‘Extra’ taps Gibbons for anchor chair

O'Boyle departs after 3 yrs

NEW ORLEANS — Leeza Gibbons, former anchor/reporter for “Entertainment Tonight” whose syndie talker ended its run this season, is taking over anchoring duties for “Extra’s” Maureen O’Boyle.

Gibbons also will work with the show’s producer Telepictures to refocus the series as exec consulting editor. And her production company, Leeza Gibbons Enterprises, which had produced her Paramount talker “Leeza” and had been based at Par, will be based at Telepictures under an overall deal.

The anchor switch is the latest among a number of changes at “Extra,” which has new producers going into its seventh season.

Earlier this month, exec producer Sheila Sitomer stepped down. Lisa Gregorisch-Dempsey, who joined Telepictures shortly afterward in the new position of senior exec producer of reality programming, named “America’s Most Wanted” alums Neal Freundlich and Steve Longo as exec producer and co-exec producer, respectively.

O’Boyle exits after a three-year stint behind “Extra’s” anchor desk, which Paratore refers to as a particularly important time in the show’s history. “Maureen has been nothing but terrific to work with, and was crucial to the show as it moved from an entertainment magazine to a news magazine,” he said.

“I was able to cover some of the most exciting news stories of our time and make some lifelong friends in the process,” O’Boyle said. “I wish everybody at ‘Extra’ all the best.”

“Extra” is a Time Telepictures Television production and is distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution.

Gibbons’ deal was brokered by William Morris’ Mark Itkin.

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