It looks like the long battle between Nikki Finke and her boss, Penske Media Corp. CEO Jay Penske might be about to end, or at least move on to a new stage. On Thursday, Finke announced on Twitter that she will start her own site, NikkiFinke.com, while she waits for "the lawyers to disentangle me from Penske," and presumably from Deadline.com, the Penske-owned site that she created. As of now, NikkiFinke.com redirects to Deadline.
Finke watchers have waited for news along these lines for months, at least ever since Finke rival Sharon Waxman at the Wrap reported that Finke had been fired last summer. That report obviously wasn't true, but all was not well over at Deadline. For months, with little secrecy, Finke has been trying to disentangle Deadline from Penske's growing media collection. Penske bought Variety last October, a competitor of Deadline. Since then, Finke has been at odds with Penske, and working on successfully navigating one of two escape routes: get Deadline back under her control, away from Penske, or start up NikkiFinke.com separately and seek financial backing elsewhere. Finke's contract with Penske runs through 2016, however, and previous reports indicated that Penske wasn't willing to let her out of her contract early or to sell the site back to its founder. But according to Finke, she'll be striking out on her own in 2014, apparently after Penske decided to close Deadline's automatic feed of articles to her Twitter account:
Penske makes it official: With no advance warning, he pulled the Deadline news feed from my Twitter account. I have "too many followers".— Nikki Finke (@NikkiFinke) October 24, 2013
I am building out http://t.co/8vaMwz16aD and will unveil it right after the new year. Can't wait to report the real truth about Hollywood.— Nikki Finke (@NikkiFinke) October 25, 2013
All that's left is for the lawyers to disentangle me from Penske. I have no idea why he has fought so hard to keep me. I'll be free soon.— Nikki Finke (@NikkiFinke) October 25, 2013
Earlier today, Finke lashed out at the Hollywood Reporter, the latest in an ongoing feud. It's not clear if there's any connection between Finke's Thursday Twitter announcement and her earlier remarks, or if it's just that Finke can juggle more than one feud in a day.