Late today, Village Voice Media issued a very classy news release announcing that my Deadline Hollywood Daily website was leaving to join MMC. I’m so sad. I want to thank everyone at VVM for DHD’s past 3+ years: COO Jim Larkin and CEO Michael Lacey were great partners and great guys. Their support, including Internet boss Bill Jensen’s, contributed substantially to my website’s success. VVM has asked me to continue my print column for LA Weekly, where I work with Deputy Editor Jill Stewart who has been a good friend and expert editor. Here’s the news release:

PHOENIX, AZ – (June 23, 2009) – Village Voice Media, publisher of 15 alternative weekly papers in major metro areas throughout the U.S., today announced that Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily blog, which has been anchored out of Village Voice Media’s (VVM) LAWeekly.com for close to three years, is leaving the company for Mail.com Media Corporation.

“We’ve had a great run with Nikki and we wish her every success in the future,” Village Voice Media CEO Jim Larkin said. “She’s a top-notch and unerringly accurate reporter with great sources. We will miss her and are disappointed.”

“We are actively searching to fill the void in our daily movie coverage, albeit with a less trade and more populist bent — because we know, as we have known for three years of working with her, that no one can touch Nikki,” added Bill Jensen, director of new media of Village Voice Media. “But as with all of our markets, we have assembled a very strong Web team at LAWeekly.com, and the site has seen tremendous growth in the areas of food, music and nightlife over the past three years. That trend will only continue.”