Nikki Finke and Jay Penske have each denied a report by rival Sharon Waxman on TheWrap.com that Penske had fired Finke. The scourge of Hollywood media [i.e. Finke] has clashed repeatedly with her boss, who apparently has had enough, Waxman wrote on Sunday. Likewise, the Los Angeles Times reported on Sunday that Finke has been telling people that she is looking to leave Deadline and go back into business for herself. Following publication of the reports, Penske Media immediately fired off a statement maintaining that Waxman's story was libelous, false, and defamatory...a complete fabrication, with not an ounce of truth to it. It pointed out that Nikki Finke has a multi-year contract with the Company, and it is the Company's absolute intention to continue its obligations under the agreement. But Anne Thompson pointed out at IndieWire, under a headline reading Where There's Smoke, There's Fire, that that agreement ends next year. It's not so much a question of Penske firing Finke. It's a question of his renewing her. If their talks break down and she leaves, as I understand it the name Deadline goes with her. As for Finke, she posted a response saying only, I am not going to discuss my Deadline Hollywood contract or my relationship with my boss Jay Penske. Why? Because I don't have to. If that changes, I'll tell you. She added that she's going on vacation and doesn't want to be bothered. That said, she remarked, I could pick apart her so called 'shocker' line by line.
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.