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Nikki Finke: Moving Target

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood July 27, 2009 at 5:12AM

Everybody's talking about Nikki Finke.


Everybody's talking about Nikki Finke.

She's a compelling, charismatic, threatening figure. Walter Winchell is a good comparison. (The mighty gossip columnist inspired Burt Lancaster in Sweet Smell of Success.) That's because until now, at least, no one told her what to do. Here's her latest, on not getting the Ben Silverman scoop.

Finke's getting shot at because she has power and because she has done, by herself, what few can do in journalism today: make money. People are taking her seriously because she lured huge traffic to her blog and sold it for unspecified millions. The question remains: will changing her indie maverick status change the factors key to her success? Can you mainstream Deadline Hollywood Daily?

We will soon see how she moves with the changes as she starts her new gig as a cog in Jay Penske's online machine. He was smart to use her as a driving traffic generator for Movieline and Bonnie Fuller's new iteration of Hollywood Life. She helped to put Penske's media empire on the map. Now we'll see if she can keep the momentum going on Deadline Hollywood Daily.

This article is related to: Stuck In Love, Women in Film, Media

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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.