January 11, 2010
Nikki Finke snags ‘Variety’ veteran Mike Fleming for ‘Deadline Hollywood’ expansion
Nikki Finke, the founding editor of “Deadline Hollywood” whom many consider the industry’s reigning queen of Hollywood journalism is rolling out plans for a major expansion.
First came the announcement that Tim Adler, a veteran UK entertainment business journalist, would help launch Deadline|London which will go live later this month at Deadline.com.
But even bigger news came a few moments later when Finke announced through her listserv that Mike Fleming, Variety’s “superstar” film reporter will leave his 20 year post at the trade to edit Deadline New York.
Finke said she was “thrilled and honored” that Fleming agreed to come on board and even admitted the two had been “fierce competitors.” In a statement generated by Mail.com Media Corporation, the company that purchased Deadline Hollywood for an undisclosed sum last July, Finke said she and Fleming have (secretly?) been friends for close to 20 years.
“I was a devoted reader of his old ‘Buzz’ column for Weekly Variety, and then addicted to his former ‘Dish’ column for Daily Variety,” Finke said.
It can’t be easy for Fleming to leave the Variety throne he’s been sitting on for two decades, but he seems to be doing so in good spirit.
“I treasure my 20 years with Variety and my mentor Peter Bart and my editor Tim Gray. It changed my life. But the time has come for this new challenge. I thank my Variety readers for staying with me all this time, and I hope they follow me to Deadline|NewYork.”
The unfortunate thing, of course, is that we may never discover what went on when Variety found out their arch rival would steal their “crown jewel” because the person who would report that news is undoubtedly Nikki Finke.
More on Fleming’s move: