In a discussion with longtime entertainment journalist Peter Bart, Deadline.com film editor Mike Fleming Jr. spoke about his negotiations to bring back Nikki Finke, the site’s founder — and why that won’t be happening.
“I got it in my head that enough time had passed and I wanted her back,” Fleming said. “I leaned on Jay Penske to end arbitration proceedings to make it happen, and he did just that. Here was my thinking. I like her. Even though we never met in person during our time together at Deadline, we had a lot of fun.”
But Fleming said Finke became “impatient” with the pace of the negotiations, and “lit a match to the whole thing.” (Bart notes that Finke now calls him Mike Pflegming on her site.) Fleming added that many at Deadline didn’t want Finke back, and that some executives in the entertainment industry viewed a potential return as “perilous.”
“Frankly, some talent belongs in a band, but she’s a better solo act,” Fleming said. “We are doing fine, so who needs the drama? This will all end shortly in arbitration. I felt I was this close to bringing her back, but now it won’t happen. Best of luck to her.”