-it-is or maybe-it-isn't photo of a lady suspected to be Finke. Someone so secretive stood out in a list of party-hopping young people. The slide describing her power bachelorette eligibility:
Do you enjoy low-maintainence companionship that doesn't require constant coddling or, really, any coddling at all? What, you thought we were joking? Ms. Finke's been notoriously single since her days as a freelancer-cum-socialite in New York City. She's now rarely seen and still maintains herself as a powerful source of Hollywood scoops long after lesser power-bloggers or journalists would have burned out. Problem, though, is that she doesn't get out much. That's okay: charm her enough, and you may be one of the few lucky individuals to hang out with her in person and get a feel for her very strong...personality. Also, if you're a masochist, step right up: Being screamed at over the phone by Ms. Finke is something every media journalist should aspire to experience at least once. Some roses, they have thorns.
Voice blogger Rosie Gray called Ms. Finke on Tuesday afternoon and asked if she even had any idea she made the list. She was the very last entry on the (unordered) Power List. She was unaware she made the list, but found it amusing, and a little flattering. Whether or not she's a bachelorette or not is up for debate. She wouldn't clarify the point for The Voice. "I don't even know what to say," she told Gray. "It's hilarious and it's ludicrous. Let's just say I never thought the words Nikki and bachelorette would ever be used in the same sentence. What the hell is wrong with people?"
New York magazine's Chris Rovzar asked Observer editor Elizabeth Spiers about the Observer's renewed obsession with the Power Listicle. She said the paper's tradition is what allowed them to make the lists, and their goal wasn't a lofty one:
The Observer has a grand tradition of bastardizing the power list concept (see the 2005 Power Geezers list, the 2008 Brooklyn Literary 100, the 2003 Power Punks) and we're just continuing it. The parameters are fairly loose, of course. The number one criterion for being on the list: We were able to think of you. Which is followed by a wildly subjective assessment of your relative "power" (defined as professional influence, social cache, or your relative geographical position on the dart board we use to make editorial decisions like this and the corresponding steadiness of the assigning editor's aim). In fact, we've discovered that simply adding the word "power" to the hed of any sort of list of people makes everyone reading it 347 percent more insane. We didn't explicitly rank this one — though it was suggested that we rank the men in order of attractiveness and the women in order of power — but we think it sufficiently derailed all objective measures of productivity in 8 percent of the media sector for a few thousand seconds. Which was the objective.
We hope next week they unveil a matchmaking effort between the two lists, or the biggest game of New York Media Power Mash ever.