Longtime Hollywood blogger Nikki Finke insists that she was, “not looking to sell,” but that’s exactly what she did today, as her Deadline Hollywood Daily joined Mail.com Media Corporation’s growing portfolio of blogs.
MMC, founded by Jay Penske, was a white label email provider, but lately Penske has been building up a content network. In April, three editors laid off from Gawker’s downsized Hollywood gossip blog, Defamer, went to work for Penske at the relaunched Movieline.com.
Finke, called “the reigning queen of Hollywood news,” has been blogging it out for three years, during which she has become a must-read in Tinseltown. Prior to blogging, Finke worked for Newsweek, The LA Times and Vanity Fair, among others. She launched the blog in 2006 as a spinoff of her LA Weekly column, also named Deadline Hollywood. The site, which is still affiliated with LA Weekly, came to real prominence during her exhaustive coverage of the 2007-2008 writer’s strike. Dubbed the “Strike Queen,” By her former employer, the New York Observer, Finke became a must read for executives, actors and agents alike.
Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but Finke retains managerial and editorial control over the site. The size of her operation will soon double — to two, once she hires a New York City based journalist who will report to her, according to the press release. The move will give Finke the resources to compete with Sharon Waxman’s TheWrap.com, and seems to eliminate any competition that might have come from the fledgling and now sibling Movieline site. No word though, on whether there will be any crossover or collaboration between the two sites. Meanwhile, MMC says it will add more content sites. Next up: a sports fan site, coming soon.