Skip to Content

Nikki Finke, veteran Hollywood journalist, has died

<i>From Deadline</i><br/>Nikki Finke
From Deadline
Nikki Finke

By Jordan Valinsky, CNN Business

Nikki Finke, the sharp-tongue Hollywood journalist famous for her seemingly non-stop scoops, has died. She was 68.

An announcement of her death was posted Sunday on Deadline, the website she founded in 2006 and transformed it into an essential source for entertainment news. Finke, who remained reclusive for most of her life, died of a prolonged illness in Boca Raton, Florida, the website reported.

Perhaps best known for starting stories with her famous “TOLDJA” expression, Finke had a “take-no-prisoners” style that made her both feared and respected in Hollywood.

“She posted firsthand accounts of how she saw the entertainment business and was unfazed about dressing down its biggest players,” Deadline wrote. “Her often biting, acerbic posts called out wrongdoing and wrongdoers as she saw fit — making her a hero to many assistants and below-the-liners while irking many in the C-suites who were not used to anything less than praise.”

Born in 1953 in Long Island, Finke’s career spanned several decades and and held positions 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.

She was seen as the go-to source for news during the 2007 writers strike that brought Hollywood production to a standstill. The New York Times said her reporting “solidified her position as a Hollywood power broker.”

In 2009, she sold Deadline to Jay Penske’s media company. She left the website in 2013 following editorial clashes with him.

“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. She was brash and true,” said Jay Penske, founder and CEO of Penske Media Corporation, in a statement on Deadline. “It was never easy with Nikki, but she will always remain one of the most memorable people in my life.”

In 2015, she launched, a website where she and others wrote and published fiction about Hollywood.

She is survived by a sister, brother-in-law and nieces. Her memorial services will be private.

™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

Article Topic Follows: cnn-business-consumer

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

CNN Newsource


KVIA ABC 7 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content