BOCA RATON (CelebrityAccess) – Nikki Finke, the journalist who founded the trade website Deadline, died Sunday (October 9) after a long illness. She was 68. Her death was confirmed by the very thing she founded. Jay Penske, founder, CEO, and Chairman of the Penske Media Corporation confirmed her death via Deadline.
“At her best, Nikki Finke embodied the spirit of journalism and was never afraid to tell the hard truths with an incisive style and an enigmatic spark,” said Penske. “She was brash and true. It was never easy with Nikki, but she will always remain one of the most memorable people in my life.” – Jay Penske.
Finke grew up on the North Shore of Long Island in New York and attended finishing school at Miss Hewitt’s Classes, and made her “debut” at the International Debutante Ball. After graduating from Wellesley College, she married in 1980 and divorced two years later.
Finke founded Deadline in 2006 and was known for her sharp tongue and reclusive lifestyle. As reported by CNN, she was best known for her “TOLDJA” expression and didn’t hold back what she thought on paper, making her both feared and respected within the Hollywood elite.
In 2006, she told MarketWatch, “If there’s an open wound, I’m going to pour salt in it.” In 2009, she told the New York Times, “I’m not mean, I just write mean,” the Los Angeles Times, “Sometimes, the truth hurts,” and the New Yorker, “I can’t help it! It’s like meanness pours out of my fingers!”
Finke’s career spanned several decades with positions held at the Associated Press, Newsweek, New York Magazine, New York Observer, and the Los Angeles Times. In 2002, she joined LA Weekly and wrote its Deadline Hollywood column. In 2006, she started Deadline Hollywood Daily, which helped usher in an era of fast-paced blogging. Notably, she bought the URL for “14 bucks and change,” she once said.
In 2009, she sold Deadline to Penske’s media company. She left the website in 2013 following editorial clashes with him. In 2015, she launched HollywoodDementia.com, a website where she and others wrote and published fiction about Hollywood.
She is survived by her sister, brother-in-law, and nieces. Her memorial services will be private.