June 4, 2007 12:00 AM
Though few news outlets were willing to admit it, Nikki Finke, on her Deadline Hollywood blog, broke last week's blockbuster news that producer Ben Silverman was taking over Kevin Reilly's duties at NBC.
Ms. Finke's first post on Friday not only scooped the competition (whose initial hesitant stories on the matter made vague references to "online reports" breaking the news), but also sent the entire NBC dealmaking team into frantic overdrive through the Memorial Day weekend. NBC insiders were furious about both the leak and Ms. Finke's "mean" comments about their executives during a difficult transition.
Mr. Silverman called the weekend "hell" because of the unexpected report. "I hate the blog world," said Mr. Silverman, who Ms. Finke wrote had a "high-flyin' lifestyle" and a private plane that served as his "moveable frat." Mr. Silverman's take: "It ends up interfering with people's lives. It messes with the process. And I've never been on a private plane!" Replied Ms. Finke: "In Hollywood, the truth hurts." -- James Hibberd