In July 2009, after closing a deal to sell her Hollywood news website to Jay Penske’s Mail.com Media Corp, Nikki Finke told LA Times reporter James Rainey that “she sometimes wished she didn’t have to sleep, so she could work 24 hours a day.” What a difference four years and a parent-company sideline purchase can make.
Finke told Defamer’s Beejoli Shah Thursday that she has “been inundated with administrative duties” and that Penske is forcing her to work “seven days a week.” She then added the coup-de-hyperbole-grace: “Penske somehow thinks he owns me like I’m his slave.”
Finke’s hard-working lieutenant Mike Fleming picked up somewhat comically Friday on the whole woe-is-administrative-me angle:
She has blamed [her less frequent Deadline posting] on what she said is her being forced to work 23 out of 24 hours on administrative tasks. None of us can figure out precisely what those were…
Which in turn has End of Show’s Kevin Beaumont noting, this morning:
He [Penske] made Nikki work 23 hours out of 24 hours, forcing Nikki to fly to Hawaii and stop posting on the site.
The extra irony here is that the latest Finke drama unfolded over the course of just about 24 hours, beginning late Thursday afternoon/evening and continuing on until last night. At the moment, things seem to be back to box-office-analysis normal. Or at least as “normal” as it all gets when Finke is involved.
Update (November 2):
Finke has shared a few more tidbits via Twitter about her ongoing tug-of-war with Penske. It seems somewhat counter-productive, even during this tense time, for Penske to cut Finke off from the “Tips” email flow.