Why I Started NikkiFinke.com

Nikki Finke In HollywoodLet me just admit it: I’m old. I’m beat up. I’ve been used for target practice by every moron with a byline. But this morning I’m excited and scared and most importantly back to writing more than 140-character Tweets. Because I’m posting on my own website after sitting out my non-compete for 7 soul-crushing months. And that’s why I designed my new logo to look the way it does – gritty and bullet-riddled with a fiery palm tree shooting sparks into the night sky more dramatically than any fancy klieg light. Let those wimpy Hollywood websites do glossy or garish or rewrite press releases or post stenography instead of sturm und drang. I’m all about this town’s gritty reality exposed through the harsh glare of my reporting. And if you don’t want to read about what’s really going on in Hollywood, then for crissakes don’t click here. I don’t give a shit who comes here or if the site gets traffic or if TPTB ever advertise. I’ve earned my street cred covering this biz for 28 years and starting Deadline Hollywood Daily by myself from ground zero 8 1/2 years ago. Then building it with a great journalism team and very little money or resources into a thriving business with 7-figure annual revenues and 75% profit margins. But that was then and this is now.

I barely recognize DH these days. Some of those bylines I never hired and wouldn’t. (Anita Busch or Peter Bart? She’s batshit crazy and he’s an unethical fart.) A lot of those stories I consider a waste of time covering. I never wanted a bland and boring news feed. But that’s what the people running it now want. DH plans to unveil a redesign next week, and the best thing I can say about what I saw the other day is that it’s generic. (Yes, I just threw up in my mouth a little.)

Oh, don’t worry: I’ll have much more to say over the next few days about Little Lord Fauntleroy and Mike Phlegming. Because I don’t fuck on the first date.

I want to be your cruel and quirky alternative to Deadlame and Valiety and The Hollywood Unreported and TheCrap. To zig when others zag. To tell you the hard truths about Hollywood which its publicity machine works overtime to ensure you never read. To instill a sense of us-against-them community that’s missing when only the rich-and-famous matter to the media.

I want to write for the once successful who now can’t get a job. For the above- and below-the-line loyalists who know they’re getting screwed. For the least powerful who want to expose the most powerful. For anybody working in Hollywood afraid of layoffs ordered by too-well-compensated CEOs, sick of nonstop nepotism and cronyism that reward the untalented, frustrated by agents, managers and execs who act like assholes to coddle talent who think they’re gods.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Come for the cynicism… Stay for the subversion… Heed this warning: my new website is not for the easily offended or ridiculously naïve.

Now a few rules for the road. Expect the unexpected. Everything could (and should) change as this adventure grows and gets funded. But for now, my new website is built like a fine Ferrari only I’m still missing my vintage Volvo. I’ve just taken possession of this really cool powertrain but at the moment I barely know what’s under the hood. hwoodsigndriveLet’s learn to drive it together. I am incredibly grateful to Bobby Woods for everything you see here. But we deliberately streamlined the site just to get it up and running. New features will be added weekly so stay vigilant. By all means use the confidential tipline to send me intel but also tell me what you’d like to see on the left and right rails. Above all, the website needs and wants your input. Just like I can’t be silenced or intimidated here, your comments won’t get sanitized. (Even the inevitable four-letter words about my genitals.) I’ll monitor your comments but never alter them. But it does make my job easier if you don’t assassinate people’s character, impersonate the famous or powerful, go on off-topic tangents, repeat what’s already been said better, or state your facts inaccurately. Check your spelling and grammar before posting especially from smartphones or no reader will take your opinion seriously. Lastly, stick to the professional and stay away from the personal and, above all, don’t bore me.

  617 comments on “Why I Started NikkiFinke.com

  1. i’m waaay late to the party but just need to say it’s great to have you back! deadline is dead! i’ve become increasingly tired of their BS and silencing differing voices. i was constantly correcting their lazy reporting and having my comments removed. they eventually banned my IP altogether!… like proxy servers don’t exist… anyway, glad you’re back and i found you so i can drop those turds!

  2. We’ve been waiting for the authentic, non\bulls.*t voice of Htown to re- emerge. Wording opinions, all of it a true pleasure to read. It’ll be nice to have something publicists fear again. Kudos.

