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Penske, Finke in arbitration

TRADE ALLEGATIONS: Deadline Hollywood owner Jay Penske has started arbitration proceedings against the showbiz-insider site's founder, Nikki Finke, who left after a contretemps with the Penske Media head some weeks ago, the L.A. Times reports. Finke had threatened during the tumult to launch her own site, and an alleged non-compete clause—as well as financial recompense for "numerous breaches of her contractual agreements," according to Penske's camp—motivated his action after "reasonable business attempts to resolve the dispute have failed." Finke fired back, "One minute they tell me I'm terminated. Then they tell me I'm not terminated three days later. Now they tell me they're initiating arbitration. It's like, if it's Tuesday, it must be another development they backtrack on." Penske purchased Deadline in 2009; but the media firm addition of industry trade Variety to its stable last year stressed the Penske-Finke alliance to the breaking point, with the latter complaining that the venerable Variety was absorbing resources that rightly belonged to her site. (11/19a)

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