Industry insider Nikke Finke has added a new member to her growing entertainment site according to a report on MediaBistro. The columnist has been on the lookout for months for a new writer and has found someone worthy enough to take over the East Coast publishing duties for her site. Her new employee is non-other than former Variety regular Michael Fleming.

Michael Fleming had 20 years under his belt with Variety and was well known in the industry for his writing talents. Finke had been on the lookout for a New York editor for a while and recently finalized her deal with Fleming. She also went on to hire UK entertainment and business writer Tim Adler as the editor of the upcoming Deadline London. It doesn’t stop there, because just last week Finke hired Diane Haithman, formerly of The Los Angeles Times to take on a position as an interviewer of TV runners.

What’s in the water over there? With more writers, and more national and international coverage Deadline Hollywood Daily will become a serious force in the industry. Flemings’ move is the most drastic considering how closely he’s associated with the Variety brand. His departure really is a sign of the times for the trade magazine that has been struggling as of late. Finke’s site is expanding considerably, and her new crew of writers and editors will only cement the legacy that’s been years in the making.

Are you surprised that Michael Fleming was lured away by Finke?