Nikki Finke to Patrick Goldstein: ‘I’m Still Calling It As I See It’

Since LA Times media columnist Patrick Goldstein began sharing his beat with colleague James Rainey, he doesn’t write for the paper nearly as much as he used to.

But he’s got a new piece that is bound to get some good traction. In it, he wonders whether columnist Nikki Finke has gone soft(er) since being purchased by Jay Penske‘s Media Corp. Goldstein chatted with Finke last week; she dismisses the “soft” notion but admits that because her access to Hollywood execs is now greater, her writing may be “a little more nuanced.” Others aren’t so sure:

“This is about what happens when the renegade outsider becomes an institution,” said one high-level exec. “The original appeal of Deadline was that it was the place to go to see what everyone in Hollywood loves: someone taking down their competitors. But now it’s just a ticker tape for showbiz news. People used to read it with a mixture of incredulousness and fear. Now people just read it.”

Goldstein analyzed a recent month’s worth of Finke posts and found a marked lack of “vitriol.” Perhaps she will try to right that ship this week, for good measure, in the wake of Goldstein’s analysis.