It doesn't seem like Nikki Finke's escape attempt is going very well. When we last caught up with Finke, who runs the Hollywood insider blog Deadline.com, she was in the process of trying to buy back ownership of the website she founded from Jay Penske, who bought the site four years ago. Finke was frustrated from what she cited as a lack of support from Penske, especially since he also owns Variety, a direct competitor of Deadline's. Just this month she said, "I have confidence that no matter what happens, Jay and I can reach an amicable solution to all of this."
It appears that an amicable solution still has not been reached, according to a new report in The New York Times. Penske appears to have no plans to sell Deadline back to Finke (especially after her plans to partner with a private equity executive fell through), or let her strike out on her own. The ordeal has been reportedly difficult enough that it has occasionally brought the usually thick-skinned Finke to tears.
While Finke has a contract with Penske Media through 2016, she was hoping to be let out of it early. A spokesperson for Penske told the Times unequivocally, "Nikki’s multiyear contract with Deadline is not something that ends soon, and it would unconditionally prohibit her starting any other Web site.”
As for Finke's tentative plans for her new site, NikkiFinke.com, she said, "If I was truthful and brutal before, I want to be 50 times more truthful and brutal."