Nikki Finke’s Voice Coming To Taxis; Jim Romenesko Announces Semi-Retirement; Shaq Pursued Newsweek Writer


Today in Press Clips: Jim Romenesko is kind of retiring, but not fully, Nikki Finke will provide voiceovers for entertainment news clips, the journalists who have been trapped in the Rixos Hotel since Sunday are now free, and Shaquille O’Neal tried to get with a reporter at Newsweek. Just your average Wednesday.

  • Powerful and mysterious Hollywood industry newswoman Nikki Finke will be part of a new partnership between Penske Media Group, which owns Finke’s site Deadline, and ION Television that will offer short Hollywood news briefings in cabs and elevators and the like. Finke will provide voiceovers — though not her image, never that! — for the clips. The service, Entertainment News Television (ENTV) will compete against established shows like “Access Hollywood” and “Entertainment Tonight,” though it won’t ever actually appear on television. Finke told me over the phone that she hasn’t recorded any segments yet, but “I’m bracing myself for what will be the inevitable attempt to humiliate me from my friends in the media.” [WSJ via Atlantic Wire]
  • Jim Romenesko, the Poynter Institute blogging pioneer who has been covering the media industry online since the dawn of time, has announced his semi-retirement. What’s a semi-retirement? It means that starting in January, Romenesko will post part-time at Poynter and will launch his own site, He’ll continue to tweet from the @romenesko and @poynter Twitter accounts. The soon-to-be-named “Romenesko+” blog at Poynter will include contributions from Poynter’s Julie Moos, Steve Myers and Jeff Sonderman. So, in other words, Romenesko is not really away, as far as we can tell — simply posting a bit less and doing his own thing on his own blog. He told HuffPo’s Michael Calderone that the move might just be symptomatic of the “12-year-itch” and that he went back and forth on renewing his contract with Poynter. He also said that he’ll focus more on reported items as opposed to aggregation. [HuffPo, Poynter]
  • The 30 journalists who had been trapped inside the Rixos Hotel in Tripoli since Sunday have finally been freed. Here’s a pretty interesting account of the ordeal. [BBC]
  • The Miami New Times has published a cache of emails between Shaquille O’Neal and senior Newsweek reporter Allison Samuels in which Samuels and Shaq flirt awkwardly. Shaq was in the process of breaking up with his wife and Samuels was ostensibly helping to set him up with other women:

Samuels: Hi. [FYI, the email address bounces back]. Or I can give her your info? She’s not in the country until Wed so maybe then is better because she hasn’t answered me about something else I asked her about. Also she asked about your personal life and I told her_whatever it is_-I’m sure you had it under control. Still waiting on Robinne’s response.

Shaq: Sesslie aintdat fine whts robins last name

Samuels: You are so wrong! Robinne Lee_she’s on Tyler Perry’s show sometimes. Do you know Lauren London_I don’t_but I know James Lassiter knows how to reach her. You ever dealt with her_is she cool? Sharon Leal??

Shaq: Loren is d wade’s girl im not wrong sesslie aint my type u r

Samuels: What about Gabrielle and Dwyane?

Shaq: He gottem all I want u or rihanna

Samuels: Rihanna is too young_19– she is just legal and you know I’m very chatty and you said you didn’t like that!!!!!

Shaq: Yeah but I told u had a crush on me and u wouldnt chat about us i kn o u

Samuels: No_I’m chatty in a relationship_not to others. You just decided I had a crush on you huh?? When did you decide that?

All of this was conducted on Samuels’ work email, by the way. [Miami New Times]