  3. Just pulled out the Mennonite Hymnal from my bookcase and burst into song singing hymn #614, "Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow" (a.k.a. "the unofficial Mennonite national anthem") in praise of you coming back online! Welcome back, Nikki!

  4. So glad to see you back online where you belong. I gave up on Deadline a while ago because they were censoring comments in a way that was neither judicious or logical. I unsubscribed to them a couple of months ago but I have been jonesing for a NF fix, and now you are here to give it to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you. BTW, I read your Kindle interview earlier this year and it was fantastic. Keep up the great work! LOVE YOU

  5. I’m an old, beat up TV writer/producer who takes it up the ass every day and could not be happier that you’re back in business. Deadline is a joke these days. A total joke. You’re my destination from now on. Thank you for never giving up.

  6. So glad you´re back! Deadline has become a joke since you left. And the best part? I did not know your new site was online until the recent Peter Bart/Mike Fleming-interview was released on Deadline. Talk about doing morons doing PR for free not knowing it.

  7. I commented on the Deadline Site that it seemed to me like Mike Fleming was becoming more of a shill for the studios than a journalist and that the site was quickly becoming a just a Hollywood "brochure" and they censored my post! I went on the site today to delete it from my toolbar and saw the (a-hem) "interview" between Bart and Fleming and that led me here! So I finally DID get some honest journalism from them! Hip Hip Hooray! Nikki is back and everyone will be having to watch their behavior once again!

    1. Yeah, none of my comments have shown up on that ridiculous Q&A they did with themselves at Deadline..some hardcore censoring over there at the moment. No matter, cause the site is a shell of its former self. I love how they said Nikki’s brand of journalism was irrelevant…in a post addressing why she won’t return, on a site she grew from nothing with that same brand. Most people would be pleased with that kind of irrelevance. The site has devolved into bland, behind-kissing, PR posting, or just like every other Hollywood news site out there.

  8. You were like Norma Desmond where the pictures got small (Twitter), but now you’re back. About time, I couldn’t take another press release masquerading as reporting.

  9. I’m really glad you’re back. You bring balance to the smut reporting in this town. One wish: I hope you open up an RSS feed. I know it’s very last decade, but it’s the most convenient way I get my news. I don’t pay attention to Twitter tweets, which I know is what most places have switched to.

  10. Like many others who’ve already voiced their opinions, we’re glad you started your own site and we get your views and unvarnished news and information.

  11. Welcome back NF. Is it me or do the comments posted by the Drudge readers all say they don’t care about Hollywood nor have they watched movies made after 1955? Is that the DR demo? He’s in trouble if that’s the case.

  12. Oh! Thanks be to all feckery! You’re back. I seem to have given up checking back here for movement some time ago, and only came looking just now because DH have started arse-ending their layout – and their current level of inane drivel just doesn’t make up for struggling with shitty layouts and poor choices of fonts etc. This may not be the prettiest of websites yet, but , well, we’re nearly all here (and were there) for the glorious snark & finkisms.

  13. SO thrilled! It took me until today to hear you are back! Your straight-forward reporting and inside information is the best ever. I stopped going to your previous venture when I saw you were gone… (Okay, this is probably boring, but sincere as hell!)

  14. My hat is off to you, Nikki. You are one balls to the wall woman who not only talks the talk, but walks the walk. Looking forward to your future postings.

  15. Well, here we are…some where down around comment no. 580 or so. And if you have read this far down, then you have an attention span that is to be envied…you are also horribly out of place in this 149 character / 30 second theater world. More’s the pity. However it does show that you are one of those storied few that possess the constitution capable of enduring one of Aranofsky’s arrogantly pretentious (and ploddingly paced) films. So, congrats on your endurance, oh diligent one. Unfortunately, they don’t give awards for comment reading…which strikes me as odd since there’s one of those ‘Look-At-Me-Aren’t-I-Wonderful’ awards shows on TV about every two weeks. With all that self-congratulating going on you’d think they *would* have a "Most Comments Read" award somewhere in there. Oh well, one can always dream. That said, I’m glad to have found this board. Admittedly a noob to all things Nikki, I think it safe to say (in your best Ah-nuldt imitation) "I’ll be bach."

