E! News anchor Giuliana Rancic is reportedly facing off with Maria Menounos for the network's top anchor spot. Menounos joined E! in May to host her news magazine show "Untold with Maria Menounos" and other special events and projects. But sources told the New York Daily News’ Confidential Menounos now has her eyes set on Rancic’s anchor role.
“Maria was hired as a potential replacement for Giuliana when Giuliana told the network that she wasn’t planning to stay on after her last contact expired,” the source said.
The source added Rancic, 39, had initially planned to scale down her role at the network this year. However, those plans changed when she and husband Bill Rancic announced in June their surrogate had suffered a miscarriage.
“Giuliana is the queen of E! and a class act,“ the source said. “After more than a decade with the network, she told them of her plans and even helped them find a replacement. But after her surrogate suffered a miscarriage, Rancic decided to extend her deal.”
Talk of Rancic’s planned departure first began ahead of the network’s official announcement in May that Menounos, 36, would be joining the E! team. At that time, sources told Confidential Rancic at first wanted to reduce her role with the network to make more time for her family. But once she learned of Menounos move to the station and talk the former Extra host wanted to take her spot, Rancic decided to sign a contract to stay an additional year to avoid the appearance she was knocked out of her role.
Once Rancic decided to extend her contract an additional year, Menounos was reportedly then offered the position as host of her one-hour entertainment news show “Untold With Maria Menounos.” But sources say she is still seeking a more visible role at E! “Maria wishes G had left like planned. She really wants to be the face of the network and that’s what she was counting on,” the source says.
Despite the competition, though, the source says Rancic is remaining positive and believes they can both find a place at the network.
“G would never be dramatic or cause problems at work. She is a pro and she’s been there for years,” the source says. “Maria just has to find her groove, and hopefully her ratings pick up.”
The sentiment was supported by an E! News rep who knocked any rumors about drama between the women as “absolutely not true,” the Daily News reported.