2ND UPDATE: Gossip blogger Roger Friedman emails that he was not fired or let go. “The Hollywood Reporter simply decided for budgetary reasons not to renew my employment agreement which expires next week.”

UPDATE: THR editor Elizabeth Guider just emailed the following in response to my query: “To answer your question: we decided that we wanted to go in different directions editorially and focus our resources differently. That editorial decision was made and communicated mid February. He left us right around March 15. And to clarify: [Roger] Friedman was originally hired by Nielsen Corporate in New York last May. He did report to me and to a Nielsen executive on the content side in NY.”

THR logo2 12:50 PM: Roger Friedman’s freelance celebrity blog is gone from THR‘s website now. It happened at the end of last week (while I was travelling) and was mentioned briefly in Anne Thompson’s indie blog last night. I hear his deal was with old owners Nielsen Business Media, so it wasn’t renewed by the new owners e5 Global Media. “He goes almost a year without reporting much, then gets fired [let go] after he just broke the Rosie O’Donnell-getting-a-new-talk show story,” an insider tells me. Friedman was hired last May THR editor Elizabeth Guider ”to beef up its coverage of the celebrity world” after he was canned as a freelance blogger by Fox News for posting about Internet piracy.

Editor-in-Chief Nikki Finke - tip her here.