  16. As refreshing as when I first came across your site by chance many years ago. This is what we do- get back in the game and come out stronger than ever. I truly look forward to it Nikki- good luck!!

  17. welcome back, Nikki! you’ve been sorely missed. Deadline has turned into Variety since you’ve been gone and i no longer check in there. no ballsy reporting, just press release after press release.

  18. Deadline went stale the day you left. It is not funny what it has become. It is sad as hell. Those guys are getting paid to be mouthpieces for all the publicists in town (studio and otherwise). They’re given the keys to a luxury car and then drive it straight into a wall. Thank cheebus you are not giving up, backing down, and even better you sound angrier and wiser. Just what we need at a time as dire as we are in now. I’m kissing ass, but I’ll do it when I think it is well deserved. This is one of those times. Good to hear from you and I’ll be clicking on your site 7 times a day. You’ve got our attention Finke. Do your worst. Pretty fucking please.

  19. You are like the Honey Badger. You don’t care! You don’t give a shiite! And we love you for it. You remind me of Richard Pryor and George Carlin, who ALWAYS spoke unfiltered and straight forward. Keep it up!!!

  20. Why do you feel the need to disparage your former employer and co-workers? Why not be the adult, create a great site, and just move on?

    1. Jimmy, I suspect the occasional swipe or snark towards DH might help heal the wounds of the spears, arrows and jabs to the jaw coming at NF from DH and Penske. Talk about Mean Spirited, her former cohorts are keeping it down and dirty. But I suspect NF will soon have her readership back in full-force as DH just made sure everyone knows she’s alive and well and thriving! Congratulations Miss F.

  21. You yourself sound terrific in every dimension, if you do admit it yourself. Moreover, you are recommended by Mr. on the Culture, which is good enough for me. And there is no denying that Hollywood is upstream from low-information-voter politics, the dominant kind, and therefore important. I *ought* to read you regularly. However, I confess that Hollywood is so exceedingly superficial, narcissistic, disgusting, and boring–it’s the only place where child-molestation is so routine it’s boring–that I simply cannot bring myself to read about it. I hope I’ll be back for a visit occasionally, but don’t wait for me before breaking bread.

  22. Good to see you’re back and uncowed Nikki. You’re one of the few news journalists who actually engages in news journalism left.

  23. You’re a c u n t, you think you only act like a bitch and we be all scared of you, guess what ? We aint. Suck a c o c k, do some porn and get the f u c k off the Internet, nobody wants you here !

  24. Beware the Hollywood Whackers. If you get a little too close I’m sure the pedophiles will try to take you our (figuratively first, of course).

  25. Frankly I don’t have a clue who Nikki Finke is – but I love the disruptive approach to telling it like it is. Make ‘em squirm girl. You are a girl, right? I’m hangin’ here.

  26. Welcome back, NF. Not one to chase gossip or who even cares about everything Hollyweird. You, however, are the oasis in that desert. Thanks, you’re worth following. Cheers.

  27. Good luck, Nikki! I believe I was banned at your old place for trying to tell some truths (in my crude way, granted) about why CD and DVD sales were dying, or maybe for being an asshole, so I won’t be posting. Adios.

  28. Never have been a Hollywood voyeur because reading about a bunch of nit-wits who produce mostly bad art is a waste of my time. But I found you through Instapundit, and if Professor Glenn took the time to post your link, well, I’ll give you a look. So far, so good. Just please don’t make me scroll to comment.

  29. Weird that instapundit would link to this. Never heard of Nikki Finke, wouldn’t have spelled it correctly if the name wasn’t above this comment box and; I don’t give a hairy rat’s pututee about the goings on among the west coast pos. I’ll never get this time back. Life is good.

  30. You remind me of a retiring general from many years ago. He was asked why after so many battle he continued trying to change the world. His reply, "I’m not trying to change the world, I’m trying to keep the world from changing me." Thanks Nikki – glad you are back.

  31. Great to have you back, Nikki. And like a wise old man once told me, ‘F..k ‘em and feed ‘em fish heads!’ You go girl! Mike Stuhler stusshots.blogspot.com Indianapolis, IN.

