Yesterday, to head off a story on "some inaccurate showbiz website," Nikki Finke announced on her blog that she'd been approached in December with an offer to edit Hollywood Reporter. Last night, though, the CEO of THR's new parent company, e5 Global Media, responded, claiming, "There is no truth to the report that [Finke] has been offered the job of editor-in-chief." As you can imagine, Finke had several things to say about this.
Finke says she was too offered the job, and "did not negotiate," but "set in motion a dialogue about mutually beneficial business between my parent company [Jay Penske's Mail.com Media Corporation] and the new THR owners" and "that discussion continues," whatever that means (maybe MMC will buy THR and run blog posts by Finke and Mike Fleming in the print edition?). Meanwhile, Sharon Waxman says she hears Finke's employment contract with MMC — who bought DHD last year, reportedly under a performance-based deal that could reportedly pay her as much as $10 million over the next eight years — "doesn't have all the i's dotted and t's crossed" and "may well be unenforceable," meaning Finke could conceivably walk away for the right price. So if any other ailing Hollywood trades want to poach her, below is the offer they'll have to beat.
Finke writes today:
Let me reaffirm that the offer was real and detailed and made to me by one of Beckman's bosses during a phone conversation on the night of January 13th. It consisted of: $450,000 annual salary for becoming editor-in-chief of The Hollywood Reporter. Plus a $1 million Malibu home which, I was told, "you can keep whether you stay 5 minutes or 5 years" in the job. (Why this? Because I had said that some day I want to buy a Malibu condo with an ocean view.) Plus a sum "roughly estimated" at $650,000 a year for my share of several cable TV deals which e5 anticipated making for THR. And so on. Other people know about this offer, too.
Pretty insulting, right? We wouldn't edit THR for four minutes for anything less than two houses.