Considering that 2018 is the year of the reboot — just take “Queer Eye,” “Trading Spaces” and “American Idol” as proof — it’s no wonder E! News called Naples-born journalist and red-carpet host Giuliana Rancic to return as a full-time co-host alongside Jason Kennedy this fall.
Three years after ending a decade long tenure at the network, Rancic — along with husband Bill and 6-year-old son Duke — is finding her footing again in Hollywood. Leading up to her official return to E! Sept. 4, Rancic chats about how she plans to keep one foot in Chicago and what she’s doing differently this time around.
When you left E! News in 2015, it felt final. What made you want to return to the role? The way we deliver and consume news has changed drastically [since then]. I see this endeavor as a completely new challenge and opportunity. When I took over E! News as the solo anchor in 2005, I was also made the managing editor. I can remember being in those early-morning meetings with the team, creating the look and feel of that night’s show. We put our heart and soul into it, and over the next few years, we grew the E! News franchise exponentially. In terms of my career, that achievement was one of the highlights; to achieve a similar emotion would be incredible.
How do you avoid complacency performing a job you’re so used to doing? My break from regularly hosting E! News allowed me to embrace travel, explore new ventures and gain different perspectives, all of which will enable me to provide a fresh approach and enter the role like it’s brand new.
You love Chicago. Do you plan to stay involved with the city? I consider myself so lucky to have been able to call Chicago home — and [raising] Duke in such a warm, inviting city has been extremely rewarding. I will keep a home here. I have made lifelong friends and that will never change. Chicago [is also where] I could fully [focus] on my entrepreneurial ventures with RPM Steak, RPM Italian and RPM On the Water [opening next summer], as well as my clothing line and Prosecco label.
How will you make LA home again? I moved to LA five days after I finished graduate school. It was my first time in LA, and I didn’t know a soul. What I did know was I wanted to be an entertainment journalist and would work hard until it happened. I also knew I would never be one of those people who moved to Hollywood and became a totally different person. I have the exact same values and personality I had when I first moved to LA — and if I didn’t change for Hollywood in my 20s and 30s, I’m certainly not going to change now. There’s so much to LA beyond the entertainment industry. I look forward to embracing all the city has to offer, just as I did in Chicago.
Beginning Sept. 4, catch Rancic on E! News nightly at 6 p.m.