(June 16, 2000 - Burbank, CA) – Respected broadcast journalist Leeza Gibbons has been named anchor of the nationally syndicated newsmagazine “Extra,” and will begin with the show’s seventh season this fall. Gibbons will also serve as Executive Consulting Editor on “Extra,” working with Telepictures to refocus the series. Additionally, Gibbons’ successful production company, Leeza Gibbons Enterprises (LGE), has signed an overall production deal with Telepictures and will now be based there. The announcements were made today by Jim Paratore, President, Telepictures Productions. “We are thrilled to have Leeza join ‘Extra’ as we move into a new and exciting phase of growth with the show,” said Paratore. “The combination of Leeza as anchor and ‘Extra’s’ new senior production team, led by Lisa Gregorisch-Dempsey, is guaranteed to bring a new focus and energy to the show. We look forward to working with Leeza on ‘Extra,’ as well as to developing projects with her production company.” “‘Extra’ is a great opportunity for me to return to my roots in broadcast journalism,” said Gibbons. “Working to create a new format for the show provides me an exciting challenge to tackle subject matter I believe in. And Telepictures, a recognized leader in reality programming, is a great fit with LGE. We can’t wait to get into business with the entire Warner Bros. family.” Telepictures Productions recently hired reality producer and television news veteran Lisa Gregorisch-Dempsey as Senior Executive Producer of Reality Programming, charging her with oversight of the production of “Extra.” In addition, award-winning television producers Neal Freundlich and Steve Longo have been named as “Extra’s” Executive Producer and Co-Executive Producer, respectively. “Leeza is an exceptional talent and will be a major factor as we revamp and relaunch the show to take it to the next level,” said Gregorisch-Dempsey. “Extra’s” Maureen O’Boyle is stepping down after three successful years as solo anchor of the series. “In my three-year commitment to ‘Extra,’ I was able to cover some of the most exciting news stories of our time and make some lifelong friends in the process,” said O’Boyle. “I wish everybody at ‘Extra’ all the best.” “Maureen has made an invaluable contribution to ‘Extra,’” said Paratore. “As an anchor and a journalist, she gave ‘Extra’ the credibility it needed with the buyers and the audience at a crucial moment in its history. For that and all of her hard work, we will be forever grateful. We wish her all the best and continued success.” Gibbons joins “Extra” following six years of hosting and executive producing the issue-oriented talk show “Leeza.” Prior to that, she spent more than a decade as reporter and anchor for “Entertainment Tonight.” Gibbons has also served as host of “Two on the Town” for WCBS-TV in New York and “PM Magazine” on WFAA-TV in Dallas and KFDM-TV in Beaumont, TX. She began her career as an anchor/reporter for both WSPA-TV in Spartanburg, SC and National Public Radio in Columbia, SC, immediately after graduating magna cum laude from the University of South Carolina’s School of Journalism. Leeza Gibbons Enterprises produces all genres of programming for all media and dayparts. The company currently has two television projects in production: “Teen Court” for MTV and a Lifetime Television series starring Delta Burke. LGE produced the talk show “Leeza” for the six seasons it was on the air (both network and syndication), as well as the six-part series “Assignment E! with Leeza Gibbons” for E! Entertainment Television. The company also produced the critically acclaimed “Intimate Portrait” on John F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Emmy-nominated “Growing Up Together” for Lifetime Television, and a series of holiday specials for The Nashville Network. LGE is also involved in the production of the UPN series “Teen Files.” In addition to its television activities, the company produces seven hours of radio programming each week, including “Hot AC Top 25 Countdown with Leeza Gibbons” and “Soft AC Top 25 Countdown With Leeza Gibbons,” syndicated to 350 stations across the country. “Extra,” a Time Telepictures Television production, is distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution.
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