The Dark Legacy of Nikki Finke

Finke made herself out to be a straight-shooting reporter who kept Hollywood moguls honest, and we all couldn’t get enough of her writing. But she ruined the job by blackmailing sources and often going after the weak. She also used the internet to spread her hatred and further her own goals. 
My last fight with Nikki Finke, one of probably hundreds I’ve had with her over the years, happened about a year ago in my Twitter DMs, right before we launched Puck. She wrote to me, “You should go back to being a lawyer.” “More money and a regular job. “Journalism is no longer a job.

It’s not exactly in line with the image Finke built up during her seven years at as a journalistic crusader and the only person with the guts to stand up to Hollywood moguls and tell them the truth, or her version of the truth. When I was editor of The Hollywood Reporter, she sent me a lot of messages like that. They were cynical rants about how nothing in the media mattered and how the only thing she was proud of was getting Jay Penske to pay her more than $10 million for Deadline in 2009. At least to me, Finke’s attitude in her last years, at least to me, was that it was all beneath her because she was no longer in the business that made her famous and wealthy. During the last conversation, she said, “Try to begin as a partner. Money makes you happy. Believe me, I’m very happy! “

I didn’t think so. Everyone who worked in Hollywood during Finke’s reign—and it was a reign; she ruled the scene from 2006 to 2013 in a way that is hard to forget—has said that she was a bad person.


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