Nikki Finke's $10 million payday
After fielding "many offers from major corporations and media companies," Finke, a former reporter for Newsweek, the New York Post and the Los Angeles Times, among others, has sold her three-year-old blog, Deadline Hollywood Daily, to Mail.com Media Corp., a digital-media company whose properties include portal Mail.com, HollywoodLife.com, OnCars.com and Movieline.com. Terms of the sale were not disclosed, but a source with knowledge of the details says the price was around $10 million (although Paid Content's Rafat Ali says it was somewhat lower, in the seven-figure range, and other observers who know the new-media deal market consider the $10 million figure improbably high). That covers the asset purchase as well a long-term contract for Finke's services -- "long-term" meaning something upwards of five years.
Losing out in the deal is L.A. Weekly, which has sold the ads on Deadline Hollywood Daily since its launch. Finke will, however, continue to write her weekly column for the paper, which is part of Village Voice Media.
DHD has been a one-woman operation since its inception, even during the 2007 writers' strike, when virtually the whole entertainment industry treated Finke's blog as a real-time bulletin board for updates on the negotiations and its traffic soared. (In total, the site has served up some 65 million page views since its launch.) But that will change as part of the deal with MMC: Finke will hire a "senior journalist" to cover the industry in New York, and eventually the site will add another reporter in L.A. as well.