Anita Busch: From Deadline Commenter to Deadline Film Editor

The great majority of reader comments that made it through to the bottom of Nikki Finke’s Deadline items were anonymous or pseudonymous. Among the regular exceptions to this was Anita Busch.

The one-time LA Times and Hollywood Reporter vet, sidelined in recent years by some very nasty Anthony Pellicano business, could always be counted on to chime in under her real, full name. Today, some Hollywood trade watchers were stunned to learn that a journalist who has been out of the game for many years was hired as Deadline’s new film editor. She takes over for Mike Fleming, who moved into Finke’s vacated EIC perch. From today’s announcement:

Both [TV editor Nellie] Andreeva and Fleming have a long history with Busch. She hired and mentored Andreeva at The Hollywood Reporter, and she and Fleming worked closely together for years at Variety, dominating film industry news.

“We thought Anita had put the entertainment business in her rear view mirror, but we jumped at the chance when we discovered that she wanted to return to journalism,” said Andreeva and Fleming. “Both of us loved working with her, and Mike even loved competing against her. To say she is one of the most aggressive, resourceful and thoughtful journalists we’ve seen in our time covering Hollywood is underselling her.”

“Anita is a force of nature. She is also a generous spirit who always brought out the best in us. We are delighted to bring her back, and we can’t wait to see her put her mark on box office and the film coverage here at Deadline.”

Others who chased after the choice position of Deadline film editor included several high-profile writers/editors at another trade and at least one Bloomberg staffer. Busch starts December 2.

Speaking of non-anonymous Deadline commenters, those at press time real-name congratulating Busch below include Reuters journalist Zorianna Kit and, separately, her husband – screenwriter-producer Bo Zenga. He frames today’s news as “The Comeback Kid” worthy and he’s absolutely right. It’s a stunning return to prominence for Busch and a move no one we know had the slightest idea was coming.

[Image courtesy PMC]