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Menounos leaving NBC, to cohost ‘Extra’

By Mark Shanahan & Meredith Goldstein
August 5, 2011

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Those recent reports of Maria Menounos’s possible departure from NBC? Turned out they were true. The Medford native - and Emerson alum - confirmed yesterday that she’s signed a multi-year deal with Telepictures to cohost “Extra’’ with Mario Lopez, contribute to the new CW show “Dr. Drew’s Lifechangers,’’ and also develop other projects. “I have wanted to work with Dr. Drew [Pinsky] for years and to have the opportunity to do so in daytime television was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,’’ she told us in an e-mail yesterday. “I loved working at NBC and thank the network for a great six-year run.’’ Just a few weeks ago, the New York Post reported that Menounos’s contract was up, and NBC was seeking to reduce her responsibilities - and pay. In addition to her work on “Access Hollywood,’’ Menounos contributed to “Today,’’ “Dateline,’’ and “Nightly News With Brian Williams.’’