Nikki Finke is an industrious and relentless blogger. But she's not a reliable one. As her readers know, she's given to frequent unexpected absences from her blog. Now that she's making $400,000, we're going to start keeping track.

One of Finke's many charms is the way she has treated her readership like her boss—she'll call in sick via a post, or beg for just a few more minutes to get her thoughts together on breaking news. And as any regular reader knows, she scarcely goes a month without going dark for a day or two for some reason or other, which she invariably explains on her blog in the manner of a harried writer trying to get an editor off her back: I'm down with the flu, I've got jury duty, this damn internet's not working, I had some bad dental work, I broke my hand.

We're all for writers taking time off. And we're in no way prepared to put our own work ethic up against Finke's. But ever since she sold to Jay Penske's in a reported multimillion-dollar deal that has her earning $400,000 a year, we've wondered how Finke's frequently erratic work habits would mesh with a real boss, who has investors to satisfy. So we've decided to keep an eye on Finke's "I'm out today" posts, to see what a $400k blogger can get away with.

Last Thursday, Finke wrote that she had been in the hospital by way of explaining a shortage of recent posts. We hope she's OK. Finke has written in the past that she suffers from diabetes, which may explain her frequent absences from blogging (though it hasn't hampered a long and active career that has included stints in Moscow and London for the Associated Press). She seems to have bounced back fairly quickly from her latest illness, with a lot of posts over the weekend.

To put Finke's salary in perspective, we've gone through her archives and put together a sampling—and this really is just a sampling—of her posts offering reasons for not being able to work. We hope that in her new, corporate environment, Finke will find a way to pace herself and accommodate a more predictable work schedule. Because we agree with this blogger, who wrote a post called "Why Hollywood Gets No Work Done" in 2006:

I was shocked to hear that Hollywood types were already leaving town for the July 4th holiday. It's bad enough you guys cancel four straight scheduled meetings with screenwriters. Or have your assistants book appointments six months ahead which you'll cancel anyway. And all without a twinge of guilt. But lately you've become Slacker Town.

Finke is no slacker—anyone who's been on the business end of her reporter's notebook knows that she is not afraid to put in the hours on any given story. But she certainly does seem to cancel a lot of appointments with her readers:

September 17, 2009

September 14, 2009

September 10, 2009

August 12, 2009

July 31, 2009

July 13, 2009

July 9, 2009

July 7, 2009

June 29, 2009

April 20, 2009

April 15, 2009

April 6, 2009

April 2, 2009

March 30, 2009

November 10, 2008

November 3, 2008

October 15, 2008

September 11, 2008

September 4, 2008

August 1, 2008

July 28, 2008

July 9, 2008

June 10, 2008

June 9, 2008

May 20, 2008

May 16, 2008

May 15, 2008

April 23, 2008

April 1, 2008

February 20, 2008

February 12, 2008

January 23, 2008

January 14, 2008

January 9, 2008

December 27, 2007

December 17, 2007

December 10, 2007

November 30, 2007

October 16, 2007

October 10, 2007

October 1, 2007

September 13, 2007

August 13, 2007

July 20, 2007

July 13, 2007

July 11, 2007

July 7, 2007

February 25, 2007

December 30, 2006

December 5, 2006

September 11, 2006

June 12, 2006

[Full disclosure: Your blogger's wife works as an editor at Finke's former employer, Village Voice Media, and occasionally edited her stories.]