It seems that Maria Menounos' arrival at E! has at least one person feeling threatened. The NY Daily News reported on Tuesday, May 13, that Giuliana Rancic originally wanted to step down from her hosting duties on the network in order to concentrate on her family and restaurants but when she realized that Maria was joining the network, she quickly changed her mind and signed up for more work because she doesn't want to lose her position.
According to a network insider, Giuliana wanted to scale back her work with the network so that she could spend more time with her 2-year-old son, Edward Duke, and husband, Bill Rancic, in Chicago. She was also thinking of having another baby, continue with her reality show “Giuliana & Bill," and help Bill out more with restaurants RPM Italian and RPM Steak in Chicago.
Giuliana's plans changed when Maria, whose contract to be co-host of NBC's "Extra" was reportedly not renewed, started talks with E! and “was treated like Oprah." The network is expected to formally announce Maria's role at its upfronts on Thursday, May 15. Not surprisingly, Giuliana felt underappreciated from all the attention given to Maria.
“Giuliana was thinking of leaving...But she’s also not going to feel like she was pushed out of a network she helped make a success," said the source. The source added that Maria definitely wants to be the new face of the network and is very ambitious for her career.
While representatives for both Giuliana and Maria declined to comment on the story, Giuliana's husband Bill has denied that Maria is taking his wife's job. He told KBFX Eyewitness News that while he doesn't know about Maria, no one can compete with his wife because she's the best at what she does. He did admit however that they will move to Chicago permanently in a few years so that Duke can start school and have some permanent roots.
Bill's last comment about the matter did suggest that he and Giuliana Rancic don't think too highly of Maria Menounos though. "I don't know anything about that report. It sounds like its something that Maria may have fabricated in her mind," he said.