The spiking of Cari Beauchamp‘s 5000-word Vanity Fair piece about the aggressive Hollywood reporting wars between Deadline‘s Nikki Finke, TheWrap‘s Sharon Waxman and The Hollywood Reporter‘s Janice Min was not, I’m told, a “space issue.” Earlier today N.Y. Post media columnist Keith J. Kelly quoted “sources” saying that the story was killed “because it wasn’t catty enough…they wanted a catfight story.” He also ran an official Vanity Fair explanation that “with so many articles trying to get into the issue, it didn’t make the cut.”

Late this afternoon a person who had contact with Beauchamp during her research said that the Vanity Fair quote is bullshit. There was, I gather, some reticence from at least one of the subjects (and perhaps from all three) about participating in a story that, it was feared, might have become a semi-demeaning caricature — a chronicle of tempestuous personalities, perhaps something in the vein of those old Hedda-vs.-Louella duels of the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s, three tough cyber-journalists overdoing the avarice in trying to out-scoop and out-maneuver each other, etc. Beauchamp tried to allay concerns by offering assurances that article would be a business piece, but toward the end, my source contends, it devolved into something that Beauchamp wouldn’t put her name on.

Beauchamp’s story would have appeared in VF‘s annual Hollywood issue, which will be out on February 2nd.