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Finke vs. Waxman Redux

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood April 23, 2010 at 10:16AM

Here's the deal. Something's got to give in the trade space. Too many people are jostling for dominance in a very crowded pond.
Thompson on Hollywood

Here's the deal. Something's got to give in the trade space. Too many people are jostling for dominance in a very crowded pond.

With their small staffs, Deadline and The Wrap are encroaching on the bigger trades, along with a multitude of bloggers. And New York Vulture, the LAT and the NYT are chasing breaking entertainment news--that's what made Nikki Finke famous. Meanwhile Finke seems to be calming down and trying to play nice in the showbiz sandbox (so as not to spook advertisers; Deadline owner is bundling ads across all its sites quite effectively) but can't resist poking rival Sharon Waxman when there's negative spin to put on such news as TV star Joe Adalian leaving for Vulture.

While some people view Waxman as desperately raising more money to keep The Wrap afloat, she sees herself as successfully pursuing new opportunities for her site, she wrote in an email:

Thompson on Hollywood
we will have an announcement about a new round of investment coming presently...that is a sign of the health of the company, and a signal of significant success. investors don't reinvest when they are unhappy with the results. nor do new investors enter the picture when things looks risky. neither is the case, though clearly nikki is doing her best to spread misinformation. as for looking for "potential partners," that is called business development, which just means we are doing business. also, a good thing. if we weren't, we'd be stagnating, and instead we are continuing to grow, rapidly.

L.A. Fishbowl says that both Deadline and The Wrap's numbers are declining, while THR's are going up. I maintain that THR has a strong online strategy and is leaner and meaner than Variety, which is still stuck in the past--although they finally figured out that posting stories online at the end of the day west coast time is like pissing in the wind.

Meanwhile, it's no surprise that the HBO Hollywood blogger series Tilda, set to star Diane Keaton, closely resembles La Finke. Having read the script, THR wonders how long it will take the litigious, thin-skinned Finke to sue HBO. Whatever she does--she'll know how to milk it for attention. That's the primary skill necessary for survival these days.

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.