Nikki Finke, 68, the entertainment journalist and creator of the website Deadline, has passed away.

Family members told Deadline that Finke passed away in Boca Raton, Florida on Sunday morning after a long battle with sickness.

Finke attended Sands Point High School and Wellesley College. Before launching Deadline, she worked as a journalist for the Associated Press, Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Observer, and New York Magazine.

After creating the Deadline Hollywood Daily blog for LA Weekly, Finke launched Deadline in 2006. Once Penske Media Corporation bought the site in 2009, Finke took over as editor-in-chief and general manager.

The seasoned reporter made a name for herself with her dogged pursuit of the truth and her titillating revelations about Hollywood’s A-listers, and she was often heard to say, “toldja,” before beginning a story about a breaking news item.

She became one of the most renowned writers covering the 2007–2008 writers’ strike because of the exclusive information she was able to obtain from striking writers and her forthright criticism of Hollywood’s highest-ranking executives.

After leaving PMC in November 2013, Finke began publishing entertainment news under her own name on In 2015, she launched Hollywood Dementia, a website that features fictitious articles written by various entertainment journalists and insiders regarding the entertainment industry.

In 2019, the site’s final story was posted, and in 2017, Finke went back to PMC in a consulting capacity.

Finke came back to Deadline in 2016 for the site’s ten-year anniversary and expressed her delight that the site was “thriving” after all these years.

While she didn’t set out to be a “disruptor” or an internet journalist who “made something out of nothing,” she wrote, “it gives me tremendous pleasure to see that, while Deadline is completely different from what I built, it’s prospering as a vital part of the entertainment establishment.”

To report on the latest happenings in the entertainment industry more quickly than in my weekly newspaper column, I had to find another outlet. The website address was only $15.00, she explained, so she went ahead and made the purchase. “And now that website is owned by Penske Media and is valued at over $100 million.”

nikki finke illness

According to The Wrap, Finke’s longtime struggle with diabetes and discomfort over being overweight led her to become a recluse who rarely left her house.
Terry Finke Dreyfus, James Finke, and nieces Sarah Greenhill and Diana Leighton are Finke’s surviving family members.

When she was on, “Nikki Finke was the embodiment of the spirit of journalism, never hesitating to tell it like it is with her trademark piercing style and mysterious spark. Jay Penske, PMC’s founder, chairman, and CEO said of her in a statement released on Sunday, “She was brash and honest.” Despite the challenges we faced together, Nikki will always be remembered as a remarkable individual in my story.


Author, blogger, journalist, and publisher Nikki Jean Finke lived in the United States. In addition, she established and led the news and entertainment website Deadline Hollywood. The journalist who founded Deadline passed away at the young age of 68.  The longtime entertainment reporter suffered from a prolonged illness that she succumbed to on Sunday morning in Boca Raton, Florida.

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