  32. I too followed the link from Drudge’s ‘NIKKI FINKE: WHY I AM GOING IT ALONE’ link. I haven’t paid much attention to the Hollywood press since I was an extra in several productions in LA in 1983. The academy ignored my work and I went back east and prospered. I’ll be reading you regularly. I like your push back style. If I stumble across any celebrity misdeeds in Santo Domingo where I live now I’ll send it along. Your eyes in the DR .. Bugi

  33. Welcome back! Exciting! Re "Just like I can’t be silenced or intimidated here, your comments won’t get sanitized. (Even the inevitable four-letter words about my genitals.)" Well-said. The other trades are afraid of user comments, so their user comments never add anything… And mainstream sites like HuffPo actively censor. Love the new look. It’s clean and simple and therefore elegant. Great burst out of the gate…!

  34. 1. "I don’t fuck on the first date." Well, see if I buy YOU dinner! ;-) 2. I wish you good luck, and much success. I’ve always enjoyed your work!

  35. Stumbled on your site by accident, and it looks like you’re a hard hitter re: the self-centered hypocrisy of Hollywood. I turned my back on the whole industry more than 30 years ago because of the fetid swamp of depravity and serious lack of ethics that even then riddled it like a metastatic cancer, which destroys the hopes, dreams, and souls of so many who are broken against its shores. I went so extreme as a full self-imposed blackout of consumption of content, which is difficult to do in today’s age where celebrity gossip saturates the supermarket checkouts. Then when people discover I haven’t had cable TV (or satellite) for 32 years, don’t have a Netflix account, didn’t own a television for more than 17 years, they think I’m weird as hell. However, reading about shenanigans where unethical things routinely still go on help validate my decision to "go Galt", to live as if there was no entertainment industry, and to take extreme measures to stop leakage of my hard-earned dollars which would "give aid and comfort to the enemy". So, from one of the weirdos out there who spends more time off the grid than on, you go girl. Evil loathes the spotlight of truth and loves the cloak of darkness. Light em up, reveal the cockroaches and watch them scurry for cover.

  36. Man alive. Why are there so many kiss-ups? I didn’t have to read far into comments to see the long line of ‘em – all wanting to wish you good luck, welcome back and all that crap. C’mon, people. Nikki just outlined why she left DH and why it sucks, and why kissing-up is exactly what she doesn’t do, need or want. Folks, don’t you get it? Don’t you even have a clue as to what Nikki is all about? She just told you, for Chrissake. She’s all about NOT kissing-up. Get it? Good. So on that cynical, gritty note, I’ll hypocritically add my own kiss-up, my own way. Here in Tokyo, in Japanese martial arts, we say, ‘gambatte yo!’ which means, ‘Do your best – or your worst – depending on how you look at it. So… A heartfelt ‘Gambatte yo’, Nikki. Robbie in Tokyo

  37. Heard you on the radio many times, but have not read your stuff. Love love love the honesty and bluntness. Your new site looks great and it will be a regular stop. Good luck! JP Myers http://losangeleslistener.com

  38. I was hoping Drudge would stop linking to Nikki’s articles. You know, to keep the crotchety Wheel-of-Fortune-watching, 9-PM-is -late-night-viewing crowd away. Oh well. The comments from these folks reminds me of when my Great Grandmother first saw Carly Simon on a 8-year-old rerun of Late Night with David Letterman. Her comment: "She’s good. She’s gonna make it." Of course, Carly had been around for about 25+ years at that point. Grandma just caught on a lil’ late. With that in mind, glad to see the Drudge audience keeps up with things other than being miserable when they wake up each morning.

  39. So Nikki. I’ve always enjoyed your stuff at DH, which I discovered thanks to Drudge. And while I really don’t give shit about Hollywood, I DO care about your view of it. Because it’s engaging, insightful, and it makes me fucking laugh. I’ll be back baby. And I don’t think your old and busted at all.

  40. I loved your live reporting on the Hollywood Self Glorifying Award shows….they were the best….always went to DH for the real facts concerning the Hollywood industry….no longer….will follow you on you new site forever. Thanks, keep up the good work

  41. And I am supposed to give a crap about Hollywood? For what reason? Maybe you don’t know Baghdad is about to fall, thousands and thousands of immigrant young people are pouring into this country and Obama spent millions in ransom for Bergdoph and gave away four top Rsliban generals for a traitor who will get the bling treatment? Ever hear of Clkven-Pivin? The Gospel if John or the Ten Commandments. Hollywood? I only watch movies made before 1950 and the stars-who think they work harder than a soldier in Affanistan? No, no. No thank you. But have fun filling the heads of idiots wil your tuff talk, mamma. I will avoid the whole deal.

