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GOLDIN’S NEW GIG: Documentary photographer Nan Goldin, known for her exploration of gender politics and producing intimate and often autobiographical images incorporating themes of love, friendship and sexuality, recently shot her first-ever ad campaign, for Bottega Veneta. Creative director Tomas Maier has followed Goldin’s work and asked her to partner with the brand. “Nan’s work is intensely personal, with a sincere and unusual focus on the individual,” said Maier. Goldin shot the campaign in Staten Island, N.Y., and it will break in February fashion titles. — Amy Wicks
This story first appeared in the January 12, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
GROWING DEADLINE: Fearsome and sharp-tongued entertainment business reporter Nikki Finke has hired 20-year Variety veteran Mike Fleming and British journalist Tim Adler to launch the respective New York and London editions of her blog, Deadline Hollywood Daily. Finke and Mail.com Media Corp.’s Jay Penske — who bought Finke’s site last summer in a deal worth an estimated $10 million — revealed the appointments over the weekend. Until their new unique Web sites go live in the coming weeks, Fleming and Adler, both of whom will work from home, will file items to Finke’s blog starting immediately.
As a leading Variety reporter with good sources, Fleming was one of Finke’s biggest competitors in breaking news, though Finke said the two always maintained a friendship. “We both know how hard it is to get the info that we get, and that’s been kind of a bonding experience,” an excited Finke said via a phone interview. “Everybody in Hollywood likes him and respects him and, even more importantly, he’s a stickler for accuracy.” Fleming’s departure, meanwhile, is seen by many in Hollywood as a nail in Variety’s coffin, as the publication has faced top-level editorial flux of late and ever-increasing competition for scoops from whip-quick Web-based journalists such as Finke.
Regarding his departure from Variety, Fleming said he “just felt like shaking things up” in his career, adding the online world seemed the right place to go. “I grew up at Newsday and Variety — I was taught that trees have to die for me to be relevant,” he said. “Then I discovered this past half-year, when I teamed with Peter [Bart, Variety’s recently deposed editor in chief and current vice president and editorial director] on BFD [the Bart, Fleming Deal Memo blog on variety.com], it was my first taste of that instant gratification. It’s kind of attractive, I have to say.”
Finke noted the Long Island, N.Y.-based Fleming will be expanding his coverage to include “books, media, TV news, theater and other Gotham-based infotainment arenas.”
For his part, London-based Adler, formerly editor of the biweekly Screen Finance, offers Finke insights into and experience with the swiftly growing European film business, not to mention a set of eyes and ears in another time zone. “Deadline will now be a 24-7 news operation,” explained Finke, who is known for posting scoops and breaking news from her Los Angeles home no matter the hour. “London can cover things overnight. New York will wake up early and do that, and then I’ll come in from Los Angeles and work until the evening. It’s what I always wanted. And maybe, just maybe, I can take a vacation after four years.”
And these aren’t the only appointments likely in the future. Finke talked of plans to launch sites in Asia, Australia and even Mumbai, India, to broaden her blog’s coverage of the global film industry.
The hirings come two months after Finke and Penske brought on Wharton grad Tom Balamaci as managing director for Deadline.com, to coordinate strategy and operations for the site. Based in Los Angles and reporting to editor in chief Finke, Balamaci also will take over administration of the New York and London editions. “Deadline Hollywood is never going to be all things to all people,” Finke said of her template. “We’re not a newspaper, we’re not a trade. We are what we are.…You’re not just getting the facts man, you’re getting opinion, you’re getting analysis and, hopefully, a laugh and a little snark.” Or a lot of it.
In December, Deadline.com had 1,994,000 page views and 399,000 unique visitors, according to The Nielsen Co.
Elsewhere in the blogosphere, New York magazine has tapped Claude Brodesser-Akner to be the first West Coast editor of nymag.com’s Vulture blog, which provides reporting-commentary on anything related to entertainment or culture. Brodesser-Akner, who until last year hosted the radio show, “The Business,” on Los Angeles public radio station KCRW, has written for Variety, Ad Age and Wired, among other publications.
— Nick Axelrod
SCORSESE’S TURN?: Chanel has a history of partnering with film directors, such as Baz Luhrmann and Jean-Pierre Jeunet, for its TV commercials, and it appears that Martin Scorsese is next in line. The director behind “Taxi Driver” and “The Departed” is said to have recently shot a commercial for Chanel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, over the weekend, according to a report on Dossier.com. When reached by WWD, Chanel declined to comment. — A.W.
SIMMONS’ NEW SHOW: Food & Wine’s Gail Simmons is getting a show of her own on Bravo. The “Top Chef” judge will host a spin-off program, “Top Chef: Just Desserts.” The reality show will have pastry chefs competing against one another in a series of challenges. Before taping begins, Simmons will pay tribute to mentor chef Daniel Boulud at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival and host the Caymen Cookout with Le Bernardin’s Eric Ripert. — A.W.