Nikki Finke is a Consultant for Penske Business Media, LLC. Best known as Editor-in-Chief & Founder of Deadline Hollywood from 2006-2013, she is an authority on the business, politics and culture of the entertainment and media industries. In 2017, the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard has selected her among 11 journalists and media executives as Knight Visiting Nieman Fellows. Nikki will spend time at Harvard University in Fall 2018 to advance journalism by exploring best practices for the coverage of breaking news and analysis in a 24/7 media environment.
Her long journalism career has included positions around the world writing about national, political and international news with the most powerful and influential news outlets. As an Associated Press foreign correspondent, she was posted to Moscow and then London bureaus. As a Newsweek reporter in the Washington DC bureau, she covered politics, wars, social issues and occasionally the White House. A native New Yorker and Wellesley College graduate, she moved to Los Angeles in 1986 where she wrote her first Hollywood business stories as a correspondent for Newsweek and then as a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times. By 1994 she was West Coast Editor and Hollywood columnist for the New York Observer and then for New York Magazine. She also hosted her own entertainment industry show on Southern California public radio. (Photo by Jen Rosenstein copyrighted 2015.)
Nikki joined LA Weekly as its ‘Deadline Hollywood’ columnist in 2002 when a lawsuit she waged against Disney, News Corp and the New York Post rendered her near-unhireable. In March 2006, she started DeadlineHollywoodDaily.com, the online version of her print column. For the next three years the media alternated between glee and scorn for her many major scoops. Dow Jones’ Marketwatch called her the Hollywood "must-read." A flattering profile in Los Angeles magazine claimed she’d “become essential reading for those who follow the Industry”. Media said her ability to break news during the writer’s strike cemented her status as the most powerful journalist covering Hollywood. The New York Observer named her ‘Media Mensch Of The Year’.
In 2009, Nikki’s blog was purchased by a small digital media company. She went from being her own boss to Deadline’s General Manager, Editor-In-Chief, and Founder. Slowly Nikki and the site’s new owner began to recruit stellar staff. At the same time, Nikki and Deadline became regularly included on lists of top entertainment websites by prestigious media outlets including Vanity Fair and Time magazines. Influential industry leaders and key decision-makers across many fields tracked Nikki’s Deadline many times a day as it became the authoritative source for breaking news and insider analysis/commentary in the entertainment industry. Its postings regularly received more reader comments than all of the showbiz trades combined. Finke knew that she and her site had arrived when the HBO show Entourage devoted many episodes to her and her website. Nikki has been featured on the front pages of both The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times as well as in New York Magazine. Not only is she one of the listed opinion-makers on The Drudge Report, but she became the subject of a 10,000 word profile in The New Yorker. When Forbes issued “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women”, Nikki was #79 – higher than the Iceland, Costa Rica, and Liberia presidents.
Finke left Deadline in December 2013. She briefly wrote about the entertainment industry at Nikki Finke.com In Summer 2014. She returned to Deadline’s parent company Penske Business Media, LLC as Consultant in January 2017 and continues in that capacity.
In August 2015, Finke became the CEO & Founder of Hollywood Dementia LLC. She continues to edit and post showbiz short fiction written by 100+ insiders at the website HollywoodDementia.com which has a TV deal.
On Twitter, @NikkiFinke has 325,000 followers. In May 2016, Finke wrote a 10-year anniversary look-back about Deadline.com at the editors’ and owner’s request. And every year since 2011 she has been a judge for the Mirror Awards competition honoring excellence in media industry reporting bestowed by Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School for Public Communication.