    1. Your self righteous statement is truly the funniest thing I have read all day. I would imagine that you gave yourself a hard on writing this absurd post on a website created for the soul purpose of discussing Hollywood, and the people who happen to work in this industry. If that upsets you or offends you in anyway, may I suggest that you find another place to troll around and say things that have no purpose or value.

  42. Nikki: I came here from Drudge’s link. I don’t know who you are. I read your message, and it reads like a petulant high-schooler struggling to get some attention. You use foul language and are probably over-loud and not very smart. I’d say that I hope you find what you’re looking for, but I think that in so doing you’d annoy bystanders. So I don’t hope you find what you’re looking for. Consider getting a job. p.s. No one cares about Hollywood.

  43. Here’s to you, Nikki! I founded a new life on what I thought was desperation at the time – turned out to be the best move I ever made in my life! Now the corporate jerk boss is ME, and I can deal with him fairly easily – CHEERS!

  44. Sho, Nikki, calm down though. I can tell you have been itching to get this site up and running "7 soul crushing months…" these are deep personal feelings. Welcome back, and all the best!!! Been missing your snarky comments for way too long!

  45. Nikke is just plain nuts but the GOOD kind of nuts. She tells it like it is, without her nose buried 8 inches up some publicists crack, unlike some of her competitors who shall remain nameless and WRAPped in their own irrelevance. And she’s entertaining as f**k all. Welcome back .

  46. Love the dish on any high and mighty .001%ers whether they be pols of Hollyweird bubble people. After all, both of these factions hold most of the responsibility for the cultural decline and death in our once fair country. ANYONE that shines a light into these dark worlds deserves our support! Shine On, Nikki

  47. Hello Nikki. I was involved in independent film for a number of years. It was a love-hate relationship. I have not seen your old site and this is my first time at this one. I am intrigued. I will be watching. If you are the genuine article, then this should be enlightening. Best of luck.

  48. Good work! If you intend to expose some unethical business practices, that will be good. If you intend to expose some Hollywood divas and primadonnas, that will be better. If you intend to go for the jugular and expose the corruption and evil of the industry, that will be best. As one blogger noted already, take on Scientology and their UFO cult, and expose the extortion and strong-armed tactics that they use in the industry. Looking forward to your next release!

  49. Gawker once called me "the Nikki Finke of [my] industry," and that has got to be one of the greatest compliments I have ever received in my life. Congratulations and welcome back. You are such an inspiration. You are so strong.

  50. Nikki, appreciate your take on the vicousness of Hollywood’s insular insiders. Want to hear more, and more of your views/unwrapping, and illuminating of the sicknesses and, of course, any goodnesses that might accidentally erupt in the self-appoiinted sick-o-center of Hollywood’s purposeful undermining of Ameriaca’s Great Traditional values.

  51. Has anyone noticed? A lot of the trash that Hollywood turns out nowadays is about Jewish families and homosexuals. Yes, I’m talking about TV shows.

  52. I loved you before and then the site got bland and now your’e back!!! Good for you NIkki! I like the gritty truth more then the pandering glitz.

  53. Nikki: if you’re serious about reporting on the little guy & taking on the money how about some serious reporting on the nonstop demands by talent for taxes that result in runaway productions & UNEMPLOYMENT for those of us who BUILT THIS DAMN TOWN??

  54. You say you "…don’t fuck on the first date." It probably would have been more accurate to say you "…usually don’t fuck on the first date!" Every once-in-awhile you do!

  55. Don’t know your work…yet. but intelligent snark about pompous self indulgent airheads is always welcome. Crank it up, let’s hear the exhaust roar.

  56. You offered to defend me when I had some problems with studios long ago. I love your style and ruthless truth and will follow you faithfully.

Commenting at NikkiFinke.com is a privilege, not a right.

The goal is to stimulate a compelling dialogue, not destroy people. Stick to the professional and stay away from the personal and above all don’t bore me.

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