Deadline’s Nikki Finke dies at 68

Deadline reports that its founder, Nikki Finke, has died at the age of 68. 

Per Deadline:

Nikki Finke, the veteran entertainment journalist who founded Deadline in 2006 and helped grow it into a major player among Hollywood trades, died Sunday morning in Boca Raton, FL, after a prolonged illness. She was 68.

No further information about the illness has been provided.

Who was she?

Finke started off her career as a reporter working for such outlets as the Associated Press and Newsweek, covering a range of domestic and international topics.

In 2002, however, Finke began writing a column for L.A. Weekly that was called Deadline Hollywood. Some four years later, that column became an internet column called Deadline Hollywood Daily. And, this would turn into the Deadline that most are now familiar with.

Deadline provides an account of Finke’s work, writing:

[Finke] posted firsthand accounts of how she saw the entertainment business and was unfazed about dressing down its biggest players. Her often biting, acerbic posts called out wrongdoing and wrongdoers as she saw fit — making her a hero to many assistants and below-the-liners while irking many in the C-suites who were not used to anything less than praise.

Finke’s success was demonstrated in 2010, when she made Forbes’s list of “the World’s Most Powerful Women.”

Finke came in at number 79.

“The spirit of journalism”

Jay Penske of the Penske Media Corporation, which purchased Deadline Hollywood in 2009, put out a statement calling Finke “one of the most memorable people in my life.”

“At her best, Nikki Finke embodied the spirit of journalism, and was never afraid to tell the hard truths with an incisive style and an enigmatic spark,” he said. “She was brash and true. It was never easy with Nikki, but she will always remain one of the most memorable people in my life.”

Just about everyone who has come into contact with Finke seems to have something similar to say. She had a very strong personality, and she was clearly a giant in the industry.

Finke is survived by a sister, Terry Finke Dreyfus, a brother-in-law, James Dreyfus, and two nieces, Sarah Greenhill and Diana Leighton.

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