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Nikki Finke is no longer heading Deadline.com, the website announced in a post Tuesday.
“This is an emotional and painful parting of the ways for us,” reads the post. “Businesses evolve and change, and we’ve learned that no one is indispensable.”
Finke took to Twitter shortly after the story posted, tweeting, “Jay Penske has just told me I am free to leave. He tried to buy my silence. No sale.” She added: “Great day! I loved starting Deadline Hollywood and I loved what we built. I now can leave and start a new career at http://NikkiFinke.com.”
Finke, who founded the site in 2006, has reportedly been feuding with Jay Penske, whose Penske Media Corp. purchased Deadline.com in 2009. She was said to be unhappy with Penske’s acquisition of rival publication Variety last year.
Finke had a deal with Penske that ran through 2016, and told the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday she was leaving “money on the table” by departing early. A day earlier, USA Today quoted Finke saying she wanted to put Deadline.com “out of business.”
On Oct. 25, Finke tweeted “For weeks now Jay Penske pledged to me he would wage ‘nuclear war’ on me unless I obeyed him and stayed at Deadline. He started it Wednesday.” Later in the day, she tweeted that she had been locked out of the Deadline website, and that she planned to start her own site.
“I am building out NikkiFinke.com and will unveil it right after the new year,” she tweeted. “Can’t wait to report the real truth about Hollywood.”
The same day, Mike Fleming Jr. wrote a post on Deadline claiming Finke had been in Hawaii for the past five months and that her contributions to the site had dropped substantially.
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